Beverly: No, I wish.
CM: So it was all self-taught?
CM: That’s cool and even more impressive. What do you usually use when you draw?
Beverly: Most of it can be free hand, like the zentangle stuff is like none of it is ever planned, but other stuff I like to use really thin pens, like a needle-point kind of tip. But I usually use that and I like to use gel pens. Like literally anything I can get my hands on that is affordable because I always am on a budget. We live on a single-parent household, I help out a lot in a way, so I try not to spend my money on expensive stuff. I try to use what I can without spending much money.
CM: Do you ever paint?
Beverly: Yeah, I just started painting. I felt so stupid because like I have this whole thing of paint, and someone was like, “Oh, you just need your primary colors.” And I was like, “Man, like if I took an art class, I probably would’ve paid more attention to that and I would’ve known more,” but I just like to buy the pre-made colors because it’s easier and more time efficient. I just started painting mid-last year, and I’m not good at it, like I’m not comfortable with it yet. I’m trying to do it more, so I can get better.
CM: I’ve also noticed looking through your stuff there are a lot of eyes and then you said the zentangle. They look like henna designs; is there a reason for that? Or is it just because you like that style?
Beverly: I like to draw eyes a lot because I feel like you can communicate more with eyes than talking, like you express more with your vision and your looks with people. You can totally look at someone that you know, like you guys know each other and you guys look at each other and know like,” Oh that was weird” or “Hey that’s cool” just by looking at each other. So I find that really cool that concept of communicating with your eyes, I like to incorporate that, but besides that I really like how [eyes] look. I wanted to be an optometrist when I was younger, but then I realized how much work it was, so I was like, “I’d rather just draw forever.” I just really like [eyes], and the whole zentangle style… When I started doing that, that was like 2008, and I did not know what it was. Then I was like, “I wonder if it’s called anything.” Probably three or four years ago someone was like,” Oh, it’s a zentangle. It’s a zendoodle.”
CM: You also draw a lot of girls now. Do you ever draw guys?
Beverly: I try, but it’s so hard. I think it’s because I didn’t grow up with a lot of masculine figures, but all my friends are guys. I try to, but it’s just not something I’m comfortable with, like I don’t think they look good. I feel like any time I draw a guy, it looks girly or they have a more feminine look to it. I’ve tried to make them look more masculine or whatever, but it’s hard. I can’t; I don’t know why, but I want to take a drawing class and maybe hopefully try to draw more masculine people.
CM: Do they offer it at your school?
Beverly: Yeah, they offer life drawing, but they teach you how to draw everyone.
CM: Do you model any of the girls you draw after real people?
CM: So they are from your mind?
Beverly: Yeah, I just don’t look at someone and draw them because I don’t know anyone that would look like them really, so it’s just in my head.
CM: Is your art, like the commission stuff, your job?
Beverly: Yeah, it’s weird to think about it because it was such a hobby where I never got paid for it, and now it’s this thing where every week it’s this consistent rate where I can actually afford to help my family and take them out to eat or do stuff for them that I always wished I could do. Now I get to say, “Oh man, I got to finish this drawing.” Sometimes I get so stressed, like, “Oh my god, like I have a million drawings to make,” but then I’m like, “Man, how often do you get to hear, ‘Oh man, I need to draw because I need to get paid.’ ”
CM: So you get a certain amount of people per week asking for commissions?
Beverly: Surprisingly, it’s pretty consistent. It’s either two big commissions or five medium commissions. It’s always a certain rate every week that allows me to live comfortably and be able to buy art supplies and do more things. The biggest thing that helps me out [are] the art walks because it’s all at once.
CM: How long have you done the art walks?
Beverly: Two to three years.
CM: How did you get into it?
Beverly: This girl that was part of a collective called Concept that I am a part of named Rosa messaged me on my art page. I didn’t start selling my stuff until two or three years ago. She was like, “Can you do this art walk?” And I was like, “Woah, like I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never gone to the Santa Ana.” And I was like, “Woah, I get to be one of those people that have a table? Yes!” And then I did it. The first art walk I did was such a disaster, my table looked like a complete mess; everything was taped down. Everything was flying everywhere, but it was really fun. And when I saw how cool it was, I wanted to keep doing it.
CM: Have you made a lot of artist friends?
Beverly: Yeah, it was surprising. Most of the art community in Santa Ana. That’s where I do most of my art walks. Everyone is really cool; everyone is for the art. The art walks help my income, and this makes money for me, but I don’t do it for the money. It’s more like I want someone to have it, and people are like, “You’re so cheap. You could sell this for $20,” but I don’t want to be known for something like that. I want it to be for [someone] to have, and in a way you’re helping me too because you’re helping me live.
CM: Do you think you’d ever want to have your own gallery show? Or have you done that?
Beverly: Yeah, I kind of made a list of where I would want to have my shows, but when you are a local artist, I feel like there are not a lot of people that – like there are a lot of local artists, but these galleries are looking for a certain aesthetic. I’ve had small gallery shows, like when you guys went to that small store gallery show, but they’re not ginormous like famous galleries. They’re like local galleries that anyone could have a show there, but it’s a big step for me.
CM: Have you ever thought about being a tattoo artist because your stuff seems like it could be tattoos?