Scribbling with markers and crayons is a skill that sets the foundation for learning how to write and draw. It also helps with visual processing and memory.
Through Creative Art, children may be able to represent or recreate experiences that they can not verbalise. Most children enjoy a good messy painting experience which allows them express their creativity.
There are however a few children who have been known to show a particular level of prowess that sets them a few steps higher than the others and we are meeting one of such in this collaborative article, at age eleven.
At eleven years of age, what should be or what is the major pre-occupation of a child?
A child in Nigeria?
A child in Kenya?
A child in South Africa?
A child in Libya?
A child anywhere in the world?
At eleven years of age, I was busy reading, reading and reading. Consuming knowledge…not creating anything.
I am really happy with my childhood with no regrets whatsoever. However, there is the saying that give honor to whom honor is due. Every child has a different path to tread in life; environmental manipulation may alter destinies however, the choices we each make, determines the overall outcome later in life.
There is an eleven-year-old child, somewhere in Western Africa, creating, creating and creating! About thirteen months ago, Team LR editors were first contacted about this prodigy by a doctor in Lagos. It has taken the editorial team, that length of time, to deliberate, agree on his collaboration and being a minor, get the consent of his managers. This prodigy is most inspiring and worthy of celebration.
In just 2 hours, on the 3rd of July 2018, President Emmanuel Macron of France was recreated! This amazing 11 year old, created his portrait on canvas at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos.
Macron was so impressed that he touched heads with this very special 11 year old creation of the Creator. Even the late legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti, must have smiled down on this child on that day.
Like all prodigies, this one too is not alone. He has two people, who serve as a propellant and platform to encourage his work. Waris, Wole and Ayo, have united in Art, to change the Pan-African narrative forever.
My name is Kareem Waris Olamilekan, I am eleven years old and I live with my parents. I have two other siblings. I am the middle child.
My upbringing has been kind of difficult and stressful even though I live with my parents. I go to school, but I have always been very happy whenever I draw anything. I would spend my time creating pictures after pictures and portraits after portraits.
Then, I met Ayo and Wole who are the founders of Ayowole Art Academy. With them, I gradually perfected creating images that look like high resolution pictures using pencil and charcoal. It is called Hyper-realism (Hyperialism if you wish to spell it in the American way) and mirrors real life images.
I am one of the students being trained by Ayodeji Aladejare and Adeniyi Adewole Wasiu. They encourage me a lot and push me to take on new challenges.
Their joint Art School was created in 2014. The brand covers painting, drawing, sculpture and makeup effect. This duo who are great mentors to many of us, attended and graduated from Abbeyrian Art. They have a flourishing online market while using their homes as the workshops. They have a strong Christian background and both attend the same church called the Salvation Kingdom Church. Together with them, my ideas and output has become unlimited; we are united in art, drawing on our society and joint experiences for our unique creations.
We are united in Art and Art is life. Life has its good days and the days it just happens. Teamwork pays…teams can evolve and the dynamics can change but overall, mutual respect for each other, sustains a united front.
We have our challenges; the bottom of our iceberg is not a walk in the park. One key thing is funds and the lack thereof. The other is the attitude of our immediate environment to art while yet another is the socio-cultural attitude of our people to age. Many times, people take a look at us and remark that we are too young, looking behind our shoulders as if to see the older clones who are doing the work before them. Many have had to sit down and watch us at work to cure their doubts. Despite all of these, there is no stopping us because if art is life and life is art, it only stands to reason that very soon, to live, many will have to seek art out. We will be here, very ready to supply the need.
My vision is to be among the great artist like Stanley Arinze and Michealangelo. I always seek to surpass my own last achievement and my advice to other children is that they should try and discover themselves while they are very young. To the adults in our societies, I will plead that they encourage their children in “the things the children wish to do” and not “the things they, the adults and parents think or want them to do”.
I remain Waris, united in Art with Wole and Ayo. I look forward to not just clients but many more talents joining us.
Our dear readers, you have read it from this eleven year old himself! Together with his mentors Ayo and Wole, these 3 are re-writing the history and plotting a future for Hyperrealism, sculpture and makeup effect on our continent. Go on, tell us in the comments section, what you think of this trio or better still, how you can enable them to change the narrative that is Art in their part of the world.
*All images and videos provided by and used with the express permission of Ayo Wole Art and Waris Kareem*
**Many thanks to Eryho Obodo and Loretta Ogboro-Okor; the lead editors for this inspiring collaborative piece on the e-motivational space**