User Spotlight: Tallo Artists

Moving into a new year is often a time of reflection: on what has passed, and what is yet to come. 2020 was a full year (to say the least) and we here at Tallo decided to ask our wonderful Tallo users to help out with our annual reflection. We invited our Tallo community to submit works of art representing the theme “2021 Here We Come!” We received many impressive submissions, and were able to award three $500 scholarships to the three winners: Kim, Zackary, and Andrea. Scroll through to learn more about the submissions from the winners and the other finalists!


Winner! “Contemplation” by Kim P. from Texas. “I interpreted the theme ‘2021 Here We Come!’ as an expression of not particularly joy or dread, but of anticipation. 2020 had been a very unpredictable year, and nobody has any idea of what to expect for the future. In titling my art piece ‘Contemplation,’ I hope to invoke reflective thought amongst my audience and encourage others to question how they might want to walk into the new year and how to prepare for new challenges they may face. However, given the vibrant color scheme and upturned expression of the figure, I am optimistic that we will all face 2021 with the strength to face our struggles. If we are about to make it through 2020, we will make it through 2021 as well!”


Winner! “A Mind of Color in a World of Gray” by Zackary S. from Texas. “I feel like 2020 was a hard year for all of us, whether it be a big situation or small. With this art piece I wanted to show the beauty that we all have in our headspace, even though the world can seem dark and gloomy, we can make it better. When I read ‘2021 here we come’ I immediately thought of healing and collaboration. The background of this piece is dark, storm clouds are all around the subject, yet the beam out of the head is colorful and free. I wanted to convey that no matter how dark something can seem, we can always see the light no matter what, we just need to build it up as a community. I think that working together and playing out all of our bright ideas can create something beautiful. We all have a work of art in our own heads waiting to be released, now is the time to let it free.”


Winner! “Irenic” by Andrea C. from Virginia. “Irenic means aiming at peace. I interpret the theme of my piece to be the road to peace. Sometimes it can be never ending but there will always be side roads, which can lead to the peace you’re looking for.”

“Anticipation” by Jasmine L. from New York. “Since we’ve all had a rough 2020 due to COVID-19 along with the election, people are most likely to look forward to the year 2021. People hope for a better year in which nations around the world can go back to the way they used to be and people can once again go outside without having to fear for their safety. However, we can’t tell the future and will never know when something unexpected will happen. That is why I named my piece ‘Anticipation’ and divided the artwork into day and night. As the morning and night passes each day, we anticipate for a better future. We sit and wait, waiting for each day to pass and waiting to enter a golden future.”


“Equal Beauty” by Kaitlyn T. from Utah. “With all of the BLM stuff happening around the world, I chose to do a portrait of an African-American woman, but used different hues and shades on her skin to show that the color of someones skin does not define anyone, and everyone is beautiful.”


“Boseman” by Alyssa K. from Texas. “Black panther and an ode to the late Chadwick Boseman.”


“The Happy Girl” by Alexis M. from Wisconsin. “My piece is something that all teenagers can relate to. Mental health is not something that should be shamed or ignored, because we all have a bit of our own struggles. I wrote a short exert from the girl in my piece: ‘I’m so happy. I constantly have a smile on my face. I laugh until I can’t breathe. I love unconditionally. I have friends I know I can always count on. They make me so unbelievably happy and give me endless laughs. I sing at the top of my lungs without a care in the world. I have dance parties with myself. I can be so confident in myself and feel so beautiful. Sometimes thinking about how lucky I am, fills my heart with an overwhelming sense of joy, but yet I am so sad. I cry every night. I get let down all too often. I feel my heartbreak from having hope. I feel empty inside. I put everyone before my own happiness. I can feel so self-conscious. Sometimes I feel like I am unworthy of the life I have been given. I look in the mirror and it is not the girl I used to be, not the girl I want to be. I feel unattractive. I hurt. At the end of the day, I remember every nasty comment made, though it may be easy to believe that words don’t affect me. I worry about everything and anything. My heart aches and every day putting a smile on my face gets exceedingly more difficult. I feel like I can not go on. I wonder what people’s lives would be without me. I am an outsider looking in. I feel unusually unwanted yet I know I am loved. I am so happy yet so sad…’ Looks can be deceiving. You can not understand what is happening beneath the smile. No one will ever be able to understand what any given person thinks about or goes through in a day. Go out of your way to be understanding. Above all be kind to EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE! That girl a grade below you who seems to always be alone. Talk to someone new. Be thankful. Sit by that boy who is alone at the lunch table. Check up on your friends. Make someone new smile every day. It doesn’t matter what others think if you know you are doing the right thing. You, yes you, can be the one who is a leader. Start the spread of kindness. BE THE CHANGE.”


