Raw talent starts out unformed and dull. The beauty is still locked inside. But with training, time, and experience added to the mix, the raw ingredients start to take shape. The first uneven lines on a sketch pad or the beginning few words of a poem start the process. Each new step brings out another facet. Every new effort polishes away some of the rough spots. And out of those beginnings come these bright and beautiful results. Enjoy looking at and reading some of the gems from the 1998 New Era contest.