Next up in our Artist Spotlight series for ArtWalk Ventura is Evan Mendel, an artist/mural painter who was born in 1988 and raised in Ventura County, currently residing in Oxnard, Ca. Evan's earliest creative influences stemmed from his cultural roots in skateboarding, surfing, and graffiti.
After graduating high school Evan enrolled into drawing and painting classes at Ventura College. This marked his transition from painting traditional graffiti to figurative based work. Since then, Evan has painted murals in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Oxnard, and has exhibited in various group shows and galleries in Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
His work has been collected by numerous collectors including actor Jamie Foxx, and has been commissioned by brands such as Neff Headwear, and Alexandrino LA, were he hand painted custom leather tops that debuted at LA Fashion week in 2014. Evan is currently creating a new body of work focused around capturing specific moods and emotions through imaginary figures, composition, and color palette.
How did you come to be an artist?
I never "became" an artist, it is just something I have always done. As a kid we all draw, color, and doodle, the only difference is I never stopped.
In your eyes, what does ArtWalk Ventura bring to the community?
It puts a spotlight on the local artists and creative minds working in our community. More often then not the importance of art and artists in the community gets overlooked and taken for granted. It is really important to have the city embrace its artists and shine a spotlight on them. Art and creativity is a direct reflection on the health of a community, places with a strong sense of culture and art attract people and play an important role in the local economy.
What are your favorite memories from the past years of ArtWalk?
Ryan Carr always has amazing work. Also the graffiti artist who did the Ventura piece made up of individual canvasses was probably the best painting I have seen in the Artwalk, unfortunately people still carry around a negative stigma when it comes to graffiti, and it blinds them from seeing the artistic merit of it. I can tell you that artist has more heart, passion, and dedication to his craft then 99% of the artists out there.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Not sure yet, I want to be suprised.
How would you define your creative process?
When do you know when a work is complete?
When I'm to afraid that I will ruin it, so I give up and leave the painting alone.
If you weren't working in your current medium, what type of artist would you be?
Maybe film, I use to love editing little skate/surf videos when I was a kid.
What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
Some bigger mural projects in the works right now.
How else are you involved in the Ventura/805 community?
It's where I live, where I work, my family is here, my friends, you don't have to specifically do something to be a part of the community. We all add something to this town in our own way just by living and/or growing up here.