What do you do?
I consider myself a visual artist; my work ranges from hand drawings to paintings. I also do graffiti art and tattoo commissioned art as well.
Describe your art.
Dealing with the human body, in terms of beauty, in terms of darkness; I have a passion for anatomy and that shines through in a lot of my work.
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me. It could be a spider crawling up a tree. It could be the music I’m listening to. An image in a book. The costumes that I wear, because I do Greek folkloric dancing, the details of the costumes… everything, everything.
Do you have a favourite piece?
This is hard…I’d have to say the anatomy head just there. Yeeah, I worked hard on that one. I used oil pastels so the layering of that was a bit of a work out [laughs]. Because I had to start with the base layers, then I had to add on the different colours, and then scratch out the finer fibres in the muscles and tissues. I just love the way it turned out. You can see the intricacy and detail of that. So, that’s what I love about it, just the human body baring it all.
When do you find yourself being most creative?
You know a lot of times when I walk outside and it’s a beautiful day, I can just get my spray cans or something and spray away. For me it’s about the mood, I have to be in a good mood to work. I work better when I’m happier. If I’m down I’d rather just sit down and chill. The light affects me as well. Have you ever heard of “winter depression”? You don’t get enough sunlight it sort of depresses you, and artists work with a lot of light, so sunlight helps a lot.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just finished a tattoo job. That was a big piece. The final product looks amazing. I’ve also just been commissioned for another tattoo job, so this one is adding to an existing piece, and we’re just working together to see what we can come up with.
For your tattoo art commissions, are you given images to simply replicate or are you given ideas to then materialise into an image?
It works both ways actually; some people give me free creative reign. They give me an idea, so say if they want something religious, I do extensive research to make sure that it’s correct; because the last thing you want is for a person to have an image tattooed permanently to their body that is just completely wrong. Other people give me images to collate together just to work out a piece for them.
Do you ever feel that you’re more passionate about the image and the history of it than the person you are drawing it for?
[laughs] Yeah sometimes, sometimes. I ask them a lot of questions too, really badger them about it, because sometimes a person doesn’t realise what the image they want actually represents and signifies. ‘Are you sure you actually want this? But are you sure?’
What do you think appeals to people about your work?
The one thing that I’ve noticed with a lot of people is that they love the detail, that’s the one thing that people always comment on. The harder a piece is, the more I get out of it, I find.
How long will you sit with a piece until it’s finished?
Oh I’ll sit there for as long as it takes. For example for this tattoo piece I worked on recently, it was on an A2 size sheet and it was of the Egyptian god Anubis, god of the underworld and it was for an entire back tattoo. I worked for over 60 hours, and one day I worked for 10 hours straight. So, as long as it takes to finish a job, yeah. Especially if it’s commissioned, then the sooner it’s done, the better, because I don’t like to keep people waiting.
Describe your creative process.
It varies. If it’s just for me, my own personal project, then I just wake up and do it. I’ll sleep on it and I wake up the next day, I can picture it, and it’s done. That was something that annoyed all my teachers through uni and high school, because it was compulsory to keep journals of our work and I could never, never do it. All my ideas are stored in my brain and that’s how I work. They were always asking me how I’m doing it and I was like ‘look I’d sleep on it, and it was there, that’s it, you know?’ and they would be like ‘but surely you’ve seen it somewhere’ ‘yeah, somewhere, in the back of my brain’ [laughs]. But if the piece is for someone else, that’s when the research comes in.
What tools do you use?
Felt tip pen; water colour pencils; oil pastel crayons; spray paints; ink; collected cards; different media; paper; paint; conte crayons; conte chalks; graphite, and more!
What constitutes as your first piece?
Actually, I was quite proud of a line drawing I had done back in uni, it was a portrait of my sister. In saying that, a fellow student at uni liked it so much that she really wanted it and she actually asked me for the piece, and I gave it to her. She actually loved it as much as I did, but I found it okay to part with. In the beginning I wasn’t able to part with my work, but you know, as years sort of drag on you’re sort of able to let things go.
How has your technique changed over time?
I’ve grown up in a family, in a place where perfection is everything. Colour inside of the lines, draw perfect pretty little pictures etc. and that continued all through high school. As soon as I got to uni they threw all that out the window. Back to basics, right? So to do a line drawing, that means you have to look at the picture, without looking at the page. And I was like ‘but don’t you want perfect pictures?’ and they’re like ‘no, you are going to find your own style through this process’ and I did. It helped me to look at things better, take in the detail.
What do you want people to take from your work?
I don’t know…..I really don’t know….it’s a hard question, I guess, I hope that it just makes them happy.
What do you hope happens in the next year?
I’ve wanted to put together an exhibition and hopefully 2014 is the year.
Where can we find your stuff?
You can’t [laughs] I don’t have a website or a facebook page or anything. People have always commissioned me through word of mouth.
To check out more of Evelyn Darzanos’ work, you can contact her via