Meet Evan McIntrye of Evan McIntrye Illustration! Evan is the illustrator behind the Summer Patchwork Market Tote Bag! Read on to find out more about Evan and his life in Durham, NC.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you started Evan McIntyre Illustration?Originally from Florida, my wife and I moved to Greensboro, NC to pursue her master’s degree. While there, I finished my schooling with a teaching degree, but quickly decided I did not want to do that, so I pursued my artistic side. I have always done some sort of art whether that be photography, oil painting, or mixed media. Drawing was something that I always began with and would do in any setting. I remember wanting to be an animator when I grew up (still working on that), so my mother would support that interest by giving me “how to draw” books. My wife got a job in the Research Triangle, and we loved Durham, so we moved here. I worked in a call center and would spend most of my time between calls drawing. I had a large whiteboard that I would update seasonally and randomly with new drawings. My desk was on the main drag through the office, so people began to expect new whiteboard illustrations. I became a bit known around the office, so much so that team leaders would often grant me paid time to draw each team’s logos on their statistics whiteboard. People started asking for tattoo art, portraits, etc. and I started charging people for my time. I then was asked to teach art during the summer at NCMA in Raleigh for the kid’s art camps. I took this opportunity to leave the call center behind and start a life of illustration. Along with our two dogs and a cat, we have a one year old. Currently, I’m the stay-at-home-dad and working on keeping this illustrating thing going.
My boy and I, scared of the dark
I have to give credit to Laura Ritchie and The Carrack for introducing me to so many amazing artists and the community when I first arrived in Durham. Also, working at Scratch in downtown Durham has given me many opportunities to further reach the community and gain collaborative and freelance work (I miss working there). One other place in town is The Mothership which has been a consistent source of meeting people that are excited and encouraging of the arts in Durham, both the people that work there and customers that come through the shop (I work Monday evenings, come stop by!).
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?I’m all over the place, really. Three years ago when I started this, I looked like a turtle on its back. Now, I still look like a turtle on it’s back, but I seem to get things done. I’m definitely more organized with somewhat of a routine, but I have a long way to go. The past couple months I’ve been researching methods for creating a good routine and I’ve been mildly successful. One method that works for me is at night before I sleep, write a list of what I need done the next day. Then, I write letters next to each task with ‘A’ for must be finished today, ‘B’ for I’d like it to be done, but not critical, and ‘C’ this can wait. I write these physically on a notepad and then cross them off when finished. Yeah, it’s pretty basic but the act of doing that seems to really help. It’s like a little victory or achievement. I’m a pretty big gamer and in video games, there are so many quests with items that are checked off when finished or collected. That could be why this method resonates with me.
Tell us about one of your favorite illustration from your own collection? I really love how my Doom commissioned piece came out. There’s so much detail and I really think I nailed the colors. Everything seems to work so well together. Also, the process was really enjoyable. I played through the game to get a good feel for the subject matter, and would often pause the game to get reference screen shots.
Tell us about your favorite illustrations from other artist?
How do you keep your creative spark/ What keeps you fascinated?Looking back at old sketchbooks and cringing a bit, but amazed at how far I’ve come as an illustrator in only a couple years. It gives me hope to keep going and see how much better I’m going to be (both in illustrative style and running a small business).
As much as I hate keeping up with social media, it’s a great tool for showing the world my work and getting feedback. Also, seeing that other people’s work helps them succeed encourages me to continue when I have those unavoidable (and not too frequent, thankfully) days of artist self-loathing and insecurity.
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Evan McIntyre Illustration in the next year?I have an illustrated book that will be coming out later this year that was written by a friend. It’s a lot of fun and I’m getting really close to finishing. I hope to have it done by the fall 2017. Otherwise, look for me at local markets and zine fests.
Where is your favorite place in Durham? It’s impossible to pick one place, so I’ll name a few. I really love my neighborhood in Walltown close to Club and Broad. I often walk around the area up to 9th street and frequent Monuts, Elmo’s, and Cosmic Cantina. It’s quiet, friendly neighbors all around, and the Duke’s east campus offers a great loop to run and walk around. Other than that, my go to bar is the Accordion Club, where you can see a mural by me in the bathroom. This place truly has the best selection of drinks in town with cheap Narragansett all the way to custom cocktails. Oh, and they make hot dogs and Frito pie! Lastly, a barcade called Quarterhorse just opened in Durham and I’ve yet to go but cannot wait and by the looks of it, I think I’m going to enjoy that establishment.