Original Bulgarian Gothic Art – ArtByEvil

My first meeting with ArtByEvil artwork was on Tattoo Fest Sofia in October 2014. I was amazed on how good the product was – the quality and the artwork on the t-shirts. It was also a pleasant surprise to see that beside the gothic art  there were also Bulgarian motives and images of the great men from Bulgaria’s glorious past – Asparuh, Krum and many other.

When I saw the announcement in ArtByEvil Facebook page that they have opened their store in Plovdiv I could not pass without asking for a short interview and I am sure that you will find it interesting.

Their online store is at www.artbyevil.com and if by any chance you are in Plovdiv – check their store at:



5 William Gladstone str.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

What is ArtByEvil and how the idea was born?

The idea was born in 2010 after two days of browsing the web searching for a new dark t-shirt. I could not find anything I like and decided to sketch a model of my own and to have it printed on a t-shirt. Then I realized how hard everything in Bulgaria is and how this business in Bulgaria is so conservative. Original name that I had for the project was Lost Souls, but later I’ve named it Art By Evil. This was definitely the name for the product that I have made.

There is a driver behind every project. Who is the man beind ArtByEvil?

My name is Milen Ivanov and I am conceptual designer of every model we have. The artist is Desislava Dimitrova – a small girl with strength and energy of 10 big men. Kaloyan Markov is handling everything before it gets printed, very good professional whom I have named “The magician” and last but not least the printmaster Atanas Todorov – the man we went through hell with.

What makes the ArtByEvil products different than others? What is the thing you are recognized for?

I believe that the combination in the models between religion, good, evil, erotica, alcohol, drugs, is like explosion in the eyes of the people and most cannot resist and are buying.

From the idea to the booth on the two of the biggest tattoo events and own store. What was the most difficult part?

Everything was easy. First of all is the huge and continuous support of the family and people involved in the project and the second thing is that there is no analog of ArtByEvil in Bulgaria at the moment. I truly hope that at some point there will be more competition since it will raise the bar for quality and there will be more and unique ideas.

How long does it take to transform an idea into design?

It takes between 2 and 6 months for a model but it depends on how detailed the design is.

Beside gothic, ArtByEvil designs have a lot of Bulgarian elements. How does it affect your clients?

Bulgaria was a great power and great country a thousand years ago. Modern people are less interested and do not know in what our ancestors have achieved. “Bulgarian history on a cloth” is the site section where these designs can be found.

I have started the project a rising a lot because a most of the people that knows bits and pieces are making unsupported statements about Bulgarian history. After every model I have someone writing me that this is wrong, that is not supposed to look like this, that there is too much aggression and violence in my designs and arguing how Asparuh, Krum, Tervel or Simeon were looking like. I usually do not respond to anyone but here I will say something very important. Creating, establishing and preservation of a country are not done with talking but with holding a weapon in your hand. War is art that Bulgarians were masters at and this is how I am imagine these people – huge men with scars, chapped lips and hands and eyes with no mercy.

Some of the dialogs I have in the store are “… Woow dude, check this out. This is Krum. What a mean machine he is…” and he turns back at me saying “Give me one t-shirt XL size please”. The funny thing is that I had some offers to start making historical designs for England and some Nordic countries. I have refused. I am Bulgarian.

Baga Tur 2014

What is the profile of your clients? What people are buying your stuff?

90% of our clients are related somehow with tattoos and tattoo lifestyle or listen to heavy music.

Everyone who has succeeded in turning his hobby into his profession is unique and good at what he does and his work brings him a great deal of satisfaction. Which is the part of your work that you enjoy most?

I like the look on people’s faces when they see the models. This is the biggest pleasure I am getting from my work.

Do you have a favorite design? Is there something that you’d choose from everything done so far?

I really love the “Hollow” design. It is a nun taking drugs in a toilet. I have a concept for “Hollow 2”




What was the most difficult thing that ArtByEvil had to overcome to become what it is today?

I believe that the journey has just started and there will be a lot of obstacles that we will have to overcome. We are on the market from only one year, a lot of people still don’t know that such brand exists in Bulgaria and the few that have seen it are a bit shy and afraid to buy t-shirt like that. I sincerely hope that one day ArtByEvil will be presented in most of countries in Europe and why not in the word?

What are the next projects?

We have ideas for shirts, hoodies and lingerie.

Well – time for some tattoo questions.

Do you have tattoos?


How have you decided about the first one? When? Where? Was it painful? What will be the next one?

I have decided for like 5 minutes. It was about 20 years ago – a crucified naked girl on my right shoulder. It was very painful… no idea why. There are several more I will have – all my designs.

What would you advice these that are ready to start the adventure to design their own products like you did?

I would advise them just one thing – never give up.

And the last question that I like most – what would you advice yourself if you could get 10 years back in time?

To start immediately with ArtByEvil.