Artist Evil Bobs paints a new picture of Kinston
Local Artist Evil Bobs poses with a piece of his artwork. Photo by Michelle Taylor / Neuse News
Recently, Evil Bobs is a name that has been buzzing around downtown Kinston. The up-and-coming artist got his start in an unusual way.
“I’ve been drawing for years since I was about 2 years old and I got really into it,” Bobs said. “I had no interest in being an artist because I didn’t know it was a job -- I thought it was something you did in class and got in trouble for.”
After reading Juxtapoz, an art and culture magazine, Bobs fell in love with the magazine and saw people living as actual artists.
“When I saw it could be done, I left music, I dropped the microphone and picked up the pencil,” he said. “Once I realized I could do this and actually gain popularity I stopped carrying spray paint cans in my backpack and I started putting it to canvas.”
He gained a decent following in Greenville, then held a large show in Goldsboro. From there he sold a few paintings and moved to Kinston around two and a half years ago.
“After that first year, I started seeing a lot of change in the city,” Bobs said. “I started seeing neighborhoods come together and clean up the bright colorful houses. I started to think, 'How do I get to be a part of that?'
"Through a series of unfortunate events, I wound up homeless. Then I ended up at the right time with the right people. “
Bobs was introduced through a series of events to local philanthropist and businessman Stephen Hill, owner of the O’Neil and co-owner of Mother Earth Brewing.
“His technique is remarkable, thinking about each drawing is made up of thousands of dots,” Hill said of Bobs. “He has been experimenting with pastels and had done some awesome paintings. He is very talented in many arts. I own several of his drawings and paintings in my private collection.”
Hill met Bobs in the Boiler Room Oyster Bar parking lot where Bobs would sit with a suitcase filled with paintings that he would try and sell while working on another piece.
“I saw a lot of his work; It looks like a book to me,” Hill said.
Hill received his first piece of Bobs' work as a gift from a friend last year for his birthday.
“His art has a lot of meaning,” Hill said.
Bobs was introduced to the SMART Kinston program by Hill and some friends where he started making connections with other artists. Hill also got him into his own place in the Arts and Cultural District.
“It helped me really deep, I owe that guy my life,” Bobs said of Hill. “ I got my own place, started working from my house, branching out and meeting these other artists.”
Since then, Bobs has painted murals around town. One that is well-known is "Lady in the Garden," found in the alley between North Street Pub and The Trading Post on North Street.
“It gave me a life, it definitely brought up my spirits," Bobs said. "Especially since I was introduced to the art community, I’ve seen a beautiful side of Kinston that I was never really able to see before, so I guess you can say I’ve seen every walk of life here.
"I found beauty in this town; I found somewhere where I enjoy saying that I live here.”
While he has created various forms of art, Bobs said his favorite form of art is painting on canvas because he can take it with him and create a street performance.
“I have the ability to take my easel out in front of the shop or on the street and just have music playing while people walk by, talk and ask questions,” Bobs said.
While he loves to paint on canvas, there have been some struggles with looking at depth of a painting because he lost one of his eyes as a kid. His only eye has little vision.
“Since then, I've had to learn to see depth without natural depth perception,” Bob said.
Bobs is completely self-taught, having never attended art school or even taken a class.
“I don't follow the rules, I draw and color outside the lines,” he said.
While he takes inspiration from some of his favorite huge cartoons and animation, he also hopes to work in animation.
“My dream is to one day work with a large scale animation company,” Bob said. “It's one thing to see my creations on flat surfaces, but I hope to see them move and hear them speak telling their stories.”
For more information about Evil Bobs' work, visit www.evilbobsart.com.