Department: Fashion Studies
Eva Stevens comes from a family of fashion.
“My mom is a designer and my dad is a custom tailor. I grew up sewing, making, designing – it was a very creative environment,” she said. “Fashion design is just one form of design. Once you learn how to harness your creative mind, you can apply that to anything. One day I may be designing decorative areas of a house, the next a sweater.
“I love the speed of fashion. I can sketch something and two hours later be wearing a version of it.”
Stevens spent many years as a successful designer. She traveled abroad five or six times a year for weeks at a time, shopping the markets in Europe or collecting samples in Hong Kong.
“I’ve seen my designs on TV, in restaurants, on people walking down the street, in fashion magazines,” she said. “It is very rewarding to see that people are spending their money on your designs. I also learned very early that the position of designer is a tough one. Many times the buck stops on your sketchpad. It is exciting and stressful at the same time.”
Once she had children, Stevens began transitioning from just fashion design to designing furniture, re-designing homes and other projects requiring creativity and entrepreneurship. In 2016, she closed her last company after a successful 10-year run.
It was while she was raising her sons and running her business that Stevens was approached to teach.
“For years, people told me I should be a teacher. Strangers in restaurants would come to my table to tell me I should be a teacher after listening to me talk to my kids. It was strange,” she said. “When a program director for a school called me because someone had recommended me for a teaching position, I jumped in and never looked back.
Stevens has taught at several schools in the Chicago area, most recently at Columbia, focusing on design and digital classes. She is now at College of DuPage and excited to share her experiences and her love of shapes.
“My eyes and brain love shapes, particularly rounded shapes or the way things overlap or intermingle,” she said. “I think in pictures so loving shapes makes perfect sense.
“I really enjoy teaching students how to learn and harness their creative brain. Many come to an art program after being told for years that they need to focus, be present and follow directions. It is wonderful to allow them to be creative people. I watch them blossom all the time. They are my inspiration!”