Inspiring Interviews | Jaybo Talbot

I'd like to introduce y'all to a friend I have known for eons, but did not know his immense artistic talent until just a couple of years ago. Jay, or "Jaybo" Talbot, and I both grew up and went to high school together in Columbia. I asked him a few questions so we can all get to know him and his creative process a little bit better. And Charleston friends, Jay will be moving down here very soon! Take a peek at his amazing pieces at

So, Jaybo, what's your story?

I was born and raised in Columbia, SC. I got into fishing all of a sudden in 9th grade. I really fished everyday that summer- rain or shine for 3 months straight. It was a summer that really propelled my lifelong journey as a fisherman. 

Fast forward to my senior year in college, I start getting interested in flyfishing for redfish on the coast. I got a buddy of mine to take me flyfishing for them and ended up catching one on fly my very first trip. That single fish probably propelled my art career the most, because that feeling of catching a powerful fish in the lowcountry just captivated me. 

Having to go back home to Columbia, I couldn't stop thinking about catching redfish on the fly. So when I had to squeeze a minor into my last semester of college I figured I'd draw what was on my mind the most in art studio. I also chose art studio because I couldn't get into any other minor without taking an extra semester. So when I started drawing fish and lures, I started to get a lot of attention on Instagram when I posted my class projects. Ended up paying my rent and gas bill with the commissions outside of class that semester. 

That's how it all got started, and when I started getting excited when I saw how I could connect my passion of fishing with a career in art. 

 What do you love most about your day to day schedule?

I love my freedom. I love being able to put down the pen in order to go find "new inspiration" at one of my fishing holes. It usually ends up fueling my fire and is usually how a new style is born. 

Favorite time of year?

Spring! So much wildlife is moving and sooo many awesome things to observe in nature during this time.  

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and what would you do?

I really want to explore remote places in the Amazon rainforest to fly fish for all types of species of fish.

Favorite food?

Mustard fried venison.

When did you know you had a knack for drawing fish?

It was definitely during one of my senior class projects in college when classmates would have to walk around the class room to look at other people's works. I noticed a bunch of people crowding around my fish drawings... That's the first time I really saw I had a special knack for it. 

Favorite rock and/or critter:

I really like sandstone, especially since I found a fossil in one once! I really like fishing minks. Really nice surprise whenever I see one in the marsh!! 

Who has had the most influence on you and your art?

3 people: Capt. Harry Tomlinson for showing me the world of flyfishing. Tripp Derrick for showing me that you can make it as an artist. And finally, Paul Puckett for showing me you can make it as a fish artist.

Drawing and painting such intricate fish and flies takes a ton of time I imagine. How do you set aside time to do this?

I definitely take my time and never stress too much about finishing something quick. Although I've had a few all nighters trying to finish a piece for a deadline. Other than that I see an open time in my schedule and draw/paint while the inspiration is there, and as soon as I'm not really excited about drawing a piece, I put the pen down till the next day. 

What has been the most exciting thing to happen in your art career to date?

I would have to say being commissioned several pieces by Chris Williams, the owner of Williams Knife Company. It was just pieces to hang in his office, but to have an incredible artist/entrepreneur to want your art in their office is an awesome feeling. 

 Favorite fish to fish for:

Redfish (so far!)

What sort of advice would you tell someone who wanted to be an artist full time?

I would tell them to find a style that is their own. You want people to look at your work and know exactly who did the piece. Once you have that, do everything you can to show people. You aren't going to make it unless you have a volume of people seeing your art. This leads to deals and hopefully a snowball affect will start in your career!  

Serious Throwback from high school... Not sure what I was thinking with the bangs, but Jay looks fantastic as always!