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I was born Deborah Elaine Springer in Effingham, Illinois on February 10, 1961. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Elgin, Illinois. From the age of six, I knew that I would be an artist. I had an artistic father who encouraged me, and at the age of eight I won my first art contest. A local hardware store sponsored a contest with the theme of “Something Green”, and I drew a quetzal (a tropical bird). Throughout my school years I received awards and praise. My freshman year of high school, I did an advertisement for a local woman’s clothing store published in the Elgin newspaper. As a sophomore I did an animated cartoon for my science project. I dreamed of becoming an animator for Walt Disney Studios, with animals as my subject matter.
I attended Lindenwood College in St. Charles, MO (1979), and the University of North Texas (1980-83) majoring in commercial art. My first job was a paid internship at U.N.T., which lead to a position at Terry Minke Advertising in Denton, TX, in 1983.
In 1984 I married David Evans-Lombe, a Radio/TV/Film major at U.N.T. In 1986 I began working at The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, with Rod Brown Design. I began to develop my illustration and graphic design skills, including production art, package design, and logo design. I did work for diverse clients such as the bands Genesis and ZZ Top, The Studios at Las Colinas, 92.5 KZPS radio, and The Greater Dallas Camber of Commerce. I thrived on the diversity and creativity of my projects.
In 1989 I became a staff artist for Fitz & Floyd, Inc. Dallas TX, were I worked for five years. I did three dimensional ceramic design and illustration. My subjects included fauna, flora, and Santa Claus.
In 1992 I had my only daughter, whom I had long dreamed of. I was a very creative mom, passing along my love of art & music. In 1994 I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (a form of Muscular Dystrophy). This continues to be a daily challenge.
From 1999 to 2000 I had the opportunity to live and work in Fetcham, England. I did freelance illustration, and graphic design. I also did papier-mâché theatrical costumes, and other projects, for The American Community School, in Cobham, Surrey, England, as artist in residence.
Plans changed when David had a heart attack, and his company was bought by General Electric. We were relocated to Marietta, GA where I worked freelance. In 2001 David had a second fatal heart attack. After a grieving period, I started my own company DSDEL ideas, LLC, with my brother David. I designed and manufactured a series of ceramic canisters (cookie jars) shaped like breed specific dogs and cats, called the MY PET CAN collection. They were based on two sculptures that I had done of two beloved cats, as memorial urns.
In 2004 Elaine and I moved to Austin, TX. My business totally consumed my time. Many painful lessons were learned as I finally sold my inventory to “Tuesday Morning”. After this, I was finally able to return to my artistic calling.
In 2006 I began my relationship with Imagine Art a faith based non-profit organization for artists with disabilities. I also began my association with VSA. With their support and encouragement I have renewed my artistic passion. I have started painting and done graphic design work. I had an idea for an illustrated book back in 1996 that I have been “mentally” designing over the years. It is called “ACCORDANCE a visual parable” and I am now creating the artwork. It is based on a concept that will reach people all over the world, with the subjects being animals, birds, and fish that are black, white and black & white. I have the help and support of dear friends here in Austin, and look forward to a creative life here. I hope to establish “deep roots” here in Austin.
– Deborah Evans-Lombe