For Eve Devore art was always there to help her through hard times, and now she hopes to help add some color to the lives of others through her unique style of portraits.
Devore is a Brooklyn-based artist who has chosen to explore human personality through “owlizing” people and humanizing owls. This means that the 29-year-old artist turns the subjects of her portraits — whether every day people or important figures — into colorful owls with the goal of bringing individual personalities out in each work of art.
“I see personality first. Before I complete an owl I want to know the personality deeper, I want to highlight different features about the personality and other very interesting parts,” she said. “ [I want] to show uniqueness of each of us.”
And although Devore is now on the verge of launching her own greeting card line, which will include the owls and other drawings, art wasn’t always the career path she took.
Before deciding to follow art full time, the Ukraine native was a fashion model and also received her master’s degree in electrical engineering back in her home country. However, art was always in the back of her mind and was the way Devore would get through hard times.
“I set a goal for me that I want to be successful in everything I do,” Devore said. “[Art] was my creative outlet and escape.”
Coming from a whole family of engineers — with her parents owning a company in the Ukraine — Devore was always told to find “a real job” and keep art as a hobby. She dedicated her time in keeping her education her top priority but always felt like something was missing.
After graduating, Devore worked as an engineer in the Ukraine and although the position was successful, she said she did not like it and felt it was boring.
Devore said she owes her love for art in part to her mother, who when she was young wanted to be an artist and always pushed Devore to find happiness in her drawings.
“I think my creative gene came from my mom,” Devore said. “ She taught me to find beauty in simple things.”
In 2012, she made the move to New York City where she said she decided she no longer wanted to continue working as an engineer.
“I moved to New York and I felt like everyone in the movies, you come to New York and make your dreams happen,” Devore said. “ I felt kind of powerful.”
Struggling to find out what she wanted to do, one Christmas after creating hand drawn greeting cards for friends and family, Devore’s husband encouraged her to take the time and figure out her love for art.
And after struggling to find her own voice in the field, Devore stumbled upon the owl.
“I don’t think I would have been courageous enough to do art full time without [my husband],” she said. “ I wanted to do something that was me, not copying someone else. I was struggling to find my own voice. I just sat down one day and I drew an owl.”
Devore added that she chose the animal unbeknownst to her that it was considered already a big trend. She said the owls are considered to be wise and very interesting and she connects them with humans through their faces and eyes.
In her owl portraits, Devore brings out personalities through her use of color and picking out specific qualities in her subjects.
“I like to do bright colors, it feel very alive to me. Sometimes I feel in color. I see a person and think this color and this color,” she said. “The colors just flow out of me.”
When it comes to her owls, Devore has depicted individuals such as Frida Kahlo, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dali. Her owls also portray iconic New York symbols, specific emotions and seasons, and characters such as chefs — inspired by her husband — princesses, geishas, and many more — including an upcoming portrait of a cat.
And no matter the subject, Devore said the goal of her art is to celebrate unique human personalities and allow people to welcome some joy and excitement into their lives.
“Every person has an energy and I always try to see good things in people. I find the world right now is going crazy and I try to find positive things,” she said. “We’re all so in a rush, we’re all so overwhelmed. So we just need to stop and appreciate ourselves.”
For more information or to order a portrai, visit www.evedevore.com.