I was lucky enough to talk to Portland-by-way-of-Japan artist Kevin Evans. Looking at his body of work, I believe that you’ll be hearing a lot about this young artist in years to come.
SKL: Tell me about yourself.
KKE: I’m half Japanese, half American. I am 21 right now. I was born in United States in 1992, moved back to Japan in about a year and spent my life there until I was 15. Moved here for high school, graduated here, and now I’m a junior at Portland State University, majoring in Graphic Design.
SKL: I noticed that you sign your piece with KAZU, why is that?
KKE: My middle name is Kazuyuki and I use part of that for like a nickname for a lot of my social media.
If you like this piece, you can wear it and support the artist! See this image at etsy.com/shop/KAZUxDESIGN.
SKL: Why Portland State?
KKE: University of Oregon did not have “Graphic design” major and PSU did. Plus I’ve always wanted to live in Portland. I looked into PNCA [Pacific Northwest College of the Arts], when I was choosing college, but I liked what I saw on PSUGD (Portland State University Graphic Design) website more. We have so many cool events and opportunities in our program.
SKL: Is your father from Oregon? I ask because it always interests me why people come here.
KKE: My dad is originally from California. He moved here with family long time ago. He spent like half of his life in Japan though. Over 25 years.
SKL: You had a cover on the Portland Mercury?
KKE: No (laughs). As another class assignment, I made a mock up cover for The Portland Mercury. It’s one of my favorite pieces.
SKL: Do you miss Japan?
KKE: I do sometimes, but I love both countries so, someday, I want to be able to come and go as often as possible. My dad is moving back to Japan this October for work, and my mom is over there so I miss my family.
Cities of the West Coast
SKL: You’re very young still. Where do you hope your art will take you in the future?
KKE: I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my art until I decided that I want to become a graphic designer.
SKL: So, are you thinking about advertising? Or starving artist?
KKE: (laughs) Graphic design can be fit into anything so I’m not sure really.
Breaking Bad – Title Sequence
SKL: I just binge-watched Breaking Bad so I really love your Walter White series.
KKE: The Breaking Bad one was for the Communication Design course at PSU. We were told to design a storyboard of opening title sequences for a movie or a tv show, and I picked Breaking Bad.
My idea was instead of showing his major changes from innocent Walter White to the violent drug dealer, I went backwards without spoiling anything. This project was about showing the movement and telling a story with just pictures.
For more art by Kevin “KAZU” Evans, go to flickr.com/photos/k_____kazu