Sarasota Native to be Honored in Hollywood at Illustrators Awards Event

Sarasota Native to be Honored in Hollywood at Illustrators Awards Event

Illustrations by Ringling College of Art and Design senior, Zaine Lodhi 

Sarasota, Florida native and Ringling College of Art and Design student, Zaine Lodhi ’22, will be honored in Hollywood as a winner in the Illustrators of the Future Contest at The Taglyan Complex on Friday, April 8th.  

In addition, his art has earned him a cash prize and will be published in the international bestselling anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38. Prior to the black-tie awards gala, Zaine will attend a week-long workshop with some of the top professionals in the industry. Zaine is in contention for the grand prize of $5,000 and the Golden Pen award which will be announced at the awards event.

Zaine Lohdi was born in 1999 in Sarasota, Florida and is a graduate of Booker High School. He feels as if his path as an illustrator was predestined – he has known the trajectory of his life since childhood. Zaine was surrounded by incredible fantasy art from a young age, collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and whatever comics he could get his hands on. The art of Frank Frazetta, Alex Ross, and Gerald Brom were pivotal in his stylistic development.

Zaine is currently studying Illustration with a Visual Development (concept art) focus at Ringling College of Art and Design. He placed the most importance on programs that value an unwavering work ethic and emphasize preparation for the workforce. He has a strong classical painting background fostered by professors who specialize in figure and landscape painting, and he combines traditional painting and drawing skill sets with his visual library to produce concept art for games and film. Currently, he is a student freelance illustrator looking to join a studio and make a mark in the video game industry upon graduation.

The Contest, one of the most prestigious writing and illustrating competitions in the world, is currently in its 34th year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction.

The Illustrators of the Future Contest judges include, Bob Eggleton (11 Chesley Awards and 7 Hugo Awards), Larry Elmore (Dungeons & Dragons book covers), Echo Chernik (graphic designs for major corporations including Celestial Seasonings tea packaging), Rob Prior (art for Spawn, Heavy Metal comics, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ciruelo (Eragon Coloring Book).

The Writers of the Future Contest judges include, Tim Powers (author of On Stranger Tides), Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert (Dune prequel series), Robert J. Sawyer (Quantum Night), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series, The Stormlight Archive), Larry Niven (Ringworld), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), David Farland (Runelords), and Katherine Kurtz (Deryni series) to name a few.

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 to 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 very successful. 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 inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 36 anthology volumes and awarded over $1,000,000 cumulatively in prize moneys and royalties.

For more information about the Contests, go to Learn more about Ringling’s Illustration program here: 

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest Ringling College news in your inbox.