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Conversations with Evelyn Leigh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Evelyn Leigh.

Evelyn, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Muraling is a career I fell into after years of searching for an art form would suit me best. I always knew I was a maker, but I could never focus on one thing for long enough to really perfect the craft. Painting rooms has always been something I’ve done ever since I was a kid. Shortly after my son was born, a friend of mine saw a wallpaper that I painted in my apartment and asked if I could do something similar in her home. That mural took me a whole five days (in comparison, now it would take me one day) as I struggled to figure out how to do it. It’s still one of my favorite pieces, even after six years of this being my full-time career. After sharing that piece, my friend Casey Revkin, who’s always been a huge supporter of mine, asked me to paint her son’s bedroom and shortly after a set of Silver Lake stairs. After I completed the Swan Steps, the attention that they got on social media launched my business. Ever since then, I’ve been painting shapes and shades on vertical planes in homes and businesses across the country. It’s an incredible niche career but there’s never any shortage of white walls that could use a little excitement.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I credit being a Mom as one of the reasons why my business became as successful as it did. Having my son really put a spark under my butt to be an example as someone who puts in hard work to achieve their dream. But it’s also incredibly difficult to balance work and life. Before and after my daughter was born it was impossible to get up on a ladder. With this kind of business, you really have to give your whole heart in order to keep your work feeling alive. If my heart isn’t behind painting, then I don’t book jobs. It’s been proven time and time again that I have to put the right energy out into the universe in order to receive the jobs that I want. It’s still a struggle, but one that’s worth the effort.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am known for my use of bold colors and geometric patterns. Probably the hardest thing about my work is creating the right color palette for a piece. One wrong color can throw off the entire harmony. I spend a lot of time painstakingly balancing colors and patterns. There’s something really pleasing to the eye about patterns how predictable they are. It’s really fun to throw in color to turn those patterns from predictable to organic. Growing up, I always thought the more confrontational piece of art was, the better it was. Now I feel we have enough confrontation in our day that I want my work to be that reminder to breathe.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
Well, first and foremost, my mother for always allowing me to paint on the walls of my bedroom growing up. She has never put down a creative idea that I’ve had, ever. The woman has an impeccable eye for design and has created the most beautiful home. Any ounce of talent I have for color and balance, it’s from her. Also, of course, Casey Revkin for allowing me to completely curate the Swan Steps. The amount of trust she put in to in me to paint those pieces is truly humbling. There’s a group on Facebook called ‘SoCal Stair Climber‘s’ and the man who runs Dan Gutierrez, hosts tours of a few painted stairways in Silverlake. His tours have brought hundreds of hikers to the Swan steps and Casey and I have given many a talk to those groups. I am continuously humbled to be a part of the long history of those staircases. And my husband, who is my backbone.

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