Sat at his easel quietly sketching away, Zak Trevett is mastering a skill that has now been internationally acclaimed. Miriam Phillips visits him in his Poundbury home to find out what’s in store for this rare talent.
It is not every day you come across a teenager as talented and passionate as Zak. In fact, taking age out of the equation, it is rare to talk to someone with such precise vision for their future as this 15-year-old.
His meticulous eye for detail and focus is extraordinary and there is an unusual calming way in which he describes his art that draws you into his world of colour and elaborate shapes.
It’s no wonder that from the age of six, Zak has been surprising his parents, teachers and peers with his artistic techniques far beyond children of the same age.
Sat in his Poundbury home, Zak displays his latest commissions with the confidence of a seasoned artist and his room is his own gallery of inspiring artwork, big bold colourful works of art and photos of him meeting his idol – Californian Santa Cruz artist Jim Phillips.
Last year, Zak was even recognised internationally – when he appeared in the Brazilian Rolling Stone magazine – after Jim predicted Zak would have a future career as a ‘world class artist.’
It all started when Zak’s mum Fiona contacted the artist to send him one of Zak’s early drawings in 2009 – he was just nine at the time.
A year later the whole family trekked to California for a holiday in 2012 and took the opportunity to visit Zak’s artistic idol. Ever since their meeting, this world famous artist has been mentoring Zak.
Speaking to Celebrating Poundbury magazine, Jim describes how he respects Zak’s love for old fashioned sketching techniques and his obvious commitment. “It’s been a pleasure to connect artistically with Zak Trevett over the years and impart whatever insight I had for his questions,” he says.
Jim goes on to say how he has mentored many artists around the world since the 90s to impart his 50 years of experience in commercial artwork and adds that, “if I were running a talent contest I would declare Zak Trevett the winner.”
“Besides having such amazing abilities at an early age – I first became aware of his talent when he was 10 – Zak has been very responsive to my suggestions, taking in everything I told him and showing me the results in his painting. He’s a profoundly prolific, persistent and potent perfectionist! You can certainly expect great art from Zak Trevett in the very near future.”
This is certainly high praise for this Thomas Hardye schoolboy from this internationally acclaimed artist who has designs all over surfboards and skateboards around the globe.
It’s no wonder that Zak is aiming high, you only have to look at his work to see how much passion and dedication goes into every creation.
Sitting in his room, working away on his beloved architect’s drawing board, which was lovingly handed down to him from his grandfather, Zak is mastering a new airbrushing technique with new equipment he was able to buy with proceeds from private commissions. As well as trying his hand at laser cutting at school, he has recently attended a new course at the nearby Dorset Centre for Creative Arts to learn further techniques.
One of his proudest accomplishments to date is the commission made by his former school – Dorchester Middle School – of an aquarium for their main reception. He visibly lights up describing how his legacy will remain at the school. He is now building up a gentle waiting list of interested people wanting to commission a picture for their walls.
With the dedication of an Oxford scholar, Zak takes the advice from Jim and works constantly to improve. It is heartwarming to hear that he relentlessly practices his signature to get it just right. It’s these little things that strike you and make you realise that Zak is still a 15-year-old teenager with very real insecurities just the same as anyone else.
Standing beside him every step of the way is Zak’s proud family. Father Mick has unbounded enthusiasm for his son’s future. “He was just six when we realised he could draw like an adult, it was just awesome,” he proudly announces. “But, Jim’s influence has been massive, he is legendary and truly inspires Zak in a way no one else can and has totally changed the way we think about art.”
You can’t help but feel excited for this rare talent right at the beginning of his career.
It’s the glimmer in Zak’s eye that gives it away, his humble but confident expression when you discuss Jim’s expectations for his future. There’s something about Zak that is really quite unique, and I can’t wait to see where that takes him. As Jim said, if there was a talent contest, Zak would already be the winner.
We were proud to feature Zak in Issue 2 of Celebrating Poundbury
For more details about Zak and his work visit his website www.zaktrevett.com