We had the good fortune of connecting with Evelyn Cao and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evelyn, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was pursuing a degree in the art field. I graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Art in Art and a minor in Art History. School is really what you make of it, so I tried to take as much advantage of it as I could by making friends and connections that made me grow as a person and artist.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
While I went to school and studied traditional mediums like oil and watercolor, my true love is actually anime and manga so I worked really hard in getting better at inking and painting digitally. It was a bit of a slippery slope, especially in the beginning financially, where I needed to invest in a drawing tablet and software, and the learning curve that I needed to surpass. I’m a slow learner, so it has taken me a bit of time to find a drawing style that I accept on a personal and professional level and even then I’m still constantly striving to be a better artist. One of the hardest challenges I had to overcome was to not compare myself to other people, especially younger artists who were performing better at the financial and popular levels. I felt discouraged as if no matter how hard I worked, there would always be someone younger and better behind me, but honestly, that is okay. Working on myself, and my craft is what I needed to do and has changed my work for the better.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was coming over to visit it would be so hard to take them to all the places that Miami has to offer, from its restuarants to night life and activities. For a more casual dinning experience we could go to the World Famous House of Mac, Twice Butter the food truck, Crust, and Boca. Then for a more fancy night out there is Smith and Wollensky, and The Capital Grill. When the sweet tooth cravings come in, we would definitely need to hit Night Owl Cookies, The Salty Donut, and The Sugar Factory. Inbetween restuarant hopping we could see any of the Art Museums Dade County has to offer like The Perez Art Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Garden, and The Museum of Contemporary Art. We could aslo visit Crandon Park, get some sun on Miami Beach, admire the Freedom Tower, or just stroll around the Fair Child Botanical Gardens. At night time we would definitly visit SHOTS with an alcohol menu of over 100 drinks, and rent a party boat to invite more friends over and keep enjoying the night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The people who deserve a lot of recognition in my story is everyone who has ever supported me, from those that support and buy from small businesses like mine, to those that like and follow me on social media, and of course my family and friends. I don’t think people realize how much it means to the artist or anyone who runs a small business how grateful we are for the support.