Evaristo is a biologist and self-taught artist from Mexico whose passion is birds. His careful and accurate painting style and his familiarity with western Mexico made him the ideal person to paint the Imperial Woodpecker for the cover of the October, 2011, issue of The Auk that featured an article by Lab researcher Martjan Lammertink and colleagues. Evaristo also created many other paintings for the Lab, including portraits of several species of manakins, as well as guides for Project FeederWatch to help in the identification of similar species.
Just before becoming a Bartels Science illustrator, Evaristo was accepted into a MS program at the University of Guadalajara in Western Mexico. However, deciding to become a Bartels Illustrator at the Lab first was a golden opportunity that allowed him to grow as a bird illustrator and to learn from, and interact with, many top scientists and students at Cornell. The experience provided him the opportunity to clarify the project he wanted to develop as a graduate student. After completing the Bartels program, Evaristo returned to Mexico where he received his MS degree studying woodpeckers and other cavity-nesting birds, an interest he developed from working on the Imperial Woodpecker project. “That project was so meaningful to me, not only because the Imperial Woodpecker was the largest woodpecker in the world, but also because it was also an endemic to the old mature pine forests of Western Mexico, a region that is special to me because that is where I first became interested in ornithology in college.”
Since then, Evaristo has been working as a freelance illustrator, focusing on the specific and accurate plant species and vegetation associated with the bird species he paints.
Watch the video explaining how Evaristo created a painting of the extinct Imperial Woodpecker for the cover of the October 2011 issue of The Auk magazine.