A man alone in the wilderness. Interview about Dharma Bums to Beatdom.com

Bevian Richardson is a UK based illustrator, graphic designer and general creative.

His work ranges from posters, business cards, photography and logos to painting, drawing and conceptual artwork. He follows lines of enquiry in many areas of the art world and has experience in numerous creative vocations.

In an interview to Beatdom.com, world-leading magazine dedicated to Beat culture, titled as one of the most famous phrases from the book*, I talked to Bevian about one of this greatest works — an alternative cover of the famous “Dharma Bums” book by Jack Kerouac and a comic book made from a seven 1.5 meter scrolls painted in wine.

— I decided to become a writer when I was just 7 years old. I don’t know why, but this thought just came to my mind one sunny day. How did you decide to become a painter, designer and artist?

— I’m 24, I was born in Wolverhampton and lived most of my life in a small town called Stourbridge in the Black Country except three years in Plymouth while studying at university. I currently live in Sheffield, where I has recently moved to, and where I have a studio: it needs insulating though!

I have always felt quite lucky as I have never had to question what I would do with my time and my life. Art has always been there as the obvious answer.

The areas I now work in are ones that I have defined over years of practice.

An alternative cover of the Dharma Bums book by Bevian Richardson

— By the way, do you call yourself a painter or designer, or maybe just an artist?

— I try to keep away from names and titles. I am a person who spends many hours drawing and painting but I like many other things too. Before everything I am a human; I don’t wish to define myself solely by what I do and how I spend my time here.

A creative is probably the best word if we had to choose one, as I just like creating in whichever format takes my fancy. I like to write, too: mostly free-verse poetry, but this is more for my own reflective practice than for anything else.

A comic book showing the whole story from the Dharma Bums book made by Bevian Richardson from the seven 1.5 meters scrolls painted in wine

— Have you seen the latest cover of “The Dharma Bums” boom? Some people didn’t like it; some called it worst Kerouac’s cover, because it looks like a graphic novel. Why did they portray Jack like a dog if it’s well known that he liked cats?

— Whether it relates well to Kerouac himself I don’t know, but everyone is only ever working from their own understanding of something, in this case “The Dharma Bums”.

I quite like the colours, font and the layout, but I see no need for animals of any variety… The unnecessary parts of it are the side “comic” bits which may take away from the meaning.

I think we can all get a bit too caught up in thinking we know what is right and wrong, but overall it is just someone’s interpretation and should be appreciated as such.

Read next my interview with Beavin on his Dharma Bums book on the website of Beadtdom.com — world-leading magazine dedicated to Beat culture.

* In the title of the post there is a shorten version of the famous phrase from the book: “One man practicing kindness alone in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.”

Text: Ivan Kuznetsov

Cover photo: Eldar Nazarov / Unsplash