I'm a self-taught folk artist. My first painting was made on a whim during a winter break from college - and over the years I have found pleasure and relaxation through painting.
Upon moving to New Orleans I found my artistic soul through art-cars. A chance encounter in 2007 with Marigny artist, Sue Ireland, led me to create my first art-car, turning my little Toyota into "the redhead car". Once every inch of that little car was covered, I moved towards painting on found objects such as old political signs, tables, and pieces of metal. In the years since, I have painted large-scale murals, trucks, and works on wood and canvas.
My favorite thing to do now is paint on canvas and then hand-sew beads and sequins unto the painting to create an interesting texture and depth to my folk-art.
I find inspiration in life in New Orleans, my travels, and my "real job" as a middle school history teacher.
Devin DeWulf is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Bywater neighborhood.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words
Unique, uplifting, and colorful.
Describe yourself in one word
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
New Orleans is one of the most creative places I have ever been to. I find so many people creating art here - whether it is for a parade, decorating a coconut for Zulu, Mardi Gras Indians, costumes, music, etc. We are a city where almost everyone is a creator of culture. I live in the Bywater and certainly take inspiration from the majestic decay and tropical plants that surround me.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
Generally, I find inspiration in a flash - maybe an image or a moment in my life. Today it was driving on Claiborne Avenue and seeing the watermelon salesmen - that's a painting I will make tomorrow!
Where do you draw inspiration?
I am inspired by middle school students - things they say and create. Sometimes a doodle on a homework assignment I am grading will lead to the creation of a painting. Other inspirations comes from New Orleans culture - the musicians, indians, characters, etc.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
My favorites are Van Gogh and the Brazilian street artist duo, Osgemeos.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I find myself mostly drawn to a good brass band - my favorite being the Treme since they play for our Lundi Gras parade each year. My all-time favorite song would be "St. James Infirmary" - since it is both sad, uplifting, and mischievous . . . especially when Louis Armstrong's version is on.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
When I am not painting, I may be teaching history or trying to make my four-month old daughter smile or hot-glueing beans and rice onto something! (as a member of the red-beans parade)
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I love the spring time in New Orleans - when we get the big rain storms that come quickly and drop buckets down for a few minutes. I absolutely love that!
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I am the organizer of the Red Beans Parade - a Lundi Gras tradition since 2008! We spend months hot-glueing beans and rice in preparation for the big day - then we roll in the Marigny and Treme with the Treme Brass Band.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
My work can be found on my truck - it's currently painted in homage to south Louisiana and New Orleans culture. My middle school students are amused to find out their history teacher drives a painted truck.
also check out: www.redbeansparade.com - the Lundi Gras parade I founded and organize :)