Evi O Creates Art With Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to Evi O. Ahead of shooting her Samsung Trailblazer series episode, the Sydney-based artist, designer, author and publisher explains how she got here. “Long story short,” she begins, “I worked for Penguin Books for eight years before they merged with Random House and the division I worked for got axed. It was the best thing ever, because I still wanted to work on books, so I started my own studio predominantly working for Australian, but also UK and US publishers.” That’s how Evi-O. Studio was born; now it’s a team of seven, if you’re including her whippet, Henri.

Speaking of Henri, Evi’s ideal day starts in the dog park. It’s fitting, because I was first introduced to Evi’s work when I received her own book, Dog Trip Sydney, which documents the best pooch-friendly hiking spots around New South Wales, as a birthday gift. The guide, which follows Henri hiking through lush Blue Mountains forestry and splashing under natural waterfalls, is just one thing on a very long list of achievements for the creative multi-hyphenate. Within 10 years, Evi has successfully infiltrated the art world, with abstract exhibitions like ‘Fantasia’ and ‘Jungle’ and commissions popping up everywhere from Sydney to New York City, too many design awards to count, as well as multiple books published.

She’s spent the last decade honing her craft, living by the philosophy that the client always comes first. “I put myself in the back seat and I apply this philosophy called the ‘mid-wide philosophy’, where I try to channel the client visually through me.” To come back to herself, she leans on art. Through abstract paintings, she finds the freedom to explore her own thoughts and emotions. “Abstract art is a way to reflect on myself,” she explains. “You’re trying to represent the thing you’ve seen in a different way.”

There’s a lot going on in Evi’s world.

It’s why she turns to nature as a way to self regulate, decompress, and find fresh inspiration. She feels most at home in vast spaces, with her Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra in hand, observing and sketching the natural world. “Just like any modern human, I am so used to the urban jungle,” she says, adding that “the pandemic has kind of exposed me to the natural world. I changed the way I see life because nature is bigger than us.”

A few bush walks turned into an obsession, which turned into a three month stint in Melbourne where she explored natural hikes and uncovered a colourful crop of seasonal mushrooms. Evi’s fascination with the Mycelium Network – a complex and interconnected web of fungal threads that sustain and support life in the forest – is an intriguing aspect of her work. “I didn’t know that the Mycelium Network is under all of us,” she marvels. “It’s been here all along, connecting trees and the earth.”

“It makes you think about what you don’t see in this world. We’re born into this society within set rules and set ways, and mushrooms are symbols of looking the other way.”

When she’s not in nature, Evi’s usually tucked away behind the computer in her Marrickville studio. For an artist, her space is oddly organised, even down to her grid-like sketch book. She’s most creative within a set 9am to 5pm routine. It’s not the kind of structure you’d expect from such a wildly creative, abstract artist. But then again, Evi is far from a usual artist. For her Samsung Trailblazers episode, Evi reveals how she uses the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra to stay organised amongst the chaos of juggling multiple streams of work. “It allows me to jump between design, art, writing, and publishing with ease,” she says, when asked how she uses the tool. “The Galaxy AI Note Assist* feature is powerful for summarising documents quickly, especially if I’m short of time and need to engulf that 50,000 word manuscript. And the S Pen has also made digital sketching feel very natural, it frees me up from having to sit in an office with all my usual tools.”

As Evi embarks on a new journey, her latest body of work for a 10th year anniversary group show ‘OASIS’ at Saint Cloche gallery, reflects a hopeful jolt to herself and the world. “I’ve explored working with aluminium, folding, colouring and bouncing off colour with light,” she writes on Instagram. “The theme of Metamorphosis seems fitting for this new body of work.”

For Evi, art is all about morphing, learning and reflecting. “One of my favourite philosophers said, ‘people make art to understand themselves’. I think a lot of people should do art and see what you get from it.”

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Ultra is available now via the Samsung website.

*Certain applications may not support multi-tasking. AI Features will be provided free of charge until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy devices. Note Assist requires a network connection and Samsung Account. Accuracy of results is not guaranteed.

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