Student Michael Talbot, who grew up in Jamaica and is studying graphic design and illustration at Lesley, and alumnus Vincent-Michael Coviello '12 traveled to Hollywood to accept the Illustrators of the Future award
Thursday, April 10, 2014
“I drew anything that came to mind, really,” he recalls.
His early love of illustration blossomed into a passion and talent that has won international recognition through an illustration contest that will send him to Hollywood for a week-long series of professional workshops with famous illustrators. His week in California culminates with the contest’s achievement awards on April 13 in the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.
“I was just shocked – I didn’t expect it,” says Michael, 20. “I’ve applied for scholarships and contests before and never heard back.”
Michael won a $500 prize with the award, and he is among 12 illustrators from around the world, including Lesley alumnus Vincent-Michael Coviello, who will be honored at the gala including young artists from countries such as India, Korea and Portugal. He and Vincent, who earned a degree in illustration from Lesley in 2012, are also in the running for the Grand Prize to receive $5,000, which will be announced during the awards ceremony.David Bondar, an instructor in Lesley’s Illustration Department and one of Michael's teachers, says that he possesses the key ingredients for success.
“Before this semester I have encountered two students with such remarkable poise, humility and unwavering passion. I can say without hesitation that Michael is the third,” Bondar notes.
The trip will mark Michael’s first visit to California and his first time wearing a tuxedo, among other milestones. His mother and stepfather, Patricia and Paul Ramsay, will attend the awards ceremony to cheer him on.
Michael didn’t have opportunities to pursue and perfect his artwork formally in Jamaica, where he grew up in Kingston and emigrated after high school to Framingham, Mass. Now a first-semester sophomore in Lesley’s College of Art and Design pursuing a double-major in graphic design and illustration, Michael says he thrives on being part of an artist community.
“I like to be around people who are constantly creating,” Michael explains. “It inspires me to create and to do better.” He adds, ““It never occurred to me that it could be a career choice until I was in the 11th grade."
Michael’s three winning illustrations that he submitted for the contest include “Self Portrait,” which is a vivid collage that cleverly and symbolically conveys the many facets of his personality, his life, his values, and even his nicknames and his interest in zoology.
“I don't think I'm extraordinary or beyond the typical artist or art lover,” Michael says. “But I do believe I'm able to make an impact on people through my art. That's precisely what I will strive to do."
The winners of the Illustrators of the Future contest will be honored along with the winners of the Writers of the Future contest during the Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards. The contest celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and presenters at the gala include award-winning artists Cliff Nielsen (“Narnia” book covers), Larry Elmore (“Dungeons & Dragons” book covers), and Steven Hickman.
According to the contest, past illustration winners have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, and artwork for 594 books and albums. They have also visually contributed to 36 television shows and 46 major movies.
Watch Lesley student Michael Talbot accept the Illustrator of the Future award.
Watch Lesley alumnus Vincent-Michael Coviello accept the Illustrator of the Future award.
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