Author's blurb: I've never been a natural when it comes to art. It was only when I mistakenly took an illustration class at the university that I realized that this skill can be learned without natural talent. From there I became interested in watercolors, which then dissolved as a self-taught hobby.
For 9-year-old Rayyan, however, this ability was natural. Sure, his mother Sarah is an artist, but she wasn't even the one who taught him to do it.
"To be honest, I'm not sure where exactly he learned this skill because back then I was baking more than art. So I wouldn't believe he picked it up from me per se," she told Vulcan Post.
She remembered a time when he first picked up pencil and paper at the age of 4. He scribbled and drew anything that piqued his interest at the time.
Some recurring motifs would be LEGOs, the KLCC skyscraper, outer space, Santa Claus, and movie scenes, the latter of which even shot Rayyan's artwork to the point of virality, but more on that later.
Promote the talent
My watercolor endeavors never lasted more than a year. When I started to work, I was too busy to pick up my brushes. Even so, they are still sitting in the corner of my desk hoping that maybe one day I will return to them.
Sarah's art hobby also became a dormant past for a while. She later took an art class at Mont Kiara to resume and has followed him as a career for about two years. Her works can be found on her IG senisara.my.
Sarah is a full-time artist herself / Photo credit: senisara.my
When she was 6, Rayyan also wanted to take her art classes. However, the group classes weren't suitable for children, so Sarah looked for another tutor to lead his class.
They eventually landed on the founder of Amcorp Malls Artists' Corner, Khalid MS, who remains Rayyan's art teacher to this day.
The two share a penchant for art and discuss and exchange techniques that they learned independently from each other.
Sarah added that in addition to his art classes, Rayyan has also taken up new methods from YouTube tutorials to further his education. These areas include drawing characters, for example.
“Rayyan, with or without an art class, draws every day. He loves it that much, ”said Sarah.
No matter how busy his schedule is, Rayyan will always squeeze in some time for his art / image Credit: Senirayyan
Rayyan is 9 years old now and takes time to devote himself to his art. From going to school online to cycling to meeting friends playing virtual card games, he would still take the time to draw.
Virality at the age of 9
Combining character drawings and a love of movies, Rayyan recently went viral for his compilation of P. Ramlee sketches. Sarah was proud and amused at the same time and shared it on Twitter, where it received a lot of praise from followers.
His drawings of P. Ramlee were made when he came across some of the actor's films / Image Credit: Sarah's Twitter
In fact, these aren't Rayyan's only fans. Since taking lessons under Khalid, the duo have been selling their pieces at an art booth in the Amcorp Mall in front of the MCO.
“In 2019, Khalid asked if I would like to open an art booth with Rayyan for a Collectors Pick event at Amcorp Mall. It then led us to have a permanent art booth every weekend. The rest is history, ”suggested the artist's mother.
And Rayyan is not a shy kid. The excited young artist never hesitated to share the stories behind his artwork and how it came about when dealing with clients.
His art cards are sold for RM10 for A5 and RM40 for A3. Tote bags cost RM40, while notebooks and magnets cost RM25 and RM10, respectively. Sales could vary, but there was always something going on every weekend.
He likes to sell his merch at stands / Image Credit: senirayyan
What does the blooming illustrator want to be when he grows up? "He wants to be an astronaut, and after he comes back to Earth he wants to be a doctor," chuckled Sarah.
With the latter ambition, his mother plans to buy him some books on anatomy to further and expand his knowledge.
"Personally, I think it's too early to tell, but whichever way he goes, I'll support him through and through. That's the only clear answer. I encourage him to explore and try things out, in which he is interested because we never know. "
Bottom line: His art teacher deserves credit for providing the opportunity to sell Rayyan's works of art. Not only does this give a child the necessary reassurance that their artwork is admired, but it also exposes them to the future when they follow their mother to pursue art as a career.
- Find out more about Sarah and Rayyan's artwork here and here.
- You can find more Malaysian startups that we've covered here.
Selected image source: Sarah