Retrospekt x Evan Weselmann: The "Break Out" Collection
To celebrate the launch of our newest artist collection — Break Out — we’re taking some time to talk to the artist himself, Minneapolis-based Evan Weselamnn. Evan, whose trademark style features whimsical cartoons dripping with vibrancy and expression, created a new graphic package specifically for “Break Out,” tailoring each illustration to the specific product.
The collection is anchored by the official Polaroid 600 Break Out instant film camera built by Retrosepkt with refurbished photographic components from vintage Polaroid cameras released in the 1980s and ‘90s, faithfully restored to work just like new. These original parts are housed inside newly designed and molded plastic exteriors featuring a wonderful array of pastel and neon plastics. Each camera comes with a decal sheet, illustrated by Evan, which can be used for further customization.
In addition to the Polaroid camera, Retrospekt also produced a new “simple-use” 35mm film camera. These cameras come preloaded with 27 exposures of color film and are designed to provide both new and experienced photographers alike with an easy-to-use film photography experience.
The collection also features an instant camera bag and a limited edition apparel line, all of which complement the overarching artistic theme.
The entire collection is available now!
A Conversation with Evan Weselmann:
Can you share some insights into your artistic journey and how it has shaped your creative style?
I was fortunate and grew up in an artistic household, both my parents studied art but never pursued it as a career, my sister is a jewelry designer and painter. Creativity was encouraged and I remember crying at the dinner table struggling to draw cars and my dad helping me slowly figure it out. In high school I wanted to rebel so I thought I was going to pursue science but a year in Japan after graduation taught me the importance of art, specifically illustration, as a means of communication. I couldn’t speak the language but found that making funny little drawings helped me make friends in my class. I studied abstract painting in college because I had grandiose visions of being a studio painter, all the while drawing what amounted to cartoons/sketches throughout that time. Illustration came after graduation as a means of making money and not having a job, but it was a struggle to get there.
What motivates you to create art?
So many reasons, it fulfills so many needs for me. It can be fun, it can be meditative, it is always challenging and rarely boring. It helps me work through problems outside of the studio. It gives me a space to explore and fail. And I fail a lot.
Who or what are your biggest artistic influences?
Peter Saul, Willem De Kooning, Jay Howell, Victor Moscosco, Piet Parra, the list goes on and on and on and on.
What excites you about this collaboration
The blank slate of it all! At once overwhelming but also the ability to do literally anything was really freeing. I am used to people coming to me with very specific visions and then I have to fit myself into that vision. Kinda like that Japanese game show with the wall that moves towards people and they have to quickly cram themselves into that shape. But with this project, it was total freedom which took a while to wrap my head around honestly. And the embossing on the box is sick.
How do you think your artistic vision compliments these pieces?
They are ultimately about fun, which tends to be a through line in my work. Nothing too serious, but also sharply done. Ride the wave between High and Lobrow, I guess.
Are you using any retro tech in your life right now? If not, are there pieces you find nostalgic?
I have a turntable? Does that count? I just made a painting that has a Nintendo Gamecube in it because I find old video games to be heavily nostalgic of a simpler time. So stuff of that nature? Objects that I have very specific memories of. The Sony Walkmen, Nokia flip phones. Digital ephemera that was prevalent in my childhood. I really want an old truck too, does that count?
Are there new projects happening in 2023-2024 that we should watch for?
A couple fun things I can’t share in specific, but they involve sports! One that has hoops and the other has clubs. Stay tuned folks!!!!