02. Interview with "Fans In the Mirror" Book Cover Contest Winner
Young Talent On The Rise
An Interview With
Jessie Gottlieb’s perfect adaptation of a young fan standing in front of a mirror while imitating Michael in one of his iconic poses dressed in an oversized jacket, shoes and classic fedora, won my heart the first time I saw it. It personified the book title Fans In The Mirror so completely; there was little doubt in my mind that it would become the winner of our Book Cover Contest.
The vision behind Jessie’s entry was just as sincere as her drawing, and as she explained in her cover letter to me, “I thought, man in the mirror and fans in the mirror. What MJ fan doesn’t on occasion stop to dance and pretend they’re as good as him, or pretend to be him? I know I do, and kids have a big enough imagination to see themselves actually as him. So this fan in the mirror sees himself as the man in the mirror, Michael Jackson.”
Jessie is seventeen years old and lives in
Valmai: Jessie how long have you been drawing?
Jessie: I started my drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil or anything else that could leave a mark on.
Valmai: Was there anything in particular you liked to draw at first?
Jessie: I always drew horses so when we moved to
Valmai: Well, we are very happy that you never gave up. When did you start drawing portraits? What inspired you most?
Jessie: Actually, I started listening to music and found my love for it. I began drawing my
Valmai: It’s wonderful that you are so close to your grandparents, Jessie. Tell me, when did you start drawing pictures of Michael?
Jessie: I grew up with all types of music. My dad was always playing music on our stereo
Valmai: You also draw collages of Michael, I understand?
Jessie: Yes! I began drawing him in collages, because I can never find just one picture I want to draw. The costumes, facial expressions and poses make it fun to draw him this way, and it’s a complete spin from just your smiling portrait.
Valmai: What are your goals and plans for the future?
Jessie: I will continue drawing him until my hands drop off. Even then, I’ll find a way to leave my mark somehow. Just because you’re a little weird or different, doesn’t mean you can’t shine. You shouldn’t stop doing something you love because someone else doesn’t like it or agree with it. You should be able to live your life the way you want to and not how everyone else expects you to.
Jessie won $1,000 in a recent District Scholarship Show that she entered along with some of her classmates, receiving very good reviews from the judges for her artwork. She plans to put this money toward College. We sincerely encourage and support her goals for a career in the field of art and we expect to hear great things about her in the future.
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