Thomas Evans a.k.a. Detour
Thomas Evans, a.k.a. Detour, is a Denver-based creative specializing in large scale public art, interactive visuals, portraiture, immersive spaces, and creative directing. A born collaborator and “military brat,” Detour pulls from every conceivable experience that has shaped his landscapes and perspectives, examining the future of culture, music and society.
“I always tell artists that we’re basically historians,” Detour told My Modern Met. “You can really tell what society was a thousand years ago based on the art that was created and the materials used and the subject matter.”
Detour’s vibrant portraiture has honored the lives of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as well as featured celebrities ranging from Anthony Bourdain to Erykah Badu—all with euphoric colors and striking detail. His work is an ongoing experimentation in visual art, music, and multi-sensory technologies like interactive paintings. The self-taught artist has been drawing his whole life and although he never attended art school, he does have an MBA in Marketing. This has no doubt helped him to navigate major partnerships with clients like Netflix, Red Bull Mountain Dew, the NBA, and General Motors.
With his ever-evolving approach to art, Detour’s focus is on expanding customary views of creativity and challenging fine-art paradigms by mixing traditional mediums with new approaches—all the while opening up the creative process from that of a singular artist, to one that thrives on multi-layered collaboration and viewer participation.
You can check out his latest projects on Creatively here.
What is the first creative project you remember?
The first major project that I remember participating in was painting a mural for my high school. This was the first time I was able to actually create a mural. This was in Ramstein, Germany. Our mascot was a Lion and we were called the Royals. It took myself and another fellow student about a week to complete. It was an interesting time because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing but it would lead to building confidence in my identity as an artist.
Describe your aesthetic.
I would describe my aesthetics as being at the intersection of figurative community work and bright, bold expressions of color. Like any artist, my work and aesthetics evolve over time.
What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?
One of the most fulfilling collaborations was my last exhibition. We needed to turn the space into a museum for an imaginary band in the future. It required a ton of different art pieces to be fabricated in different mediums. This allowed me the opportunity to work with several different artists specializing in several different mediums. I had to get everything from an electric motorcycle built to a 6-foot-tall harp fabricated from scratch. This experience taught me a lot about working with others.
What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?
Creative projects that get me outside of the country really teach me about myself because it forces me to learn all new things. The residencies I participated in in France and Argentina taught me a lot about creative problem-solving. They both forced me to look inward when it came to my ideas about creating my own opportunities.
Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?
I think everyone is born with creativity because it’s all about creating new connections between ideas. Because everyone comes from different perspectives y’all have the opportunity to create new things. It is something that has to be nurtured as well. Those that nurture their creative process, through reading, learning, traveling, and other forms of exploring, have more opportunities to create unique perspectives that then lead to new and original ideas.
What’s the last dream you had?
Unfortunately, I do not remember. I can’t recall the last dream I’ve had because it has been years. Hopefully that is not a bad thing. Lol!
One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?
It’s very hard to think about what will be relevant in 100 years. I hope that they will at least see how I tried to capture this time on Earth in a bottle. My wish is that they will see and appreciate a colorful perspective of what was happening in our society.
Follow @Detour on Creatively.
Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective.
Questions or feedback? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org