London-based artist Clym Evernden is wary of being pigeonholed. He made his name through drawing and illustration (often for fashion magazines) but was never interested in being confined to one medium or style. From illustration through brand storytelling and animation to product design, art direction and photography, his work runs a wide-ranging gamut.
His Instagram account alone is a highly imaginative artistic outlet. On it he regularly posts cutouts of people and objects drawn in his trademark fluid style and photographed in front of distinctive backdrops. By taking these shots at a certain angle the figures appear almost life-sized.
“I’m interested in things becoming three-dimensional and coming to life,” he explains. “And I love changing scale or creating an illusion so that people ask, ‘Did you actually do that?’”
As the child of two artistic parents, Evernden drew constantly “but never for the sake of drawing or representation,” he says. “Rather, to try to imagine something.” His dynamic signature began to take form while he was studying fashion at Central Saint Martins, where his tutor Howard Tangye suggested he stop using a pencil and use something “more fluid, like a brush.” “That was a turning point,” says Evernden. “My earliest work was in pencil and quite intricate with lots of shading. But when a drawing is really intense and detailed, it loses its energy and life.”
Now, his energetic illustrations count clients like De Beers, Valextra and Charlotte Olympia, with whom he began collaborating in 2014. “Charlotte is one of my favorite clients. She gets into what you are doing and likes to really get involved.” He’s also been tapped to create window displays for London department store Fenwick’s 125th anniversary, and in May Evernden will be artist-in-residence with a twist at The Carlyle Hotel in New York. “I’m doing an ‘illustrated stay’ where I convey the experience via artwork,” he explains.
What is the enduring appeal of something hand-drawn in a world so saturated with digital imagery? “I think there is something emotive about drawing. It can be so simple and endearing,” he replies. “It’s also less intrusive than a photo. There’s always something a bit whimsical about it, even if it’s not intended.”