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Evie May Adams Illustrator X Peculiar V

This girl can freestyle! A firecracker from Rye, Evie May Adams showed her illustrating prowess for our 'Summer Caribbean' themed window. We watched her work 4 hours straight, plucking each image straight out of her head and straight onto glass! 

We love her characters, with the hypnotic eyes and line art that has a retro touch. It's like Totoro stepped into a 60's tattoo parlour... All hail Miss A. 


PV: When did you realise that you had a passion for drawing?

EMA: From a very young age, I would say. My mum and dad are both artists, so I was always encouraged to draw and we always had art equipment around, ready to use. I was perfectly happy sat in front of the TV with a sketchbook in hand for hours and hours. We’ve saved them all, there are piles and piles of them. I really couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, it’s all I know. 

PV: If you could pick any jeweller in the world to design you a piece, money no object, who would it be and what would you request? 

EMA: I’m absolutely in love with Bill Skinner’s work. I have a gold bumble bee necklace by him that I wear nearly every day. It’s so life-like!

I think I would get him to make me a big statement necklace with all of his animal charms on. I saw a pair of earrings he’d done, made to look like leaves and plants growing up your ear. The jewels on that were fab (I’m a sucker for big over the top sparkly things) So I’d love to have an element of the earrings in there. Most of his work is really small, so to give him a commission to do something massive would be interesting. 

PV: Who is your favourite illustrator? 

EMA: Okay, well, I cannot possibly pick just one. So I’ll say at the moment, I am super into..... Owen Davey (who’s work is actually the complete opposite of mine) He makes very uniformed digital images. I look to his work for his use of colour and composition, it’s amazing how much atmosphere he can convey using those digitally made shapes. I recently bought his new book “Smart about sharks” and it’s beautifully done.

Claire Fletcher is a local artist from Hastings who’s work I’ve been following for a while. It’s of another era! A very traditional way of working, I have major paint envy for her. 

Nathalie Lete is an amazing artist and illustrator. I came across her work when she did a set of plates for Anthropologie. My mum now has a big collection of them hanging on the wall in the kitchen. Her plates are what inspired me to delve into ceramics! I think what I like most about her, is the fact that she’s found her style and just completely gone with it, it’s so recognisable. Classic, yet modern. 

That’s only a few, I could go on forever. My favourite illustrators shift and change so much, I’ll become obsessed with someones work for a few months and then I’ll move onto someone new. 

PV: What inspires you the most?

EMA: The things that inspire me and the way in which I work are ever changing at the moment. For example, last year, my work was described at “folk-psychedelic”. But I really don’t think that can apply to me anymore. I feel that it’s important to not get too stagnant with the things you’re looking at. Keep changing, keep learning. 

So, things that I’m looking into at the moment are old science posters, retro space tv programs, medieval occult book pages and the work of Fairfield Porter. However the week before it was vintage wind-up tin toys and hooked rugs. 

PV: For us Brighton folk, what is your favorite thing about the seaside city?

I live very close to Brighton, in Rye. So I spend a lot of my time in Hastings. I love how Brighton is like the best bits of Hastings but magnified. It’s all very familiar to me, yet I’m always finding somewhere new to shop, somewhere new to eat. It’s a beautiful city with such an array of people, I can be very happy sat in a coffee shop watching the world go by. 

My favourite shop would have to be snooper’s paradise, there is just so much to look at in there. I would love to go and draw everything. 

Living in Brighton would be the dream but I can’t quite afford it at the moment - one day!

PV: Your illustrations are often of animals or imaginary worlds, we would love to know what the world would be like according to Evie and what animal would you be?

EMA: I created a world for my final project at uni. Set very, very, very far in the future. It was a story about how humans had left earth, thinking there would be a big disaster very soon and they better entirely leave the planet to avoid it. So they’re travelling around space for a while, and make a complete circle, coming back to where Earth would have been. Only to find that it was still there. The humans that had been left behind had evolved a kind of utopian culture, everything was perfect, everything was in harmony with each other. I think it would be super cool to live in that kind of world for a while. When creating projects, I always try to submerge myself within the images I’m creating, so I’ve thought about the way the world could be if I’d created it a lot. Just think, lots of animals, lots of plants and chalky colours. 

About which animal I would be, I have no idea. I asked one of my mates and she said a baby bear. Which I’m pretty happy with.

PV: What are you currently working on and where will you go from here?

EMA: I’ve just set up an Etsy shop, which was so much more work than I thought it would be! I’ve been doing a lot of pet portraits, which I love doing, it’s really good painting practise. Apart from that I’ve just been taking little commissioned bits here and there, as well as selling paintings. I haven’t actually had much “illustration” work yet, so I think my next step is going to be getting a decent portfolio together and going to see some agencies. 

I’m also toying with the idea of doing an Masters Degree. I still feel like I have so much to learn! And there’s only so much you can teach yourself.   

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