I get a few repeat questions now and
then, so let's get to answering them, shall we?
Q: When did you start making art?
|A: I've enjoyed making art for as long as I can remember. My
first memory was finger-painting at age three. I
also remember always drawing on paper placemats at
restaurants (something I still do), and drawing
cars, birds, fish, and spaceships as far back as
pre-school. Art's always been my #1 love in life :-)
Q: Who are some of your influences?
|A: I'll first talk about people
who've influenced me in my own life, and then
artists that I don't know personally, but admire. As
for people I know, first off, my parents have always
been very supportive of my interests in art. I've
also had some very inspiring art teachers over the
years, such as
Alan Maciag, Chantele Henry, Kim Navarre, and
George Hughes. As for people I admire but don't
know personally, the two artists who had the biggest
effect on me would have to be Osamu Tezuka and
Alphone Mucha. I've also been quite inspired over
the years include Hajime Sorayama, MC Escher, and
Tadanori Yokoo, among others. My
links page has a bunch of artists I like on it,
and I encourage you to check it out.
Q: How do you make your
|A: My old stuff from 2001-2005
was all done with marker over C-prints, as I was
shooting with film at the time. In 2005 I bought my
first Wacom, a tiny little 5" model, used it to the
point of wearing it out, and got another. Now I have
a Cintiq 13HD, but haven't had much of a chance to
use it yet, but believe me, I'm looking forward to
it! Anyway, yes, for the illustrated-photo work, I
composite together various digital photos I've shot,
then begin the long process of hand-drawing over
Q: Do you have any making-of / behind-the-scenes guides for your
Q: What Photoshop filter do you use to make your
/ Do you use Illustrator and vectorize your photos?
|A: Neither, actually. I don't use filters to get
the illustrated look. Maybe I should, since it would
save me tons of time. Rather, I hand-draw everything
using a com tablet.
Q: How long does it take you to make an illustrated-photograph piece?
|A: A long time, which is why I don't do them as
often as I'd like to. In my C-41 & marker days, it
was quite quick... I could knock out one in an hour
or two, since I was working small (11"x 17" usually)
and with marker, which I'm speedy with. Nowadays,
doing everything digital has pluses and minuses
compared to ink. The obvious pluses are that I can
undo, freely arrange and distort thing, and generally
have full control over the image. The minus is that
it takes me much longer. On the short side of
things, a piece like "Zipperface",
which is a close-up portrait without a ton of
detail, takes about 8-10 hrs to make. My longest
most labor-intensive so far was "A A
Love Letter to my 13-Year-Old Self", which took
over 30 hours! The reason it takes so long is that I do
the digital files huge - usually around 40"x30" for
example. I do this so that I can print huge and
detailed prints, but it means a lot of detail over a
large area. Compound that with the fact that I tend
to have to redo a lot of my lines with working
digitally, and it takes a while. I have a Wacom
Cintiq now, so it'll be interesting to see how much
that might speed up my next illustrated photo piece
when I have time to make one.
Q: What software / hardware do you use for these?
|A: Well, first off all, I'm
sort of a weirdo with my software... I have various
versions of Adobe Photoshop and subscribe to the
Creative Cloud, but the main program I always go
back to for my artwork is actually an old version of
Corel Photopaint (X3). Back in high school a copy of
Photopaint came with my first scanner, and since
Photoshop was prohibitively expensive, I learned how
to make computer art using Corel's system. I use
Adobe for photo editing and working with other
people's files, but when it comes to building images
from scratch and doing illustration-heavy stuff, I
still feel most comfy with Corel.
As for hardware, I use a Wacom tablet for illustrating. I started
off with a tiny 5" model, wore that out and got
another one, and just recently finally bought a
Cintiq (the 13HD model). I intend to use that more
once my schedule frees up a bit, and still use the
little one once in a while when I need something
more portable that I don't have to worry about as
Q: Your illustrated-photography stuff looks a little like Waking Life / A Scanner Darkly / Borderlands.
Did you know?
|A: Yes I've heard this occasionally over the years. I
started working on this style around 2000, before those movies
/ games existed. Since there are no new ideas left
under the sun, surely others have worked in
similar styles just as early or earlier than I. No
matter what, I've done my best to try to make my
illustrated-photography uniquely me :-)
Q: What kind of camera gear do you use?
|A: My main photography gear entails:
Canon 30D DSLR & a few lenses (especially fond of my
Sigma 10-2omm wide-angle), a couple of Speedlites,
Profoto 1200 strobe set with lots of accessories. I
also have various other things I play around with,
but this is the core stuff. Sadly my strobes are
back in USA while I'm in Japan. I miss them...
As for my 30D, it's been a long-lasting trusty
friend. I'm considering updating to a modern DLSR
one of these months, but I haven't bit the bullet on
that yet. Once I get back to the states and am
shooting more again, there should be more reason to
Q: How did you get interested in photography?
|A: I've had some interest in it
ever since I was a kid, thanks to my mom. She would
show me how to use her Pentax SLR and I was
fascinated by it. I got my first camera, a Kodak
110, when I was 4 or 5 and used to enjoy taking
photos. My interest in photography ratcheted up when
I was 20 and took my first photography class. I
totally fell in love with the darkroom
experimentation and learning how SLRs and strobes
worked. I took all the photo classes I could at
university and even went back for a couple semesters
after graduating to take more. Thanks to my mom
fostering my interest and the classes I took at
University of Toledo, I decided that photography was
what I wanted to do with my life.
