Obvious State

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Emerson, Fitzgerald and Gide

I had some time this week to complete several designs for the Illustrated Quotation Project, and would love to share them with you.


"They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered." - F. Scott Fitzgerald Emerson, Evan Robertson, Obvious State The roaring twenties, when booze was illegal and dresses were flappy. I love this quotation from This Side of Paradise; it reminds me of the headlong intoxicated rush into mutual obsession, the kind of love that usually ends badly. Here, I've illustrated a flapper dress that transforms into a martini glass as it is unzipped.


"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Emerson, Evan Robertson, Obvious State I first read Emerson in high school, when cynicism was practically required. But with every year, I feel a stronger connection to his writing. After a long winter of indoor activities (ahem, sitting at my computer), Nichole and I have been looking forward to more outdoor time. I'm always recharged and awed by the stillness in the woods, and it makes me think of Emerson. In this illustration I wanted to explore nature as an animated, living thing, in this case the hill is also a buck hiding in plain sight.


"Believe those who seek the truth. Doubt those who find it." - André Gide Gide, Evan Robertson, Obvious State This André Gide quotation has always struck a chord with me, but I wasn't sure how to visually represent what I think it articulates - that there is no shortcut to wisdom, and that the roundabout way is really the only way there, and that anyone who offers a shortcut is selling something. I take the phrase "find it" to be ironic, since the big questions are bigger than us. When you stop searching, you stop growing. I divided the illustration into two parts, the entire shape of a puzzle-piece-shaped question mark ("Believe those...") and its severed tail, which now falsely resembles an exclamation point ("Doubt those"). In the end, I feel the quotation is actually quite positive, with a little warning, and I will be putting it on my wall as a reminder to keep investigating life. I'd love to hear what you think of them! Prints here. 


Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by maureen

Wow, love them! Thought provoking words AND images! Love them all – especially the second one.

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by Georgianna

They’re brilliant, Evan! Really, really brilliant. Will definitely have to add some of these to my collection.

And I have certainly come to appreciate Emerson more and more as the years go by.



Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by Suzy

I love them! The last is my favourite :)

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by Jane

LOVE the Martini illustration. Very clever!

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by Kathryn

the FItzgerald print is gorgoeus, and I love the hidden detail in the Emerson print.

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by maureen

Would love to see your image for T.S. Eliot’s line…..April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain."

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by PreteMoiParis

I LOVE the martini illustration. It is just fantastic!!!

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by Evan

Thanks for the comments, everyone! Maureen, I love that particular line of TS Eliot’s he’s a personal favorite. In fact I’ve already done two illustrations to his words (https://www.etsy.com/listing/124796636 and https://www.etsy.com/listing/107076903). I would feel guilty doing a third before getting to some of the other authors on my list. Nichole once told me that when she was a little girl she felt guilty only taking one stuffed animal to bed, because the others would feel neglected. I’m starting to feel that way with my books. :)

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by Mikey F.

Really really love them. Specially the second one. Amazing job.

Jul 20, 2014 • Posted by rakhitoindia2013

This Rakhi a pleasant surprise is waiting for my brother. Send Rakhi to India by visiting www.rakhitoindia2013.com for their lovely gift collection. It has simplified my task to a great extent.

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