Art Kids

This kid's costumes are next level — because 'who wouldn't want to be a cute fluffy stuffed thing?'

Winnipeg teenager Tyler Malissa Ritchot loves making art — and creating elaborate costumes is their biggest passion.

Winnipeg teenager Tyler Ritchot loves making art — and creating elaborate costumes is their biggest passion

Tyler Malissa Ritchot poses with their mascot heads. (CBC Arts)

Halloween is usually when most people struggle with making costumes — but for 13-year-old Tyler Malissa Ritchot, it's an absolute joy year-round.

Tyler first got hooked on costume-making when they saw tutorials on YouTube. Then, they attended a mascot-making workshop at Winnipeg's Art City studios, a community art space that gives young people access to the tools and resources they need to make their creative ideas into real stuff — like the kind of oversized costumes they now specialize in. "[It] just caught my attention instantly and I was like, 'I want one, so I'm going to make one.'"

Watch the video:

13 year old Tyler Ritchot makes incredibly creative costumes in Winnipeg. 3:40

To begin making a costume, Tyler explains that you need to have a character to base the suit off of. Then, you use a variety of materials, like foam, to start constructing the head and other parts of the suit.

Tyler's first character was Toxie, an anime-inspired cross between a bunny and a dog. They'd been developing the character since the beginning of Grade 6, constantly drawing in their schoolbooks — so they decided to turn Toxie into a full costume.

Out and about in Winnipeg, Tyler isn't shy about dressing up — the Toxie outfit attracts lots of positive attention. "I feel like anybody should be who they are," says Tyler. "I feel like everybody should be accepted."

Tyler creates their costumes at Art City in Winnipeg. (CBC Arts)
Tyler's inspiration comes from anime with a mixture of dark and cute themes. (CBC Arts)
Toxie is the character that Tyler started drawing in the sixth grade. (CBC Arts)
Tyler has been visiting Art City since they were four years old. (CBC Arts)

Art Kids is a CBC Arts series that travels the country to find the next generation of groundbreaking creators in arts from painting, to dance, to poetry. Their accomplishments will amaze you — and might make you feel a little bad about yourself. But that's okay.​

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

Priscilla Galvez and Jeff Pavlopoulos

Priscilla Galvez is a Toronto-based Producer and Director. Most recently, she produced the BravoFACT short film The Emissary and is currently in post-production on a sci-fi action short The Drop In for Bell Media. Priscilla is in development on the web-series Off Kilter with director Alejandro Alvarez Cadilla as well as directing and co-writing the short film Wolf Alice, based on the short story by Angela Carter. Jeff Pavlopoulos is a Toronto-based writer, director and cinematographer striving to encounter the unfamiliar in the everyday. He is currently developing a short series, Secret Chiefs, about the invisible ties that bind us to one another, and the hidden, sometimes dangerous world that exists all around us.