We chat to Byron Bay-based artist Coris Evans about her incredible work, her inspiration, and what it’s like to pursue your passion as a career. Coris is well-travelled, intelligent, charismatic and driven… We hope she inspires you as much as she has inspired us.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Have you always pursued your passion as a career?

I am a female painter currently living in Byron Bay. I grew up on the Central Coast of NSW and from a very young age was completely obsessed with art and fashion. These passions led me to live in Sydney, London and a few stints in Paris and LA to study, work and soak up the international art scene.

I have definitely always wanted to be an artist. I actually remember my kindergarten teacher telling my parents to encourage me to keep drawing because it’s all I ever wanted to do in class.

2. Do you have any tips for those thinking of ditching the 9-5 and following their dreams?

I’m a big believer in expanding your comfort zone in order to achieve your dreams. When you confront your self-doubt and take the plunge into the unknown, whether that be to follow your dream career or any challenging life goal, you are able to grow personally and professionally. When I first moved to London I had no savings, no job lined up, and didn’t know a soul but I knew it’s where I needed to be to start my career. It ended up being the best thing I ever did and the start of the most amazing adventure! It’s always smart to have an action plan if things don’t go right, but you’ll never know unless to get out of your comfort zone.

3. We’re beyond inspired by your work, but we’re curious to know where do you draw inspiration from? 

Oh thank you! I definitely draw inspiration from the amazing women in my life. My paintings on their surface level may seem like simple nudes but they also hold the strength, resilience and fragility of each woman I paint.

My main motivation is my Mother who passed away from cancer when I was a teenager. She was the most beautiful, strong and caring woman, inside and out. She always supported me with my art and encouraged me to follow my dreams, however crazy they were, and it’s one thing I love dearly about her.

4. What’s the highlight of your career (so far)? 

I have two career highlights so far. The first would be my first ever exhibition at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Perth. As a young artist it was such an amazing experience to be chosen to display my work in front of a large audience, and to meet other emerging and established artists, curators and writers.

My other career highlight would be my latest exhibition earlier this year here in Byron Bay. It was wonderful to share my work with the Byron community, a community that loves to come together to support locals, and celebrate art and culture. There was such a fun, vibrant atmosphere for the opening night, and I really appreciate that about Byron Bay.

5. Is there anything you’re reading, listening to or watching that you’d recommend to the readers?

During isolation I finally found the time to go through my vinyl collection so there’s been a lot of Jimi Hendrix, The Animals, The Kinks, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave playing at my place lately.

I’ve also loved finding new music such as the gorgeous Rainsford, whose been on repeat for a while now too. Her soft, poppy, young romance vibes is the perfect soundtrack to paint to.

I’m also a lover of the classic novels. I’d definitely recommend Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell to anyone who hasn’t already read it. It will blow your mind. I’ve also really enjoyed reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, for any fans of crime fiction.