By Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com
Dustin Evans has a passion.
"I started drawing dinosaurs because I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up because I loved dinosaurs so much. Then I found out, I actually like drawing more," said Dustin Evans.
Dustin pursued art as much as he could in high school, then attended Oklahoma State University where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design and illustration. After years of freelance jobs, he went to a comic book convention in San Diego and got his big break.
"I went in there with my portfolio and I lucked out. I got to meet with the Disney people. They liked what they saw and so I got a call from them later and got hooked up to work with them on the Pirates of the Caribbean, which I was already a fan of anyway. So, it was kind of a dream come true," said Evans.
He felt awkward at first, not knowing how much to charge, but was coached by the Disney representative to ask for more. Now that Dustin is working most of the time, things are better. But he has encountered a problem which has plagued artists for years.
"I'm working on projects and some of them you enjoy more than others, but I always have these ideas and stories in my mind that I want to get out on paper. But, it's hard to do because you still have to pay bills as an artist. And so it's constantly a struggle to find that next job," said Evans. "What's going to be your next paycheck?"
He has an animation style that works well in comic books.
"Comics are all about exaggeration. You really want to give the viewer the moments that they want to see. They want to see that super-exaggerated guy jumping out the window with an explosion behind him. You want to see it at the most extreme moment," said Evans.
He loves being able to work from home, but confesses he likes going into comic shops and bookstores and seeing his work on the shelves.
"It's a proud moment. It's almost like seeing your kid and saying ‘There's my baby,'" said Evans.
Dustin offers some advice:
"If you have that drive and you just pursue it and you just keep going after it, eventually people are going to see that and you're going to have an audience for it and people are going to want that. Whatever it is that your passion is, you can make it work for you," said Evans.