This painting prodigy is getting recognition for his colourful way of seeing the world
Syed Omer Asim is a high schooler with a knack for painting beautiful portraits
Syed Omer Asim's paintings are often a vivid display of colour, shapes and intricate detail.
At just the age of 16, some of his unique paintings are already being exhibited throughout the Greater Essex County District School Board Administrative Building.
His mom, Wajiha Asim, said he was only about eight months old when he first began showing a fascination for colour — and only about four when he first began experimenting with shapes, fonts and colours on his computer.
"He started writing alphabets on the computer using MS Paint. He would select 26 different colours for 26 alphabets. Then he would erase it and do it all over again. All the colours would be different from each other."
Asim, who has autism and is non-verbal, is currently enrolled in the Skills To Enhance Personal Success class at Belle River District High School.
Asim Khaliq said his son has a wonderful fascination with letters.
"He used to create his own fonts. He can create hundreds of different font types, which I cannot do and any person cannot just do," he said. "He's very particular about everything. So that's his strength."
Kelsey Auger has been the younger Asim's art teacher for three years.
She said she first started working with him with the goal of helping him figure out his style.
"We've discovered it's a lot of colour and shapes. It's really been a progression from where we started to where we are now" she said. "Even finding how to create depth in his paintings without blending, because he's not one to blend. Just building shapes on shapes."
Auger said she tries to guide him as he picks out colours and shapes for his painting.
"We're sort of working together on it, which is cool. We don't talk a lot. He paints and I guide him when he tells me what he wants to do next."
Khaliq said his son has always had a unique way of seeing the world.
"He cannot see depth. He cannot see light. He cannot see shapes. What he can see is colour," he explained.
"I see a face, but he sees a shape. Where I see one shape, he sees probably 20 shapes. Where I see one face... he sees more."
He said the painting prodigy is currently focused on creating portraits, though his art has featured elements of nature, people and animals in the past.
With files from Darrin Di Carlo