PICTURE PERFECT - Jamaican artiste makes strides in US
FROM the storied era of the Renaissance, artists have used their work to express themselves. It is no different with modernists, including 20-year-old Jamaican Michael Talbot.
Three of Talbot's 'expressions' got the attention of judges for the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest. He is among 24 promising artistes and authors who will be recognised this evening during the 30th L Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards, scheduled for the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.
The former Ardenne High School student is a sophomore at Lesley University College of Art and Design in Massachusetts where he majors in graphic design and illustration.
He is among 12 illustrators from Egypt, Japan, Mexico, Portugal and the United States selected for the 'Achievement Awards'.
Talbot submitted three of his works for consideration. It won him US$500 and a trip to LA for five days of workshops and the awards ceremony.
"It's a surprise, I really didn't think I would have got this far. Hopefully, it will open new doors for me and allow me to meet people," he told the Sunday Observer.
A self-portrait and a painting inspired by singer Brandi Carlisle's song, Before It Breaks, are two of the pieces Talbot submitted.
His selection by judges for one of the US' most respected art forums came two years after he moved to Farmingham, a town near Boston, to live with his mother and stepfather.
Talbot's stepfather encouraged him to enter the contest. It was not something that crossed his mind.
He eventually agreed and submitted the pieces, which are just part of his vast 'catalogue'.
"I do a lot of drawings, sometimes I work with clay. I guess what I like most about art is, I can express myself," he said.
Talbot, who grew up in Mona, excelled in art at Ardenne. In 2010, he was the highest-placed Jamaican and runner-up in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.
Inspired by the work of graphic artist Craig Thompson, Talbot is in the second of a five-year degree programme at Lesley University College.
Once he graduates, he is eyeing a career as a graphic artist, working on children's books, novels and logo designs.
Selection for the L Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards is a feather in the nominee's cap. Hubbard is a pioneer science-fiction author but is also known in religious circles as founder of the Church of Scientology.
Winners of the artist/author sections will each receive US$5,000.