Interview with Evan Voyles in Tribeza Magazine, August 2003
Evan Voyles makes the kind of signs that people don't forget: the rabbit on the Uncommon Objects building, the globe floating above Chuy's, the big coffee cup tipped at the Little City Coffee House. But, keep in mind, these are not just signs; they are works of art that help to define the businesses where they hang. Over time, they become symbols for the city; the things that we envision in our mind's eye when we think about Austin.
Evan credits his mother for the name of his company, The Neon Jungle. That's how she referred to Burnet Road when he was a kid growing up in Austin. She had no idea that her son, educated at Yale in English, would someday create sign art and use her negative remark to name his company. For Evan, the name suggests that with creativity we can make our "self-made landscape" interesting, even beautiful. he though the would write novels, but ended up "writing urban poetry on big, tin canvas, and collecting cowboy boots as American folk art."
Look more closely at the sign hanging over the stores and cafés you frequent. If it's a memorable one, it just might be an Evan Voyles original.
What do you do on Friday nights? Whatever event my wife Gail, aka The Social Director, has lined up for us.
What's the best compliment on your style? It's a work of art. It looks like it's been there forever. It’s an instant landmark.
What's the most memorable insult? Can you cut the price? Can you cut the delivery time? Can you cut the quality?
Who would you like to hear on the radio? KTNN-Gallup, The Voice of the Navajo Nation.
What three people would you like to have as dinner guests? Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce Springteen, and Frank Gehry.
Who would you most like to trade jobs with? Nobody. I have the best job in town.
Where do you go for inspiration? West.
What book should every person read? American Tabloid by James Elroy.
What are you looking forward to? Spending more time working on my own projects, either art or writing. Maybe when we retire and open our small-town roadside attraction.
Tribeza | August 2003 | Introductions by Phil Hudson