Youth Studio Ambassador, The Value of Tenacity and The Myth of Natural Talent.
In early 2022 at age 13, young Maito emailed ART101 politely asking for permission to join the new Youth Studio Program. From the outset Maito showed a dedication to soaking up skills and putting in additional practice outside of our studio sessions. Students of all ages are encouraged to continue with 'homework' but we avoid calling it so, since it is often associated as a negative chore.
Often people will refer to a good artist as 'talented', this may seem a compliment on the surface but it fails to acknowledge that good artists work to become so. Apart from a handful of savants, artists who achieve good results do so through dedication and time spent putting in the 'flight hours'; that is practice, practice and more practice. Suggesting artistic ability is a natural born talent not only discounts the untold hours of effort behind the scenes (in the studio) but also serves as a gatekeeper to other would-be artists who don't feel like 'a natural'. Art skills are learned skills and to become a good artist it is no different to becoming an accomplished pianist, athlete, singer etc. Training and practice are paramount to success. Just one of our studio mantras is, 'Tenacity precedes Talent'.
Fast forward to the present and Maito's time in the studio and tenacity have seen him rack up a string of wins. Not only has Maito produced an impressive portfolio but so too, collected awards along the way. 2022 saw the young artist win The People's Choice Award at the Junior Doyle's and First Place, Endangered Species in the Sunshine Coast Regional Council's Wild at HeArt competition. Maito spent last year focusing on charcoal drawing, a good foundation for seeing light and shade.
At the beginning of this year, Maito embarked on his soft pastel journey - electing to work on pastel pencil portraits. Showing the same tenacity, Maito has produced a number of pastel works including the 2023 Jnr Doyle's People's Choice Award winning piece; a portrait of his grandma's cat, Haru. This same piece was awarded the 'Encouragement Award' by the judges. After a year and a half of studio tuition, Maito has gathered 4 art awards and proven himself a great ambassador for the studio. I look forward to further guiding Maito's artistic development with oil painting on the not too distant horizon.