An illustrator who is originally from Rolla was honored at the 29th annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles earlier this year.

James J. Eads, who now lives in Orange County, Calif., was honored April 14 and was among a few select illustrators chosen from thousands of entries from 30 different countries.

Eads was presented his award by Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson.

The annual event celebrates the winners in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests before a packed hall of more than 1,200 guests and thousands more who were logged on to watch the event as it streamed live via the Internet.

Eads was one of 12 illustrator winners making it further than some several thousand others who entered the international competition.

Eads, a freelance illustrator and art instructor, received his bachelor of arts degree from California State University in Fullerton, Calif., and began his career as a public school teacher, until he was quickly hired away as a graphic designer for the furniture industry, where he worked for the next 15 years.

He became the owner and head designer for VIP Arts, a rubber art stamp and craft supply company. With VIP, he had the opportunity to teach art classes across the country.

Once again, teaching became an important part of his life, leading him to teach art to the incarcerated juveniles and adults at the Santa Ana Jail.

For the past decade, Eads has worked at creating an art program for elementary schools, working with children in grades kindergarten through six, as well as special needs classes. He has recently retired to work on more personal projects.

Eads works primarily in pen-and-ink and watercolor but is not above drawing in crayon with his granddaughter. Eads is already hard at work on writing and illustrating children's books.
The Rolla native has just been published in “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of The Future Volume XX1X.”

This book contains the winning stories which were assigned to be illustrated by the winning illustrators, which are paid assignments.

When released it will be available on Kindle,, and major bookstores as well as both a mass market paperback and an e-book. Eads illustrated the story “Scavengers” by winning writer Shannon Peavey.

Each illustrating and writing contest winner was presented his or her trophy by contest judges at the ceremony and combined cash prizes and royalties of over $30,000, and their story with artwork published in the the book.

The Writers of the Future writing contest was initiated by L. Ron Hubbard in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the writing contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was created in 1988.

The 276 past winners of the illustrating contest have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, graced 594 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 36 TV shows and 46 major movies.

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