Q: What kind of art supplies do you use?
|A: Well when it comes to
drawing by hand, some of my favorite pens and
markers include Sharpie markers, Sakura Identipen
(aka: "マイネーム"), Sakura Micron, Sakura Microperm...
Hehe, basically Sanford and Sakura should sponsor
me! Sometimes I also just like to use a plain old
black Papermate pen. I also use Copic markers
sometimes, but they're crazy expensive, so I just
use them occasionally... As for colored pencils, I
used to use Berol Prismacolor all the time from jr
high to college. Still want to, by they're back in
the states. Here in Japan I sometimes use Mitsubishi
or Tombo colored pencils. I prefer kneaded erasers
and also use a Papermate "Tuff Stuff" eraser stick
for detailed erasing. Living in Japan has opened my
eyes to plastic erasers again, and I sometimes used
"Mono" if I don't have my kneaded with me. I don't
do much painting, but I'd like to. I occasionally
buy a set of gouache or watercolors, intent on
getting back into it, but sometimes it's hard to
deal with messy art mediums in my tiny apartment...
As for other stuff, I also use my computer a lot...
I remember in high school I swore that computers
wouldn't take over my art, but they sure enough
have! I'm surprised I used to be resistant to it,
because they're just another tool in my collection,
and a handy one at that!
Q: Do you have any tips for people who want to improve their drawing
|A: There's a lot of good
resources out there with excellent tips for drawing
- and I'd recommend you seek them out - but one tip
I can offer that helped me a lot that I haven't
heard much is... use markers! Let me elaborate...
When I was in college, I challenged myself to draw
straight away in marker for a couple years, trying
not to use pencil / eraser first unless it was for a
serious project. If you practice drawing with
marker, the thicker the better (Sharpie, for
example), you build a greater confidence with your
lines. You can't erase, and if you make mistakes,
you have to find a way to work them into the piece.
It's sort of trail-by-fire, and I like markers for
their bold look.
Q: How did you get into design?
|A: I sort of stumbled into it.
I had little formal training in graphic design (my
major was in photography), but I always had found it
kind of fun. In '07, my friend was working at a
start-up in San Francisco and she encouraged me to
apply for their open graphic design position. I
worked there and quickly picked up on some stuff I
hadn't learned previously, and got a bunch more gigs
Q: What kind of aesthetics or designers have inspired you?
|A: I'm a real sucker for design
from the '70s and '80s, especially movie posters,
album art, and video games from that era. As for
designers, as I mentioned above, I don't have much
of a formal education in graphic design, so I don't
know many designers by name, but I really like stuff
by Herb Lubalin. He designed my two favorite
typefaces (Lubalin Graph and Avant Garde). Milton
Glaser is also pretty rad!
Q: How did you get into making comics?
|A: I'd had an interest in
superhero comics since I was very young, and started
drawing my own comics when I was 11. My first
creation was a superhero named "Electron Man". At
age 13, I started reading Japanese comics and that
inspired me greatly. I started a sci-fi space opera
comic called "Project: Orion" that I drew for 13
issues, before rebooting it. I intended on drawing
it more, but got too busy with school. I did some
other short comic projects here and there, then
stopped making comics for a few years until 2005 and
2006, when I made the short comic stories you see on
this site. It's now been a pretty long time since I
made them (except for remastering them in 2012), and
I'd like to make more comics when / if I have time
some day. I have a couple plots in my head that have
been waiting to get out on paper, but I've only done
a little bit here on them. Maybe someday you'll see
them on this site...
Q: How did you get into making music?
|A: I got my first drum set for
Christmas when I was 4. This started my passion for
beats. Got my first keyboard, a Yamaha Portasound
V22 sampling keyboard, when I was 9 or 10 years old.
This started my passion for samples. Spent a few
years just messing around with my keyboard, making
cassette mish-mashes of other people's songs, my
voice, and weird samples. When I was 15 or so, I
named my music "Evil Eye". I made a series of
fourteen 90-minute tapes full of music I made on the
Portasound. When I was 17, I got my computer, and it
totally changed the way I made music. This also,
unfortunately, coincided with my trusty Portasound
dying on me. Armed with Windat, and the basic
Windows sound recorder, I started to make music with
WAV files. Over time, I got the hang of it, and soon
started using Goldwave, which expanded my abilities
greatly. I initially I made albums that were
collages of random sounds, basic music structures,
and a lot of strange humor. As I started toying with
loops, I started to make more "serious" music
(although I try to never take myself too seriously).
I also used a variety of keyboards, (mostly basic
Yamaha keyboards), and investing in drum machines.
Now, after making 13 full-length albums, several
singles, and a couple music videos, I find myself at
a crossroads. I'm finally at a point where I feel
confident enough in my talent that my music has
changed from just a hobby - something to supplement
my love of visual art - to something I wish to get
out into the world and with which to attain a
modicum of success. "Evil Eye" was the name of the
music I made when I was a teenager. "Macro" is the
music I make today.
contents and design © Evan Hayden