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Can a Toddler Be a Professional Artist?

Margaret Lipman
Published Jun 11, 2024
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Displaying your young child’s artwork on the fridge is something of a rite of passage for parents. Yet the volume of artwork produced by some budding young artists can lead to difficult decisions. Which of the masterpieces made with finger paints, googly eyes, pom poms, and dried pasta pieces will make it into the scrapbook or memory box, and which will be discreetly relegated to the trash?

Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah’s mother probably doesn’t have to make those decisions about her son’s artwork. Instead, it seems that every painting the Ghanaian toddler creates is worth keeping or possibly even selling. At the tender age of 1 year and 152 days, Ace-Liam was recognized as the “World’s Youngest Male Artist” by Guinness World Records. Though Ace-Liam doesn’t turn 2 until July, the organization found that he met the criteria to be considered a "real" artist: independently creating artwork to a professional standard, exhibiting to the public, and selling some of his work.

Ace-Liam owes much of his artistic success (and his world record) to his mother, Chantelle Kuukua Eghan, an artist herself. In December 2023, she organized the toddler’s first exhibition, featuring 10 of Ace-Liam’s paintings, at the Museum of Science and Technology in the capital city of Accra. Nine of those paintings were sold, giving Eghan the evidence she needed to apply for her son’s world record. The show was attended by Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who was impressed enough to commission an artwork from the boy. To date, Ace-Liam has sold 15 paintings and now has a dedicated workspace in his mother’s studio where he can keep up his artistic output.

According to Eghan, the toddler will typically paint for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour in one sitting. Although he needs some help opening the acrylic paint bottles, Ace-Liam decides which colors and canvas size he wants to use for his vibrant abstract paintings. He will often leave a painting unfinished and return to it before eventually telling his mother when it is complete.

Interested in seeing some of Ace-Liam's paintings? Head over to the Instagram page devoted to his artistic career: https://www.instagram.com/ace_liam_paints.

Born to paint:

  • *Amazingly, Ace-Liam is not the youngest artist to have been featured in a solo exhibition. That record belongs to Arushi Bhatnagar (born June 2002) of Ujjain, India, whose first show took place when she was just 11 months old and has gone on to sell thousands of paintings.

  • *Eghan named Ace-Liam’s first painting The Crawl, which she intends to keep in the family rather than putting up for sale. The boy created it at the age of 6 months by, you guessed it, crawling through some paint on a canvas that his mother had placed on the ground for him. As a single mother, Eghan was trying to think of a way to keep her baby busy while she worked, and soon discovered that Ace-Liam was captivated by the paints.

  • *Eghan is the founder of Arts and Cocktails Studio in Accra, where patrons can take painting lessons while enjoying drinks. In addition to recognizing her son’s artistic talent and passion for painting, Eghan hopes that the attention brought by Ace-Liam’s world record will inspire other parents to help cultivate their children’s interests and skills, no matter how young they are.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
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Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
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