She Goes By Devan

Jun 4, 2020

Aurora continues to showcast artists during its virtual First Fridays. An artist from Sandwich is making a splash in the city's art scene.

The 27-year old artist simply goes by Devan. She started out doing art when she was six.

Devan with her cat.
Credit Photo provided by Devan.

“So, my parents would always buy paint kits and any kind of little crafty thing,” she said. “I mean, they’d buy me little knitting kits, anything that I could keep my hands busy. And I really always had an affinity for markers.”

Devan attended community college but she dropped out because she said the teachers would not allow her to be creatively free.

“I have a very distinct art style. And they kept wanting me to change it,” she said. “And I feel like that's what makes me different. And that's what's getting me recognition now.”  

Devan said she was born and raised in Sandwich but she started being a part of the Aurora art scene a couple of years ago. She did a show at the Arts Initiative there. After that she met several people in the community who introduced her to yet more people. She said things exploded from there.

Devan uses markers for most of her work.  She also illustrates for children’s and comic books. She recently self-published a children’s book called The Bear Book.

She said she wrote a children’s book when she was 20 years old but she hasn’t done anything with that one. She started doing more after she published this one.

“And then a week after I published that, I got hired to do my first job as an illustrator. And I actually just finished that.”   

She said the author is Naperville resident Sarah Sommer.  The book is called “Animals at the Office.” It launches this summer.

Devan said the art in that book is 100% drawn by hand just like all of her artwork.

Devan's piece "Breaking Free."
Credit Devan

Devan also has a comic called “Punkin.” It’s about her cat who curses.

“So, it's a little bit on the more mature side, but it's very funny and it's kind of exciting that I've been doing this for a year,” she said. “I post one comic every week on Friday and I haven't missed a day yet.”

Devan will showcase more of her art this month at Aurora’s First Fridays. Gary Brown Art gallery will host The Melody of Colors.   

“I will be talking a little bit about my art, how I do what I do, and give you guys a little sneak peek into what goes on in my brain when I'm creating," she said.

Devan said this will be the kickoff of a two-month series. June 27, she will have a "meet and greet" at the gallery. She said the necessary COVID-19 precautions will be taken.

Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.