Featured Comrade – {Evolved} Magazine

On November 6, 2013 by Evan Senn

If you are unfamiliar with E-VOLVED Magazine, now’s your chance to catch up, fast. This DIY magazine is only on issue 3, but they are growing exponentially, and offering quality alternative content in both fine art and tattoo art. E-VOLVED {E} is an international publication that explores the nexus between the human canvas and the more traditional canvas and how the two have become intertwined. Their collective represents the evolution of tattooing as a medium and its contemporary influence on the fine art community. RARW is a huge fan of E-VOLVED and it’s founder, Christina Diaz. We got to pick her brain about her craft, her world and her amazing creation, E-VOLVED. Take a look.

How did you originally get into the field of art journalism?

My “professional” writing career began when I was an undergrad at CSUN around 01/02. I had a handful of tattoos at the time but had become enamored with the trade and the culture. I wanted to know how it all worked (e.g. the tattoo process, techniques, why use certain needles over others, inks, styles, etc.) so I began studying the culture, immersed myself in it. I successfully inter-weaved my personal interests (body art and body studies) into my academic work. For example, my Master’s Thesis was titled, “Textual Flesh: The Rhetoric of Body Politics.” My writing career just sort of snowballed and I began freelancing for a variety of local, national and international tattoo publications for the past 10+ years until I created{E}.


How did Evolved come about?

Long story short, I was tired of seeing nothing but trendy shit on newsstands. “Trendy” meaning all the same artists in every magazine and plastic broads degrading themselves on cover after cover. For about 3 months I dissected other tattoo titles and I found common threads. I searched for similarities, there were way too many. I needed to create something different; A magazine with a message and a purpose. I approached Michele Muerte and her husband Ruben Skull (whom I had worked with in the past) to help with layout and web design. They totally digged my idea and together we made {E} a reality.

What is it that you hope to accomplish or contribute to the world, with Evolved?

At the end of each Editor’s Note in each issue of {E}: I want artists to pick up that pencil, paintbrush or machine and evolve. I guess the same can be said about both of my projects, I want to create a positive impact in the tattoo community. I wanna make a dent on this planet while I’m here.

You’re on your third issue now, right? Is there anyone in particular that you’d like to feature in the magazine in the future?

Yes, I am currently working on issue #4 which is due on newsstands everywhere in December. You know when I am putting together each issue and I approach artists whose work I admire to see if they’d be interested in working with {E} and when they say YES – I am blown away. Mind = blown. I still get that “fan girl” feeling constantly in this community. That last night I saw you, at Nikko’s show, Michael Hussar was there and I hadn’t formally met him so like a retarded fan girl I went up to him and introduced myself all giddy and shit. He shook my hand and had this perplexed look on his face like “Who the? What the?” haha…That question reminded me of that. Another artist who I am dying to work with is Alyssa Monks. I’ve emailed her maybe a dozen times. She probably thinks I am deranged at this point. Oh well. Persistence beats resistance.

What’s the 5 year plan for Evolved?

In five years, simple, I would like {E} to exist and inspire.

You call Evolved a DIY Mag, can you tell us how it is a DIY magazine?

DIY meaning we aren’t experts, we’re 3 working artists (we’re also all parents) who have created this publication in our living rooms. We literally do this ourselves. We don’t have a fancy office or a staff of 30. {E} is created, designed and produced by 3 working artists right here in Southern California.

What’s your favorite tattoo on your body?

My son’s name on my right wrist tattooed in his penmanship (age 6). He’s my masterpiece.

What’s your favorite book?

Asking a bookworm what their favorite book is, is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. Impossible. My favorite author is Dorothy Parker. Her work was feisty and inspiring.

Tattoo art and fine art have a large overlap in contemporary culture, and yet, it seems that there really aren’t too many tattoo/fine art magazines out there. Why do you think that is? Do you think it will increase in the future?

The popularity of tattoos comes in waves. It goes through trends. Remember a couple decades ago when tribal arm bands were huge? Stars went through a phase, portraits shot through the roof in the last decade or so ago too. Most magazines print what sells. {E} prints phenomenal art. Period. Fuck the trends. Will it increase? Only time will tell.

How do you find the artists you feature in the magazine?

I just search for it. I have to FEEL the artists work – that’s a must for me. When an artists pours their heart and soul into their work, you can feel that when you study it. Those are the artists {E} features.

Can you tell me about your involvement with Ink for a Cause? Why is that something you feel is important for Evolved? Are there other events or organizations like that, that Evolved is passionate about?

I’m the Founder. I created Ink For a Cause in 2009. It’s a 3 day tattoo convention for charity for charity that I put on in my hometown of Ventura, CA. Each year a different charity is chosen as a featured recipient and 100% of the profit after expenses is donated to them. Over the years the event has raised over $20,000 for various charities including child abuse, domestic violence, children with special needs and kids arts funding. I cross promote the two companies because inevitably they both have the same message: to make a positive impact in the body art community – one’s an annual convention, one’s a quarterly tattoo publication – same message. It’s important to work with and support other companies that have the same positive intentions for the body art community – companies like Unicycle and Out of Step Books.

Any plans for an Evolved curatorial project/s?

Yes. We’re planning an anniversary show Spring of 2014.

Do you have any advice for artists out there?

Go with your gut. Have faith in yourself and your ideas.


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