“Against the Uproar” by Erin M. from Washington. “Our lives will never really get easier. Although many problems may be solved, new ones will always come about, some worse than the previous ones. As tough as 2020 has been for most, there is a chance that 2021 will be tougher. As we exit the current year, many relax and feel relief. Many of us, on the other hand, enter the new year wary, on guard, and with our hackles raised. We have seen life when it gets especially tough, and we are ready for worse; and, as difficult as surviving this current year and its issues might have been, we are that much stronger, tougher, and more prepared to fight the challenges and monsters that will come about in the upcoming year.”


“Who am I?” by Keri S. from Massachusetts. “For 2021 here we come, I drew a piece that focuses on how I am currently feeling and expect to feel in 2021: stress from an identity crisis. I am still learning who I am and I find myself pulled in multiple directions and possibilities of who that might just be. From a psychological perspective as seen by Erikson’s 8 Stages of Development, teens are in an identity crisis where they figure out themselves, hence why my piece features such a topic.”


“Look Up to the Sky” by Kimbriah A. from Florida. “The theme ‘2021 Here We Come!’ is about optimism and positivity. 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, but I can personally say that’s it’s forced me to learn and grow. Instead of looking back at the tragedies we’ve been through, we have to look forward to the new possibilities we have in 2021.”


“Keep Swimming” by Ryann C. from Iowa. “This year has been difficult for so many people and everyone has been challenged in their own ways. My drawing represents the idea that we all need to keep swimming, just keep our heads above water a little longer, and we will get through this. A new year, with new hope is around the corner if we just keep swimming and don’t give up. 2021 here we come!”


“The Maryland Blue” by Britany M. from Maryland. “I love the beach and was at a beach then saw a crab.”


“Dancers in Motion” by Maya C. from New Jersey. “I chose dancers as a way of anticipating 2021 because of their different expressions in their moves. Dancers move differently and to their own interpretation but it’s all under the title of dance. This is similar to 2020 in a sense that so much is going on but they will all pass and eventually go into 2021, hopefully a better year.”


“Light After Death” by Madeline H. from Maryland. “A close friend of mine was mourning the accidental death of her cousin which inspired me to paint him smiling with a glowing blue surrounding him to embrace his life.”


“2021 Here I Come” by Ramesha P. “My interpretation of the theme is I am aiming to graduate in 2021 and I can’t wait to celebrate 2021.”


“The Butterfly Affect” by Lydia W. from California. “For ‘2021 Here We Come,’ I initially thought of the new year celebration as embracing new opportunities and looking towards a bright and unique future. I felt I would best interpret this idea by illustrating someone who is stepping into the future, saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new one. I always love to use symbols in my artwork, so in this piece, butterflies are used to symbolize the new and old years. The person is still holding the past year’s butterfly, as we are not quite yet in the new year, but is looking towards the new butterfly, with an excited expression on her face. The girl is also walking towards the new butterfly, and not standing still, symbolizing how time continues and progress never ends. The butterflies also represent the concept of the butterfly affect, how our own actions will dictate every single thing will happen in the future. I feel I can apply this concept to the beginning of the new year, as my own actions will determine my future career and livelihood, especially with so many new opportunities that will arise. For me personally, this new year will bring many changes to my life. I will be graduating high school, moving away to college, becoming an adult, and focusing on my work and education. In short, I have a lot of growing up to do. Although I have been wary of this new year in the past, I have begun to embrace this change as a new opportunity to grow as an individual, and find and pursue what I truly care about in life. This piece of art serves as a representation of my attitude towards 2021. While change can be scary at times, it is necessary to grow as a person and to embrace new ideas and experiences. I hope for a bright and exciting future, and I cannot wait to see what my past actions have determined for me.”

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