Illustrators of the Future winner, Stephen Spinas. Picture: Supplied.
Illustrators of the Future winner, Stephen Spinas. Picture: Supplied.

Hollywood awaits local illustrator after winning contest

By Murphy Nganga Time of article published Jul 15, 2021

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Cape Town - From the suburb of Oranjezicht, Stephen Spinas is about to experience Hollywood after winning the Illustrators of the Future Contest and getting his work published in the international best selling anthology, L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 37.

In his many years as an illustrator, Spinas has devoted himself to the arts. From humble beginnings as a 2-D background artist, he has since run the gamut of professional titles in the art world: apprentice, designer, director, CEO, and all while still trying to make it as an illustrator.

With his love for the visceral, as well as his unique knack for simplifying complex ideas, Spinas has worked on many initiatives with clients from across the globe. Inspired by influential creators in the comics like Bernie Wrightson, Jim Lee, and Riccardo, Stephen produces artwork that are bold, gritty, and detailed. In regards to his own style, it doesn't hinder him, since regardless of the style or media, he can fulfil each of his customers' creative ideas. His own flare does not hold him back from fulfilling customers' unique creative ideas, regardless of the media or style.

Winner of the Illustrators of the Future Contest, Stephen Spinas will get his work published in the international best selling anthology

“Art is personal to me and being able to create what I love makes each day a high point because I always wanted to be an artist since I was a child. Comic book art, illustration and animation were early loves of mine. I was very privileged to have parents that saw my aspirations and pushed me forward daily. My mother always told me to follow my dreams and supported me as my number one fan. It was a powerful thing to always have a motivating factor in my corner.”

“Desire drives me forward because creating art is like creating a personal piece of yourself that gets to be shared with the world. Leaving a mark on the world that changes it for the better is something that has always been important to me, it is in a way a form of eternal life, and I could only aspire to live forever through my creations,” said Spinas

While winning the contest has been an exhilarating experience for Spinas, he said that Covid-19 has taken a lot of the excitement out of winning.

“I am meant to be attending the already postponed prize-giving in Hollywood in October, however travel remains a mystery at this point. However, winning and creating my piece for the anthology has been nothing but joyous. I have had the opportunity to meet some lovely people within the industry who have been nothing but motivating and I hope I will get the chance to meet them in person in October,” said Spinas.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest is one of the most prestigious writing and illustrating competitions in the world that aims to provide budding writers of speculative fiction a chance to shine. The contest has grown to be the biggest, most successful, and indisputably most impactful platform for emerging creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction.

Galaxy press president John Goodwin said that the illustration contest, and as such the art needs to tell a story.

“Writers of the Future was created by L Ron Hubbard in 1983 and based on its success, a companion contest, Illustrators of the Future, was created with the same purpose written in his opening essay in Writers of the Future Volume One: ‘A culture is as rich and as capable of surviving as it has imaginative artists, It is with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged’.”

“What makes the contest unique is that judging is done blind, meaning that our judges only see the art and a number assigned to it. They have no clue as to gender, nationality, race, religion, colour, or who they may be related to. They only see the art and that is what is judged,” said Goodwin.

While the world of illustration is composed of pure art, it can also be seen as a skill. With many doubting if they ever have the ability to pursue art as a career, Spinas said too many people are put off by their "lack of skill” and that may hinder one's dream.

“As with anything, skills are developed over time. If you are motivated enough and are willing to put in the time you'll eventually find the artist in yourself, It is a therapeutic experience, both trying and rewarding to be your own creator,” said Spinas.

Weekend Argus

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