East Boston native and artist Jim Zaccaria will be honored in Hollywood next month as the winner of the international Illustrators of the Future competition. Zaccaria will receive his award at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles on Friday, April 8.
In addition to being named the winner of the competition, Zaccaria’s art won him a cash prize and will be published in the international bestselling anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38. Before the awards gala black tie, Zaccaria will participate in a week-long workshop with some of the industry’s top professionals.
The competition, one of the most prestigious writing and illustration competitions in the world, is currently in its 34th edition and is judged by some of the biggest names in speculative fiction.
Zaccaria was born and raised in Eastie and worked in a variety of graphic design jobs, first as a printer, then a print buyer, then as a graphic designer specializing in book cover design.
His work has received acclaim from Bookbuilders of Boston, the New York Book Show and the Boskone Art Show.
His work has been published in the annual journals of Bookbuilders of Boston and Infected by Art.
Zaccaria said a big part of his day job is designing book covers for publishers and freelance authors, though he finds himself drawn to creating images.
“Over the past few years, I’ve started building his portfolio and exhibiting at various conventions, inserting new art whenever I get the chance,” he said. “I was drawn to the arts from an early age. Music is a huge source of inspiration for ideas, and a lot of my work is influenced by song title, lyrics or mood.
Zaccaria said other subjects that motivate and fire his imagination are mythology, poster design, and artists working in imaginative realism. Most of his art is digitally produced, and he considers this a perfect medium for commercial works, but he also enjoys working with traditional methods as well as a mixture of the two.
Following the release in 1982 of his internationally acclaimed best-selling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written to celebrate his 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring speculative fiction writers get that much needed break. Due to the success of the Writers of the Future contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was inaugurated five years later.
The intensive mentoring process has proven to be very successful. The 382 past winners of the Illustration Contest have produced more than 6,000 illustrations, 360 comic strips, adorned 624 books and albums with their art, and contributed visuals to 68 television shows and 40 major films.