The Neon Jungle

Get a sign that tells a story. Call Evan Voyles 512.680.0809

Evan Voyles was born and raised in Austin, Texas, with much of his youth spent at his family's Lazy V Ranch in the nearby Hill Country. He is a cum laude graduate of Yale University, with a degree in Intensive English. Trained to tear down, analyze, and rebuild literature, Voyles instead applied his talent to the unintentional poetry and iconic imagery of classic American roadside signage. His careers as both signmaker and artist have been guided by this interest.

Before resettling in Texas, Voyles lived on both the East and West coasts, and has travelled extensively through every state in between. Voyles' behind-the-wheel observations of the passing landscape take the form of notes, photographs, and sketches. Over time these notes etc. evolve into either signs or artworks.

Built under the aegis of his business The Neon Jungle, most of Voyles' award-winning signs may be seen on the streets of Austin, Texas. Independant music venues, restaurants, boutiques, theatres, and advertising agencies are the core of his clientele. He has also placed work from New York to Los Angeles, and from Switzerland to Japan (see Signs).

Voyles' paintings are shown at Blackmail, a boutique/gallery that he co-owns with his wife on Austin's hip South Congress shopping strip. The first two installments of his most recent series of paintings have been featured in magazines as well as on mTV's The Real World (see Artworks). Earlier works have been shown at galleries in Los Angeles, Santa Fe, and Austin.

Voyles is also well known as a collector and dealer of vintage cowboy boots and vintage handmade signs, both of which he considers to be forms of American folk art. These collections have been featured in books such as the Cowboy Boot Book and its sucessors, Lone Star Living, and in national print media, as well as on The Discovery Channel and in Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife – the clothing designer and retail empress, Gail Chovan – and their twin children, Credence and Zelda.

VW Magazine
#2, 2011

McGarrah/Jessee Signage

Austin Lifestyle
March/April 2011

The Daily Texan
Friday, January 28, 2011

Austin Woman
October 2010

Austin American Statesman
August 25, 2010

Austin American Statesman
December 10, 2008

Tribeza Magazine
November 2007

Gibson GuitarTown Auction
October 2007

Las Vegas Home & Design Magazine
December 2006

Austin Magazine
May 2005

Wildly Austin by Vikki Loving
Published 2004

August 2003

Sign Language
documentary film, 2002

Austin American Statesman
January 9, 1997
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Interview with Evan Voyles in Tribeza Magazine, August 2003

Evan Voyles makes the kind of signs that people don't forget: the rabbit on the Uncommon Objects building, the globe floating above Chuy's, the big coffee cup tipped at the Little City Coffee House. But, keep in mind, these are not just signs; they are works of art that help to define the businesses where they hang. Over time, they become symbols for the city; the things that we envision in our mind's eye when we think about Austin.

Evan credits his mother for the name of his company, The Neon Jungle. That's how she referred to Burnet Road when he was a kid growing up in Austin. She had no idea that her son, educated at Yale in English, would someday create sign art and use her negative remark to name his company. For Evan, the name suggests that with creativity we can make our "self-made landscape" interesting, even beautiful. he though the would write novels, but ended up "writing urban poetry on big, tin canvas, and collecting cowboy boots as American folk art."

Look more closely at the sign hanging over the stores and cafés you frequent. If it's a memorable one, it just might be an Evan Voyles original.
What do you do on Friday nights?
Whatever event my wife Gail, aka The Social Director, has lined up for us.

What's the best compliment on your style?
It's a work of art. It looks like it's been there forever. It’s an instant landmark.

What's the most memorable insult?
Can you cut the price? Can you cut the delivery time? Can you cut the quality?

Who would you like to hear on the radio?
KTNN-Gallup, The Voice of the Navajo Nation.

What three people would you like to have as dinner guests?
Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce Springteen, and Frank Gehry.

Who would you most like to trade jobs with?
Nobody. I have the best job in town.

Where do you go for inspiration?

What book should every person read?
American Tabloid by James Elroy.

What are you looking forward to?
Spending more time working on my own projects, either art or writing. Maybe when we retire and open our small-town roadside attraction.

Tribeza | August 2003 | Introductions by Phil Hudson