Laguna Beach resident April Solomon was recently selected as one of the winners of the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future Contest.
As part of the prize, she’ll attend a week-long masterclass workshop in Hollywood, and her winning art will be published in the international bestselling anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 39.
Solomon, 40, was born and raised in Laguna Beach. Since a child, Solomon has had a talent for drawing and painting and grew up around art thanks to her father, who had an extensive art studio.
Solomon is an illustrator and fine artist who earned her bachelor’s degree in illustration at the Laguna College of Art and Design. Solomon said her passion for learning the old masterful techniques of traditional drawing and painting is what inspires her work.
Among her love for the fine arts is her unique appreciation for whimsical fantasy, which adorns every image of her portfolio. Solomon’s meticulous creature designs aim for what is known as “fantastic realism.” A clever, concise understanding of anatomy, plants, and mysterious textures weave their way into her illustrations, leaving the viewer guessing at origins, influences, and ancestry. Solomon’s work allows the viewer to dive imaginatively deeper and reconsider whether dragons might be real or whether werewolves exist to stalk the streets at night.
When not illustrating, Solomon attends garage sales to unearth buried treasures, runs and lifts weights, or braves as many haunted attractions as possible during October.
The Contest, one of the most prestigious writing and illustrating competitions in the world, is currently in its 39th year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction, such as Tim Powers, author of On Stranger Tides), Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, authors of the Dune prequel series, Robert J. Sawyer, Quantum Night, and more. Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction. Due to the success of the Writers of the Future Contest, the companion, Illustrators of the Future Contest, was started five years later.
The 382 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 6,000 illustrations, 360 comic books, graced 624 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 68 TV shows, and 40 major movies.
The 452 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 1,150 novels and nearly 4,500 short stories. They have produced 32 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 60 million copies.
The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award is the genre’s most prestigious award of its kind and has now become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction.
Since its inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 38 anthology volumes and awarded over $1,000,000 cumulatively in prize money and royalties. More information about the Contests is available by visiting WritersoftheFuture.com.
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