Alumni Tale: Erik Evensen ‘01

 

What did you study at UNH?

Studio Art

What were you doing one year out of college?

I was living in Dover. After doing a couple of internships on the Seacoast, I had just started working for PC Connection as a graphic designer. I occasionally played saxophone with the East Bay Jazz Ensemble, too.

What were you doing five years out of college?

I was the senior graphic designer at Vital Design in Portsmouth, working with great clients like the New Hampshire Film Festival, Portsmouth Magazine, and Seacoast Repertory Theatre. I was teaching part-time at York County Community College in Maine. I was engaged to Erika Svanoe, then the director of Athletic Bands at UNH.

What were you doing ten years out of college?

I’d recently finished my MFA in Design from Ohio State, and was an adjunct faculty member at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. I was also running my one-man creative studio, Evensen Creative.

What are you doing now?

I’m now an assistant professor in the School of Art & Design at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. I teach beginning and advanced courses in design thinking, design drawing, and foundational courses in graphic design and color theory. I’ve published two original graphic novels. Erika and I have been married for eight years, and I still play saxophone in community bands.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

My experiences at UNH have everything to do with where I am today. As a studio art major, I internalized the fundamental elements and principles of visual communication that I now impart to my students. Studying drawing and painting at UNH led me to my current specialization in design drawing.

My experiences as a graphic designer for Main Street Magazine and student intern with Brown & Co. entered me into the graphic design profession in the first place, which set me on my career path.

Why do you believe in UNH?

I changed my college plans from Syracuse to UNH at the last minute because I really felt at home here. UNH allowed me to be who I wanted to be, which helped me take ownership of my own education. I was never a lost freshman. I always felt like I could be myself at UNH, which helped me find my footing as an adult.