Four years ago, Evan givens was at a pawnshop with a friend when he found a single lens DSLR camera for $ 40.
“I panicked and bought it immediately,” says Givens. “Since then, I haven’t put down a camera.”
Givens, 26, was recently named one of three Brandon Scholars 2020-21 speak Greenville Creative Arts Center. The scholarship is designed to help young local artists develop within the artistic community.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Givens moved to South Carolina at the age of 14 and attended the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, where he took photography classes and learned to photograph with a black and white film camera.
“Before that, to be honest, I didn’t even know you could do fine art with photography. I was more of a drawing and painting guy, ”says Givens.
Then came a long, dry period. After graduating from Governor’s School, Givens gave up photography because he couldn’t afford a camera himself – until this day at the pawnshop.
“I kind of ran from there,” he says.
He made some money and sold his camera for more than he paid for. He did it five times – buying better, nicer gear – before finally settling on the camera he now uses.
As an artist, Givens says he mainly photographs portraits.
“I’ve always been obsessed with drawing faces and painting people … and how to smile more or laugh more or certain actions can change the structure of someone’s face and the way you are seen by the world”, explains Givens.
His main goal as a photographer is to tell his own story through other people.
“I try to isolate a feeling or a moment that I had in my life through whatever model I have with me that day and I really try to recreate that feeling in my mind with which other people can relate to, ”says Givens.
It is also inspired by music and past traumas.
“There is a point where your brain doesn’t understand how to process, and that’s what makes the trauma,” says Givens. “A lot of times that’s really what I’m trying to focus on – that moment of ‘What should I do now? “or” Why is this so? “”