Evan Sohun: one drawing to say it all!

Here in Mauritius, inspiration is all around: people, nature, music, the beat of the ‘ravanne’ …

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Could you tell us how you came to drawing?

Drawing is a passion. As far as I can remember I have always drawn. Paper and pencils were my best friends! I was fascinated by commonly called comic books. I used to draw my favourite characters on the walls at home or on the desks at school. When I was a teenager, a friend encouraged me to enter the “Alliance Française Bande Dessinée competition”. This needs a little explanation. “Bande Dessinée” or “BD”, known in English as French language Comic Strip, is in fact a visual narrative art form. I entered the competition, was lucky and was rewarded two years in a row. As from then, I never stopped drawing. Thanks to this competition I met artists at the Saint-Malo Bande Dessinée Festival. So excited but so shy! I suddenly became conscious of my limits.

What were your main challenges?

For quite a while, I used to think that my drawings were “unfinished”. I am not a technical person. I therefore tried to hide what I thought were imperfections until it became obvious that this was me and my trade-mark! Some people might have found my work quirky but in fact my style in just naive and I had to fight to impose it. By approaching me for what I had to offer, Attitude gave me this first push. This helped me considerably to gain confidence in my work.

Tell us about London

I lived in London for three years. A hyperactive grey city! I was in need of heat and authenticity, in need of that “zilwa” atmosphere I grew up in. I therefore drew my country. People enjoyed the exoticism, colours and original shapes. I gained confidence, freedom of expression and inspiration. The desire to draw again and again, followed. I discovered that in one drawing I could say it all.

Back home?

Here in Mauritius, inspiration is all around: people, nature, music, the beat of the ‘ravanne’ (tambourine)… I thoroughly enjoy sitting in a tavern or ‘Taba J’. I watch life. My mind registers what my eyes see and my heart feels. And when I pick up my pencil, without having to think, everything comes bursting out…

Your studio?

The dining room table!

Future projects?

The urge to paint on canvas. Two exhibitions planned for 2016. Slowly but surely my order book is being filled: frescos, paintings for individuals and businesses, children’s books illustrations…

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