Photographer Spotlight: Jay Talbot

1. Who is Jay Talbot? 

I am just a 26-year-old bearded dude trying to fund my fishing and hunting addiction with art and designs.

2. Who inspired you to start drawing? 

My grandfather was a huge inspiration before he passed a few years ago. I thought it was funny that he spent half of every year trying to paint some masterpiece for the local fair. It was inspiring that he was so into it, and I sorta see why now. He didn’t do it full time, but he sure did love painting.

3. Do you remember the first time you picked up a marker? How about a fly rod?

I remember the first time I did a series of art for fun when I was about 10 years old, and a real estate agent bought one of the pieces from me and framed it. It was an abstract piece with a sideways smiley face hidden in it- haha.

I first picked up a fly rod in 2013 fishing for bream and bass. Can’t describe the feeling of that first large mouth that ate the popper I threw out about twenty feet. A moment of “I did it” lol.

4. Do you see any parallels between fly fishing and creating art?

For sure, especially with my style. I try not see boundaries in order to achieve an unforeseeable outcome. Meaning, I have a vague idea of a piece that I want to draw or a fish that I want to catch in my head, but the act of drawing and the adventure has no rules of conventional thought. I don’t have every line planned for a drawing- it just happens. It may look different than what I was picturing but it’s cool. Similarly to fly fishing, I’m going to make something up and go where people don’t normally go to try to catch a fish. Awesome fish live in incredible places that you’d never think. One of the those “more about the journey than the destination” kind of things that I see as the parallel between fly fishing and creating art.

5. What is your favorite thing to draw?

Definitely flies. Somehow when I draw flies I don’t have to work that hard getting the proportions right. And they look cool.

6. What about favorite fish to catch?

Redfish! They may seem boring to some, but they do so many different things. If you sit and watch redfish, they will surprise you. I’ve seen them tail, seen them with their eyes out of the water, seen solo reds, seen 1,000 tailing reds at the same time, seen bull reds in shallow water, seen them at reefs, jetties, etc… I mean they are incredible because of how diverse they are.

7. If you were stranded on an island and could only have one fly, what would it be?

Probably a small black and purple seaducer… that fly is incredible.

8. We recently collaborated on a Grateful Dead inspired art series, tell me a little bit about this artwork? What makes you combine your love for fly fishing and grateful dead? 

Well, when I first got into fly fishing and going to Charleston, SC to catch redfish in the marsh, my buddy would always be playing grateful dead. I just started associating the grateful dead with the some of the most amazing times I’ve had chasing redfish in such a beautiful place. So when I would leave Charleston and go back to Columbia, I would listen to the grateful dead and draw fly fishing stuff. They just go hand and hand- both were introduced to me about the same time.

9. Do you consider yourself a “Dead Head”? What is a “Dead Head”?

That’s an onion of a question, essentially deadheads are people who would leave everything to follow the grateful dead around to every show. The stereotype of deadheads has probably evolved along with different era’s- between the 70′, 80’s, 90’s and now. I would probably call myself a closet deadhead. You might not be able to tell I’m a deadhead or a hippy, I am clean and don’t do drugs, but I do like the philosophy of breaking free of the mold and not having to become another number in society. I’m not a big fan of social constructs and I respect people a lot more when they follow their passions.

10. If you were going to pick one song to inspire a non “dead head” to listen to the band what would it be?

I would say “Eyes of The World” would be a good one to get a taste of the grateful dead. It’s one of the most played songs by them, and the lyrics let you see the world a little differently. It’s the lyrics that make the songs I think, most of it is outside of the box stuff. They do have very catchy songs as well, but I would say it’s better to listen to the complete sets to get a bigger picture.

11. I know you also do some great dog portraits. Do you have a favorite portrait you want to share with us?

Here’s an example of my favorite dog portrait that I’ve done so far.

12. Do you have any role models in the fly fishing or art world?

My bud Shafter Johnston of Bluewing Guide Service has been a role model for a couple of years now. He’s been getting me into hunting and teaching me more about fly fishing. I’ve learned a lot from him and he’s an inspiring guy.

13. What’s next for Jay?

More hunting and more fly fishing for sure. Hopefully, those trips will inspire more art and designs.

You can find Jay Talbot on Instagram @JayboArt

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