Highly analytical, sarcastic and slightly offbeat, Evelyn is considered twice exceptional, shortened to 2E. This is a term coined by psychologists describing people who have shown themselves to be exceptional in certain ability, yet set back in other areas. She’s had a lifelong trend of being inclined to creative work like music, drawing, fashion, and performing arts, among other long-running interests of psychology and philosophy. However, there’s just one thing she’s not quite naturally skilled at: communicating and understanding emotions in words. The only way it comes somewhat easily is in less-than-typical ways. “When I’m allowed to express myself in creative ways, it provides an outlet to express how I feel, and how I want others to feel, that I cannot get from a conversation,” she explains. “It’s a way to be seen for what or who I really am.”
Evelyn Stevenson, working under the alias Vallee, is a 17-year-old girl born and raised in Smithers, BC. Evelyn began doing art in early childhood and became fond of painting and drawing during her elementary years. Becoming semi-professional in her teenage years, Evelyn took to social media and maintains a few different accounts on multiple platforms. Some of them have a decent following, and she’s become connected to artists, celebrities, and musicians that she looks up to. This gives her motivation to continue, having amassed recognition in only year two of sharing her art (and occasionally guitar clips) online. Playful, imaginative, and unique, Vallee’s art is casual yet complex. You can find Evelyn at @valleedesigns on Instagram.
Spectrum is a collection of pieces from late 2020-mid 2021. The real complexity of the art itself is woven together in a double meaning hidden behind one title. “For most of my life, I have been familiar with having some sort of mental health condition work against me,” she explains, “but it reached a point in 2020 where I was in a really low point. It was more complicated than I had previously thought, and I needed answers.” She’d been diagnosed with a couple odd conditions and disorders as a child, yet she never found them truly fitting. Evelyn went back again searching for an answer—only to be misdiagnosed, yet again, in late 2021 with a personality disorder. During the long and frustrating process of being re-evaluated by BC’s psychiatry board, she drew. “A lot of people ask if I take LSD to create my art. I don’t. During the point I was making some of these pieces, I was actually simultaneously hallucinating,” she explains, “so if you’re wondering how I came up with it all sober, I owe it to that.”
Gradually, her condition started to stabilize, and her mood improved once more. In October of 2021, Dr. David Worling delivered a final diagnosis, one she’d been missing her entire sixteen years of life: autism. She says she owes a lot to Worling for this.
“I knew I had autism,” she says confidently, “but nobody really listened to me because they had a biased understanding of what autism really was. I was lucky to have a handful of mental health professionals, family, and friends on my side that encouraged me to go forward with this.” Spectrum’s double meaning is that it’s about being on the autism spectrum and having your voice unheard, while also showing a spectrum of emotion through art.