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A thirteen year old artist may be a professional already

By Ruiti He


Essey Habtu is a 13 year old boy in Canada. He started oil painting about a year ago and has already sold multiple paintings. He has even started to surprise himself. “I never thought in a million years that I would ever sell any of my pieces, because I was like, ‘No, I'm a kid.’… It really shocks me every time someone buys my art.” Essay said.


The boy started painting when his art teacher told him to try using acrylic painting after she noticed his skill for art. Once getting good with acrylics, the same art teacher encouraged him to try oil painting since it was even harder.


His art teacher said that she was surprised once she looked at his first few paintings. “I said to him, 'This is absolutely amazing.' And I knew he was already talented, but I didn't realize how well he could paint in oils.”


Once the Black Lives Matter protests last year, Essey was inspired to paint people of color. During this time, he decided to start posting his paintings on Instagram.


“The fact that he's 13 years old and can draw and paint so amazingly, I said to him, ‘You have to get out there. You have to put your art out there.’”


Essey would continue painting more oil paintings of people of color. He also said that he enjoys painting the faces of people he recognizes or faces that he finds interesting online. Not after too long, he started getting commissions and earning some money.


The boy claims that painting lets him calm down and it brings him a sense of peace, like a walk in nature. Adding onto that, he also stated that painting places him in a special kind of zone. “It feels like time just stops, and when I’m done, it speeds up again all of a sudden. It’s weird.”


He says that his next goal would be to open a store online to sell his paintings and try starting a business.


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