Meet: Eve Archer
Words by Vivien Chan
Eve Archer is an illustrator from South London whose work celebrates women and their bodies in all their glory. From early Manga inspirations Eve has developed her style into something really beautiful and bold. We caught up with her to discuss how she uses her art to work through her own body issues and why she wants to get weirder.
Tell us a bit about you - what's your journey so far?
I’m a freelance illustrator from South London. I graduated from the Illustration course at Kingston University over a year ago, so I have to get out of the habit of saying I’m a recent graduate!
What drew you to illustration?
I was obsessed with reading manga when I was 12. I would borrow volumes of stuff like Sailor Moon and Uzumaki (nightmares ensued) from my library and try copying all the illustrations and my own drawings spiralled from there. I just found this wonderful way of detailing all the weird stories I’d come up with. I never really thought my teenage doodling could be a viable career!
What medium do you like to use?
It really does vary. I’ve become quite impatient when it comes to getting my ideas down, I rarely take time to sketch out with pencil. I like the permanence of ink pens; I use a lot Posca, Tombow or Copic markers. For me they alway produce more dynamic marks and you really have to consider each line. So usually for me, I like to building layers and shapes of colour first and my linework comes last.
What about your subject - your instagram is full of images of diverse, body-positive young women. Why naked ladies?
I love and am attracted to women and want to continue to celebrate them. I want to draw what I wish I had seen growing up: women loving women without being fetishised by the male gaze. Women who are soft, happy and comfortable together.
I love the phrase ‘otiose eroticism’, I feel like a lot of my drawings feature lazy lovers.
For me I love talking about sexuality but am never really comfortable talking about sex and I guess my work is the same; its evocative of a sexuality but never straight forward sex.
At the moment I feel like my work is quite selfish; working through my own body woes through drawing and celebrating different body types. If I can love drawing women with rolling bellies and thicker thighs, why can’t I love those same features on on myself?
What/who are your inspirations?
But also some of my favourite artists are James Jean, Junji Ito, Pegge Hopper, GeorgiaO’Keffee and Van Gogh. I find stuff like religious iconography and neolithic Venus statues fascinating
Any particular memorable project?
Illustrating excerpts of Roxane Gay’s book ‘Hunger’ for The Washington Post’s female driven platform The Lily. It was a challenge to visualise such strong and evocative words, you can’t be ham-fisted in handling such issues, so it was a process of really finding what visual metaphors would do her work justice.
Any recommendations for other female illustrators to look out for?
I follow so many cool people on Instagram, but definitely Carly Jean Andrews, Ariel Davis, Inès Longevial and Monica Kim Garza.
What's next for you?
I’d like to get a little weirder with my work, a bit more surreal. I’d like to deconstruct and reassemble the female form, make my women more mythical and push body proportions, lengths and limbs.
I’m also in the process of setting up my online shop.
Any dream projects?
It would be amazing to create more character driven narratives as I did in university. I love to write as well, so to create another illustrated book would be a dream.
What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
A lot of podcasts! I’ve just started listening to My Dad Wrote A Porno and I’m already planning out some fan art. The Receipts Podcast is also fantastic, I think every young woman should give it a gander.
What would you like to read in the next issue of Riposte?
I’m loving how you feature so many female artists. Illustration especially, I feel has been overlooked but is now becoming such an important vehicle for exploring identity.
And it’s so exciting seeing the spotlight shift to young female artists, so lots more please!