27 Apr Erica Evans: Suspended in Transition IDD 2022
The theme of the International Council of Design’s International Design Day 2022 is “Suspended in Transition” – the odd place we find ourselves, caught between crises and the hope for a new normal.
We asked Graphic Artist Guild Members what role designers and illustrators play in effecting change for a better world, and how they, as a working professionals, are meeting the challenges of this new world.
How have you adjusted to the large-scale changes in how we work and interact with our clients and our communities?
A positive outcome of this “suspended in transition” time is that I and people who may avoid political talk have started to listen. My drawings on the covers of books and articles or whatever platform can help conversations to begin, continue and to grow. To hire artists, writers, actors and musicians of all walks of life is how to connect again. Now I see my own worth as an artist and to make a living wage as one. So my voice has to be louder and be saying, look, I am an artist — this is what I do. Part of why I became part of the Graphic Artists Guild is to see how to do this better and connect to clients who have a story to tell.
Has your perception of the role you play as a designer or illustrator changed in response to the various crises we’ve been experiencing? Has it affected how you work, what projects you want to work on, or how you want to engage?
Clients who may not otherwise understand “freelancer’s hours” got a taste of it for the past two years. They are more understanding when we place boundaries on the importance of life vs work hours. Setting boundaries for clients and regular hours and goals is all very important to have a rewarding life as an illustrator. Now that more people understand that struggle of working from home it has become a little easier to keep a set schedule that works for me. Going forwards all I need is a pencil and paper, and my little dog by my side. I am hoping I will be able to work remotely more, traveling and exploring and being inspired all along the way. Having a flexible illustrator lifestyle has kind of made this transition phase not as much of a shock to me. But there are boundaries I need to put in place for the life I want.
How do you believe designers and illustrators are positioned to help imagine and create a better future?
The world is seeking answers to what the new “normal” is. I believe illustration is a big part of going forward helping to explain the words of new writers and their ideas. Having people gravitate to the art I can create on all these different platforms to help share information is exciting. I am working on the iPad more, but I do prefer to draw by hand. I hope my style, which has a hand drawn feeling to it, can be an expression of this new normal. Just really doing things like this newsletter, explaining what I’m about and getting my work out there and this hopefully inspires others to do the same.