A plan to return to 'best place'
Illustrator and craftsman Evan Lole is back home for his course study break, with an eye on making the permanent move here in a few months.
Mr Lole, 28, grew up in Nelson but has spent the last 10 years working and studying in Wellington.
A self-described jack of all trades, with "interests in way too many different areas" Mr Lole has been illustrating for eight years, and screen printing for 12 years.
He is fine-tuning his skills at Wellington's art school The Learning Connexion where he is majoring in 3D metal and forging work and illustration.
"It's the best place I have been, they are super enthusiastic with a high level of advanced professional skills."
When his course finishes in April he plans on moving back to Nelson to set up a studio to do illustration, metal work and printmaking.
"I really love Nelson, I'm only in Wellington for economic reasons, Nelson is my favourite place in the country. It's got a positive feel to it, more so than it did in my previous years here. It's got great outdoors, there's opportunities for a more relaxed pace of life and doing what you want, the rent isn't as bad."
While home for summer Mr Lole is working from his parent's garage, where he has set up a makeshift workshop.
His father, Peter Lole, is also an illustrator and pens the The Little Things with Matt Lawrey in the Nelson Mail.
Aside from illustrations, Evan Lole also refurbishes axe heads to sell on the internet.
"Every time I go for a motorcycle trip around the country I check into all these little antique places along the coast. I also find stuff at archaeology sites, some of the tools I get are colonial age. Everything I do is to be reused and given a new lease of life."
He also makes these tools from scratch, out of cubes of steel, and usually sells his work to hunters and outdoor adventure people.
His tools are "made to last the rest of your life, made with love, not from some big soulless factory in China".
Aside from tools, he likes to rescue kayaks from lawn sales to "fix them, make them all lovely again and sell them on". He fixes any damage to them and gives them a new paint job.
He is looking forward to setting himself up in Nelson.
"There's surprisingly more young people here than a few years ago, people might be realising the value of a provincial lifestyle.
"I'm hoping to do a bit of networking back here and build up a South Island lifestyle again."
The Nelson Mail