Talia (Hayward) Melton
From Zambian orphan to inspiring artist, Talia’s journey is both heartbreaking and hope-filled.
Growing up as an orphan in Zambia, Talia (Hayward) Melton had no money, no opportunity and—of course—no parents. Bi-racial and bullied, her early years were difficult at best. But times have changed. Talia has a beautiful family of her own, limitless opportunities and enough money to make breathtaking art out of it.
Since moving to the United States, Talia has found extended family she never new she had, as well as the chance to pursue a career as an artist and give back to kids in Zambia who grew up just like her.
“I was fighting a battle that I don’t think anybody paid much attention to. I was struggling within. I’m bi-racial and I just didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in anywhere. That’s the biggest struggle that I went through was just not having a place. I remember walking to school—I would have a group of kids waiting on me. They used to sing a little song, “I’m not white enough…I’m not black enough.”
I had nobody to turn to and say, ‘Hey, I’m struggling…can somebody help me with this’ So I kind of went into my own little corner and my own little world.”
Talia Hayward is a Zambian born artist with an instantly recognizable style. Growing up as an orphan in a third world country had its challenges, including often being deprived of the basic means to create art. It’s ironic then that, today, Talia’s mosaics are literally made of money…containing extremely fine detail achieved through painstaking effort and thousands and thousands of coins. Talia also appeared on Big Brother Africa 7 and runs the non-profit Thankful Thinking with her husband Brett.