'Wij Twee, Samen'.

Eva Cardon, who uses the pseudonym Ephameron, is a Belgian comic artist and illustrator. Her autobiographical work is inspired by everyday events and contemplates the transience of life. She uses sober, atmospheric colours, collage techniques and simple materials like pens and typ-ex. Her most celebrated graphic novel is 'Wij Twee, Samen' (2015), a powerful and moving work about her late father's struggle with dementia. In 2019 this book was translated into English as 'Us Two, Together'. 

Early life
Eva Cardon was born in 1979 in Leuven. Her father was an art history professor at the local university. Growing up in a cultivated environment, she was introduced to many artists from a young age. Among her graphic influences are André Franquin and Jacques Tardi. She also enjoys short stories by authors like Lydia Davis, Raymond Carver and Dorothy Parker. Cardon studied audiovisual and graphic arts at the Karel-de-Grote School in Antwerp. She graduated with a master's degree in Fine Arts and Illustrative Design at the Sint Lucas School of Arts in the same city. Cardon publishes most of her art under the pseudonym Ephameron, derived from the Dutch archaic word "efemeer" for "short-lived". It reminds her that life unavoidably passes by. Therefore she tries to use her time efficiently and capture the moments that matter to her. To stress her philosophy even further she uses paper and adhesive tape, both materials with limited durability. Her illustrations have appeared in De Standaard, De Morgen, De Tijd, Weekend Knack, Modart magazine, L'Echo and The New York Times. On 15 March 2001 her personal website received the prize for "Best Cultural Website" from the Brussels' Foundation for Art Promotion.

Illustration work
Starting in the early 2000s, Eva Cardon contributed to anthology publications by the Mekanik comics shop in Antwerp, such as 'Love Stories' (2001), 'I Had a Dream' (2003) and 'Bruggen bouwen' (2004). Together with Serge Baeken she illustrated a promotional comic strip for Traject 2 (2004), a voluntary intensive guidance counselling program for youngsters. She worked with Baeken again as one of the colorists of his graphic novel 'De Maagd van Antwerpen. 200 Jaar Koninklijk Atheneum Antwerpen' (2007). The book portrays two centuries' worth of history, all revolving around the Royal Athenaeum of Antwerp. In May 2006 Bries published Cardon's first book: 'Love/Pain', a collection of illustrations, designs, photographs and sketches she made during the past six years. A follow-up appeared in February 2009: 'Found+Lost'. Supported by the Flemish Literary Fund, Cardon also illustrated Pieter van Oudheusden's graphic novel 'Weg' (Bries, 2010). The work consists of a series of short stories about a bear and little fox, interconnected by a subplot about a young writer struggling with writer's block. To find inspiration the novelist takes a walk outside, which gives Cardon the chance to depict the city in all its urban splendor.

Wij Twee, Samen
In the early 2010s Cardon's father was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a form of dementia. She and her two sisters helped their mother take care of him. During these emotionally heavy years, Cardon wanted to devote a graphic novel to her father and his illness. She started working on it while he was still alive, determined to finish it before his death. Two months before he passed away the book was ready. Cardon was very relieved, since her grief would've prevented her from finishing it otherwise. The work appeared in print after her father's funeral and Cardon stated she never reread it since, because it was too uncomfortable and distressing to her.

The title of 'Wij Twee, Samen' (Oogachtend, 2015) translates as "we two, together", which were her father's final words. The book is divided in two parts. The first half reflects Cardon's own feelings and experiences. The second half is told from her father's viewpoint. A voiceover, quoting from his diary entries, appears throughout the entire novel. At first the images and sentences have a clear meaning. Yet as his mental decline continues, Cardon's father gazes at empty corners and armchairs, which gradually devolve into blurs and fuzz. His sentences transform into mere words and eventually nonsensical sounds. 'Wij Twee Samen' won Cardon tremendous critical acclaim, including the Cutting Edge Award for best comic in 2016. Readers and critics were moved by her personal story and some psychologists have used it to help patients. The graphic novel was also adapted into a song for baritone and piano by composer Peter Spaepen. In 2019 'Wij Twee, Samen' was translated in English as 'Us Two, Together'. 

Collaboration with Arnon Grunberg
The same year the book '(On)voltooid Verleden Tijd' (2016) appeared, a compilation of a series of columns co-created by Cardon and Dutch columnist/novelist Arnon Grunberg. During the summer of 2015 the duo published this work in the newspaper De Standaard. It followed a loose narrative about a man with memory problems and how his silent wife witnesses his decline. Grunberg wrote the text, while Cardon made the illustrations. Each worked alone and shared their ideas and contributions through WhatsApp. That way they could inspire each other and send the improvised story into different directions.

Travel sketches
In 2017 Cardon published 'Re/Collection' (Oogachtend, 2017), a collection of sketches she made during her many travels across the world. Rather than just take photographs of landscapes, she went for the old school approach of sketching and painting them at the locations themselves. In her opinion these drawings are far more intense and personal than a snap shot anyone can take. 'Better Days' (self-published through Ephactory, 2018), a series of sketches she made while she stayed in Bangkok, is a book in the same vein.

'Nest' (March 2018).

Other activities
In the spring of 2016 Cardon made a mural for the Sint-Martinus School in Zomergem. The request came from a pupil, Stan, whose 12-year old niece Lotte died from leukemia the year before. In memory to her he wanted Cardon to draw her image on one of the school's walls. The ceremony was broadcast during an episode of the wish fulfillment TV show 'De Wensboom' on the commercial network VTM, hosted by Niels Destadsbader.

Eva Cardon teaches graphic storytelling at the LUCA School of Arts (Sint-Lukas) in Brussels. She is also one of the driving forces behind the Grafixx festival in Antwerp.

In 2007 Eva Cardon's work was presented in Gallery Lambiek in the exposition 'Ephameron - The Diaries'. It was the first exhibition organized by Boris Kousemaker, after taking over the store from his father.


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