Rising Star: 15-year-old makes paintings that sell for thousands

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-01-07 12:54


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Who is he?

Niam Jain painting in his studio.

Niam Jain, 15, can’t speak, but has an incredible gift for art. (Submitted by Nina Jain)


Niam Jain


Toronto, Ont.



Claim to fame

Jain has autism. He has limited speech abilities and fine motor skills challenges, but has discovered his talent for art.

He paints in the style of abstract expressionism and art experts are taking notice.

Jain has had several solo exhibitions across Canada. The paintings are sold as quickly as they are created. Some have even sold for $5,000.

He’s only been painting for three years.

One of Niam Jain's oil paintings.

Jain has trouble opening cans and squeezing paint, so his mom is often in the studio to help. (Submitted by Nina Jain)

How it happened

Jain’s parents discovered his artistic talent accidentally. They were looking for an activity for him to do in the summer so they bought some canvas and paints.

He was only 12 years old at the time.

According to his mom, Nina, Jain is inspired by the environment that surrounds him.

“[Niam] paints what he sees and feels. He paints in layers allowing the viewer to have a conversation with Niam.”

Niam Jain modelling with his artwork as the backdrop.

Jain is inspired by Jean-Paul Riopelle and Gerhard Richter, abstract expressionist artists. (Submitted by Nina Jain)

There’s more

Jain has sold more than 50 paintings worldwide and has established an online shop where his sells his art prints on mugs, T-shirts, scarves and greeting cards.

He is also pursuing modelling.

In 2017, he became the youngest recipient of the ANOKHI Awards, which recognize achievements of people from the South Asian community.

ANOKHI is a South Asian entertainment, lifestyle, media and events company.

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