Published on September 9th, 2014 | by Ben Akhurst
Evan DeCiren – ARTIST AND IllUSTRATOR
A little while ago Evan DeCiren contacted BIKE ME! to say thanks. Thanks for displaying his artwork in one of the regular Motorcycling Art posts that appear on BIKE ME! from time to time.
Which we all thought was nice. So it was to have a chat with Evan before all the goodwill had disappeared.
Evan DeCiren is an artist who depicts what he loves, and Evan’s love is MotoGP. Sure, he illustrates other things but we’re not concerned about those other things. But it’s certainly worth seeing how one man’s lifelong passion has turned into a career and on-going love affair.
Tell us a little about yourself, mate.
I’m a Swiss/Italian artist and illustrator with a very strong passion for the MotoGP Championship. I love portraying the bikes and riders which have made the story of this sport. My art is divided into three series: Racing Art, Auto Art and Moto Art. The series I care most for is Moto Art, where I can express my passion for motorcycles.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on the Honda family and more specifically, the NSR500. It all started accidentally seven months ago, when I happened to find a picture of Luca Cadalora’s NSR250. As a child, I have always wanted to draw it, so I have decided to give it a try.
Through my main Racing Art series, the pictures of riders in action have created a small community of fans. I then decided to publish this new MotoArt series with the NSR250, featuring riders from Luca Cadalora to Stefan Bradl. The community was enthusiastic and thrilled about it. So after seven months from the RS125 to NSR250 I am still here.
We figure you spent a lot of time drawing as a kid?
Of course! I still have my little book with all my designs. It’s been a long time, but the same old passion is still there and is here to stay.
Did you know that you’d be doing what you’re doing now based on what you were interested in during your childhood?
Yes, I have always wanted to do this, although I have been struggling a lot on an artistic level and I am still struggling a lot as far as work is concerned. I am little known in Switzerland and still have to gain recognition, which is essential to carry on.
What were your creative influences growing up?
I started out as an illustrator and cartoonist and my influences come from minimal designers such as Mike Mignola and Eduardo Risso. As for what I am doing at the moment, which is, as I said before, mainly MotoArt, the influences are coming from model-making, which has always fascinated me.
Have you had any mentors along the way?
Do not have a mentor, just inspiration.
Do you ride yourself? If so what do you ride?
No, I am not riding a bike at the moment, but I would very much like to get my teeth into a Ninja ZX-6R.
Being Swiss/Italian you’d have the best roads in the world on your doorstep. What was your last bike?
Honda 600RR Repsol.
How did your professional career start?
I began my professional career as a precision engineer, which is also where I learned to do technical drawing. My fascination with comics started later. I then embarked on a graphic path, from which I went on to work as an illustrator in Milan.
Did you have an “Aha!” moment along the way when you realised what you wanted to focus on?
I surely did! When I was in Milan I realised that in the world of motorsport, graphics amounts to little or nothing and that my passion could have been freely and largely be expressed. Over the years I have collected a lot of material on motorsport and seen a lot of things related to it and understood that I seriously would like to channel my passions into a single project.
Are you creatively satisfied?
I can say I am fully satisfied as I am reaping the benefits of my work. I still certainly have much to improve, but I am confident I am going to make it, with flying colours!
Who is your typical client?
Presently my customers are collectors and enthusiasts.
Tell us about the process of creating your artwork.
The process is very simple. Once I have chosen the model of the bike, I look for as many details as possible to get the best idea of the picture. I then draw everything in Photoshop. For measurements, I create a template of the base.
When it comes to a long series of models in sequence, the process is however more complicated. I prepare the base model and little by little, with the help of pictures, I then create the evolution of the model. In other words, it is like tracing the history of that particular model.
So you draw in Photoshop? You don’t sketch it out on paper first?
That’s right. I draw on my PC using a mouse.
Your drawings look like vector-based lines created in Adobe Illustrator that are then transferred to Photoshop.
It appears, but is not vector. I work directly with Photoshop.
And the illustrations look technically spot on. How do you make this so?
Thank you, that’s very kind of you. How I do it? Since my childhood I have been collecting many newspaper clippings taken from various technical magazines my father used to buy. And with time all these clippings have become a vast library which I now use to draw the details. Which help me make a motorcycle technically spot on, or with as many technical details as possible, as you said.
How do you select the bike you wish to re-create?
Good question, I’m currently working on Honda because because I have so much material on the Honda GP. Or I receive a specific request from a collector. I even drew three Garellis! Drawing a single model seems easy but it can be really difficult if you do not know the story of it and how it evolved. Starting from the base you can figure out how to work the details.
So where does one start if one wishes to create art like yours?
As for the passion, that can blossom at any time. The artistic side and construction, I think you should learn how to use Photoshop or Illustrator. Once you have mastered the basics of these two programs, you should look carefully at an image that you want to recreate, go for the essential and hey, presto! the job is done.
What has been your proudest professional achievement?
I have been working on commission for Yamaha and McLaren.
What is your favourite piece of work?
I have so many works, if we talk about MotoART – Capirossi’s 1991 Honda RS125R, I have so many memories. For RacingART, Dirk Rauides, because as a child I was a great admirer of his. And for the AutoART, I would say the Mazda 787B.
What would you like to try your hand at drawing?
Once I finished the Honda series, I would make the Aprilia, Cagiva and the many others.
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
I do not know. I would like to rekindle memories, because every job I do is a memory from my childhood that I relive.
And for some truly great up close technical images of Grand Prix racing motorcycles you should check out the Techgp facebook page.