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IN CONVERSATION WITH… CLYM EVERNDEN

WE CHAT ABOUT HIS NEW COLLABORATION WITH HEATHROW, HIS SUCCESSFUL CAREER AND WHAT INSPIRES HIM

Written by in Interviews on the / In Conversation with… Clym Evernden

Photography by Agnieszka Trzoch

In Conversation with… Clym Everden

I highly doubt you will not have seen a piece of Clym Evernden's work. He is someone who has featured in multiple aspects of the fashion industry. Whether it be modelling, sitting on the front row of a fashion show or reporting from the shows using his impressive inky brush strokes for the likes of AnOther magazine and British Vogue. He is also well known for his numerous collaborations with high-end brands such as Burberry, Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton and Net-a-Porter. 

Clym Evernden's work is a kind that as soon as you spot it, you know it is his. It is unique in its charming style and stands out amongst the crowd. One place where there are constant crowds is an airport and where else better to expose your craft than London's Heathrow. This is exactly what Clym Evernden is doing as he has forged a creative collaboration with the international travel hub along with the charity, Oxfam. Clym has designed a range of limited edition festive gift boxes, gift wrap and bags for Heathrow's complimentary gift wrapping service. Launching today, it is a perfect idea for when you are rushing off somewhere for Christmas and need a last minute gift with an added thoughtful touch.

I caught up with Clym to have a chat about this clever collaboration, his successful career as an artist and what inspires him to create his work on various platforms. 

How/where did you first start your career in illustration? Which of your first projects still stand out in your memory? 

“I’ve always drawn ever since I can remember. However it became more of a professional thing when I created artwork for school posters. My first major commission, and therefore the first one that stands out in memory was when I was asked to provide monthly illustrations for Harpers Bazaar while I was at university.”

Heathrow gift wrapping
Heathrow gift wrapping

How would you best describe your style of illustration? Was your distinctive style something that took a long time to create? 

“My style of illustration is typified by a strong loose ink line. I mainly draw freehand rather than using a computer so my work has a spontaneous and intuitive energy. I think my line’s always had a consistent character to it, although it progressed to how it appears now when I started using brush and ink rather than harder materials such as chalk and crayon.” 

What is the hardest part of being a freelance illustrator? 

“Working for myself I have to create my own schedule and be disciplined as to when I work, when to exercise, take a holiday etc. I’ve learned that it’s important to take time out from work as at times my schedule can be all consuming. So being disciplined with my time is always a challenge.” 

Where do you look for your inspiration? 

“My inspiration comes from everyday life. I’m naturally always observing and taking in visual information, which informs my work. I’ve learnt that it’s beneficial for me to have time out simply to sit in a cafe or go for a walk to feed my visual experience. In a more abstract sense I find music very inspiring, I can relate to the energy and environment a track can create. I’m particularly into electronic music, and the moment I'm listening to Lady Dandy and Floating Points.”

I really like the way you show your work on Instagram. Do you see it as a useful way to expose yourself as an artist? 

“Instagram has been a vital asset to my progression as a professional illustrator. I think it’s modern to show a constant evolving ‘work flow’ rather than a static website, so in this way Instagram is the perfect portfolio. It’s a fun and immediate way of showing what my latest project is and new avenues in my work.” 

You studied at Central Saint Martins and you have previously worked as a model. Obviously this has led to your work being mainly fashion focused. Is fashion one of your main passions? What are your other passions? 

“I studied BA womenswear at Central Saint Martins so yes I have always been interested in fashion. However I have many interests, mainly music which I find very inspiring for my work. Like fashion, music is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. I love researching new releases in Soho record shops such as Sounds of the Universe and Phonica Records.” 

You have created works for various platforms, which has been your favourite? 

“I was very proud to create the first illustrated animation for Net-A-Porter.com which launched Net-A-Sporter and featured a woman engaging in different sports and activities in one fluid time line of motion. This was the first time my ink line came to life so it was a thrilling moment.”

What drew you to working with Heathrow? 

“I love to travel, and Heathrow is my favourite London airport. There’s something exciting about the anticipation before a flight, so I was thrilled to create artwork which will enhance the experience for travellers during the Holiday season. Heathrow boasts many revered fashion brands such as Burberry and Prada, so I was excited to design gift wrap and boxes to conceal what will no doubt be a selection of extremely desirable gifts. It was a pleasure to create a limited edition artwork exclusively for a world renowned airport.” 

Can you tell us more about the project? 

“It was exciting to create artwork for something which would be seen by so many people passing through Heathrow Airport. I love how the wrapping paper and packaging will then go on to have a life elsewhere in the world and be experienced and enjoyed by a wave of present recipients. And hopefully people will reuse the printed boxes and bags so the artwork will live on into 2016.” 

How did the idea come together for the design? 

“I wanted to create a scene which would encapsulate a feeling of joy and the anticipation of seeing loved ones during the Holiday season. I aimed for the design to have a slightly humorous element which would make people smile, so I introduced the two small dogs. It was important for me that the overall composition had an appealing contained symmetry so that it would work well as a repeat. The arc of the aeroplane’s vapour trail helps frame the composition.” 

What do you think your next step forward is with illustration? 

“I see myself as an artist and art director rather than an illustrator. I’m always striving to create work which leaves the page in some way, whether it be animation or set design. In 2016 I’m hoping to launch a product line.”

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