Barb's Bio

Barb Eveleth (Puddintane!) They say everyone has an inspiration. I say everyone has a path to walk. A road to self discovery.

Like most artists I have always been drawing. First, it was watercolors of birds rendered on my dad’s dry-cleaning cardboard inserts (remember those?). Then it was comic books in crayon and pencil, loosely based on Archie but mine were artier. Then it was fashion and costume illustration in marker, ink and colored pencil; inspired by an illustrator/director who I acted under. His drawings made my jaw drop.

But I really I owe it all to Marc Chagall. For my eleventh birthday, a friend of mine gave me a print of his. Not something you would ordinarily give as a gift to a sixth grader. Still it was the best present ever. Chagall’s paintings tell stories. And I remember thinking I want to do this. My dad and I made frequent trips to Lincoln Center, and I was mesmerized by the huge Chagall canvases that hung from the rafters.

When I studied art at Connecticut College (we called it Connect the Dots College) I fell in love with collage (no pun intended). My concentration was in illustration and graphic design. But I wondered what I would eventually do with that degree in Fine Art. I knew that I wanted to move to New York City where all the Chagall and illustration was. But where did I fit in?

The drawings of nature and comic books never made their way into my portfolios. But the fashion and costume illustrations did. I applied for an accelerated one year post graduate program in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. And a competitive one at that. What I really wanted though, was illustration. The professors said that this part of the industry looked bleak. I never finished that program as I was a total klutz with draping and patternmaking.

My best patterns and drapery soon would be done on illustration board.

After much soul searching, I began a career in advertising as a “Creative Assistant.” This was the grunt work that most beginners get. The nice thing is that I worked on storyboards as part of my job. Storyboards are not called storyboards for nothing.

At the same time, I took many night classes at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts, and put together another portfolio; this time in advertising art and typography. Eventually, this portfolio got me a job as a real art director. But I kept studying true love.

And speaking of love, I fell in love with a wonderful guy, and we got married and moved overseas for a few years. We had three spirited children; I kind of stopped the art for a while. Being a parent full time can be exhausting if not invigorating.

I began to miss working on art projects.

As my kids grew up and went to school I was invited to the book-fairs. A friend of mine introduced me to some beautiful, funny and well written picture books. I thought I want to do this. But how? Are there any classes that can help me? Lo and behold I found two, through a continuing ed program. I wound up with two fully illustrated, bound books both of which I am still writing.

When I said good-bye to my teacher, his last words to me were, "You are getting your feet wet. Keep going. Publishing is a long journey."

Boy was he right.

I put together yet another portfolio. The one I love the most.

And I am so happy to say that my love for watercolor, cut paper collage and Chagall has found the venue I hoped it would.

My art tells stories. Kind of like Chagall for the small.