Pimp My Uke Artist Profile – Kerry Evans

Community Music Wales have challenged leading Welsh artists to design and paint a ukulele in their own unique style. A number of exciting and diverse artists have accepted the challenge, and progress on the ukuleles has already begun.

The next artist we would like to introduce you to is Kerry Evans.

How would you describe your art style?

I guess my style is mostly quite illustrative. Although over the years I've done hundreds of commissions , anything from landscapes to portraits, so Ive had to be adaptable. In the last twelve years I've mainly concentrated on the style I'm known for, which is heavily influenced by traditional tattoo art.

Who are your main artistic influences? 

My other influences include Mexican and Cuban art , Diego Rivera's murals have always been a source of inspiration. Also, poster artists like Rick Griffin and Gary Houston.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever painted?

Weirdest thing I've painted is a gravestone.

How does it compare to painting a ukulele?

The ukulele is tricky because of the contours and strings (not to mention the hole slap bang in the middle) but I often up cycle and paint old chests and pieces of furniture with my work so I'm used to adapting to a curved interrupted surface.

What was your first idea when we asked you to paint a ukulele?

My first idea was to do a skull couple in a forest setting but I needed a broad space and the hole was in the way. I didn't fancy it for the back so I opted for the mermaid that I could bend around the obstacles on the front . I love old school nautical tattoos and the back has a ship .

How does the finished artwork compare to your initial thoughts and are you pleased with the results?

It's looking good so far, I like that the design is wrapped around the uke's body and painted artefacts are always interesting to me. I normally work on a much larger scale for impact but I've enjoyed the challenge of adorning this humble little instrument. It's been fun.


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