Ghanaian toddler named world’s youngest male artist

Ghanaian toddler named world's youngest male artist
Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah, the world’s youngest male artist.

Accra, Ghana | By Michael Wandati | A Ghanaian toddler, Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah, has been recognized by the Guinness World Records (GWR) the world’s youngest male artist, achieving this milestone at just 1 year and 152 days old.

The toddler’s mother, Chantelle Kukua Eghan, explained that it all began by accident when her son, then just 6 months old, stumbled upon her acrylic paints.

Eghan, an artist and the founder of Arts and Cocktails Studio—a bar in Accra, Ghana, that offers painting lessons—was seeking a way to keep her son occupied while she worked on her own art.

“I spread out a canvas on the floor and added paint to it, and then in the process of crawling he ended up spreading all the colors on the canvas,” she said.

And that’s how his first artwork, “The Crawl,” was born, Eghan, 25, told the Kampala Dispatch.

Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah, who was 1 year and 152 days old when he received the world’s youngest male artist title, began painting when he was just 6 months old.

After that initial discovery and with encouragement from his mother, Ace-Liam continued to paint. Eghan decided to apply for the Guinness World Record in June 2023.

By November 2023, Guinness World Records informed her that to break the previous record, Ace-Liam needed to exhibit and sell his paintings.

She organized Ace-Liam’s first exhibition (The Soundout Premium Exhibition) at the Museum of Science and Technology in Accra in January 2024, where nine out of ten of his pieces were sold, though she did not disclose the sale prices. This exhibition paved the way for their success.

The First Lady of Ghana (l) commissioned Ace-Liam to do a piece.

Subsequently, Guinness World Records confirmed Ace-Liam’s achievement and last week announced, “At the age of 1 year 152 days, little Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah from Ghana is the world’s youngest male artist.”

“When I opened the email I just broke down and thanked God,” Ms Eghan told the Kampala Dispatch.

Guinness World Records (GWR) did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the previous record holder for the youngest male artist.

The overall record for the world’s youngest artist is held by India’s Arushi Bhatnagar, who had her first exhibition at 11 months old and sold her first painting for 5,000 rupees ($60) in 2003.

Ace-Liam, who will turn 2 in July 2024, still loves painting and often joins his mother at her studio, where a special corner is set up just for him. He sometimes paints for just five minutes at a time, returning to the same canvas over several days or weeks, Eghan notes.

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Recently, he was seen running energetically around the studio but then focused intently on his painting for almost an hour. He chose green, yellow, and blue for his latest piece, rubbing the oil colors into the canvas with his tiny fingers.

Eghan mentioned that becoming a world record holder has not significantly changed their lives. She intends to keep Ace-Liam’s first painting, “The Crawl,” within the family. She hopes the media attention will inspire other parents to discover and nurture their children’s talents.

“He is painting and growing and playing in the whole process,” she says.

The prodigy, Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah has sold 15 paintings throughout his career so far, and is set to host an auction soon.