Luiz Henrique Evaristo, is a 22 years old student of art, with a degree in Artistic Drawing at the House of Comics. He works in the field of illustration and caricature in a professional and recreational way. He started coloring old family photos, then started the coloring project for UNIA / Marcus Garvey photos. So far he has completed 43 photos in all. He aims to contribute to strengthening the image of Garvey / UNIA in Brazil with his work of colorization. Luiz only speaks Portuguese. We conducted the interview through Google translate. I asked him questions in Portugues that I translated from English. Then I translated his Portuguese answers to English. There is a companion article in Portuguese here.
Q: How did you get started in art?
A: As I remember it was when I broke my first toy, I remember that I wanted to fix it but it was impossible. I had the idea to draw it and cut it out, I ended up making my paper dolls.
Q: How long have you been drawing?
A: 18 years
Q: Where did you get your degree?
A: During high school, I wasn’t sure which career to pursue, and I was only interested in drawing and ended up deciding that I wanted to become a professional in this field. My parents could not afford the cost of the course I ended up deciding that I would do it anyway, even in high school I got my first job to pay for my drawing course, which ended up giving me the basis to do everything I do today.
Q: What is a typical day for you at work?
A: I really like it when it’s sunny and I prefer warm days, I like to wake up early to work. Usually when this happens I am very productive and I manage to complete all the daily goals and follow my schedule.
Q: How did yo decide to start coloring old family photos?
A: It was by chance, I was going through some old boxes at home and ended up finding some pictures of my grandfather who fought in the second war, I thought I could color them. I was studying digital painting and decided to apply my knowledge. I tested it and it ended up working. Recently I was able to scan them in high definition and I will have to start coloring the photos again.
Q: I am surprised someone in Brazil a young as you are knows about Marcus Garvey. How did you learn about him? When did you first learn of him and the UNIA?
A: I learned about Marcus Garvey when I read Malcolm X’s autobiography and ended up getting interested, later I got in touch with the translated Garvey texts in 2017 by Ciclos de Formação Marcus Garvey – África e Sua Diáspora (En: the Marcus Garvey Training Cycles organization.)
In the book “Procure Por Mim Na Tempestade” (En: Look For Me In The Whirlwind.)
Q: What made you begin the coloring project for the UNIA/Marcus Garvey photos?
A: I thought I could color pictures of some personality or political movement, I thought I could color the pictures of the samba dancer Cartola (but there was not enough), I thought of coloring the pictures of the Revolta da Chibata (but I didn’t find the pictures in high definition). I thought for 3 days what could be the central theme of this project. I thought of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X but dismissed it because I had already seen some color photos. I thought a little more and arrived at Garvey.
I had researched and realized that there were few pictures of Garvey and UNIA in color, and the ones I had access to were not in high definition (I could invest in that field). I researched a lot and saw that it was possible to do it and that few people had done it, there are few pictures of UNIA and Garvey, and the ones I had access to and are in high definition.
Garvey’s texts are being translated little by little in Brazil, my photos can contribute together with the texts for the public’s knowledge about the Garvey / UNIA figure.
Q: How can people reach you if they want to contact you? Do you have a website or blog?
A: They can contact me on my Facebook, Instagram, DeviantArt, Artstation.
Q: Do you plan to turn this into a full time business?
A: Soon I will create my profile on Behance but I still need to finish some projects.
Q: What are your goals as an artist?
A: Right now my life is very uncertain, there are two children’s books that I designed that have no release forecast. I had given up on drawing a year ago, and I’m slowly drawing back. I have received job offers to color other photos. But it is not yet a business that I can talk about: It is Integral, it will depend on my entrepreneurial skills. My focus is really on illustration, but I am open to other types of business.
This is a good question and a very difficult question to answer. I study a lot of photography, painting (both traditional and digital), illustration all this to apply in the comic, My main goal as an artist is to be a good comic artist, and I study to be a good storyteller and I believe that is why I research a lot, I hope one day I will be able to write a story in which people will not finish reading and close the comic, I hope people will return to this story from time to time. It is a good challenge, the visual narrative is something very complex that I still do not have full understanding.
Q: Do you plan to sell the images as prints?
A: No, it is not something I have in mind. If the use is private it is ok and I don’t care if you want to print a poster for your room, you want to make your own t-shirts, but if the photos are for commercial use for example printing book covers, documentaries … etc I would like to know what it is being linked to, in this aspect it is a very complicated area because it is commercial, and if it is commercial I need my part (to pay my bills and studies). It was an average of 10 hours of work per photo, for COMMERCIAL use I can’t give it away for free.
Q: How did you learn about the Millions for Marcus Garvey Facebook group?
I am still researching more images from UNIA and that I would be happy to be able to color and whoever had them could send me (if it is of interest to the person) above 600DPI in TIFF format preferably in good quality, but if not in high quality it may be down really.
The other thing is: that I am happy to know that people are enjoying the work, and that I allow them to put it in their private profile, but the only thing I don’t agree with and does not mention the authorship of the coloring work in the post . Mentioning the artist helps him get a job. And unfortunately probably in the future Garvey’s photos will have watermarks if that continues to happen.