11-year-old Dušan Krtolica is a child prodigy artist from Serbia who creates mind-blowing drawings of wildlife. The fifth grade student at ‘Laza Kostic’ school in New Belgrade first began to draw when he was only two years old. He has already had three national solo exhibitions to his name – the first two by the age of eight. Dušan’s drawings are mostly pen-and-pencil works of various species of animals, both alive and extinct. He draws prehistoric animals, birds, insects, and also legendary knights.
Dušan’s knowledge of the animal world is remarkable. He knows about all the geological eras, and which animals roamed the earth during those periods. He knows all the 65 species of marsupials and can effortlessly recite their names. And when his parents bought him the most comprehensive encyclopedia of animals, it took him less than three weeks to learn it word for word. “I would have studied animals and published a book about them, but I’m going to draw all of them,” said Dušan, whose ambition is to become a Zoologist when he grows up.
According to Dušan, his first drawing looked like a whale. “My parents did not pay much attention to it, but later I began to draw more and more and I started to use huge amounts of paper a day and then they realized that I had talent.” Indeed, the young boy now goes through about 500 sheets of paper a week.
When Dušan’s parents first noticed his special talent, they took him to see a child psychiatrist who could give the talent some direction. The child expert was fascinated with the chubby, charming young boy. Everything about him – the way he spoke and dressed – seemed unusually attractive. But what struck the expert most was that Dušan seemed to do everything as though it was a game. He also noticed that the drawings display a high level of emotional intelligence.
As a child, Dušan’s father said that he was very energetic and absorbed a great amount of information. As time passed, and he became fascinated with animals and nature, his drawings became more specific. Dušan plays a game with his drawings, which is a part of the creative process. When he was eight, a teacher gave him a deliberately difficult task of drawing ‘Knight, the devil and the world’. The little boy performed remarkably well and later said: “I want to be a painter, I want to be a child.”
Dušan’s work is slowly gaining popularity all over the world. He’s been invited to visit several countries, including USA, Australia and India. He has over 5,000 friends and 7,000 followers on Facebook. And he’s immensely popular at school as well. One day, when he was late coming home from school, his worried parents decided to go out to look for him. They found him in the school yard, surrounded by a group of other kids. Dušan was busy making ‘marker tattoos’ of the kids’ favourite animals on their arms! Later, the kids didn’t want to wash up or take a swim because they didn’t want their tattoos destroyed.
Judging by the level of complexity in his drawings, and the fact that he’s only just 11-years-old, Dušan Krtolica is well on his way of becoming one of the best artists in the world. I suggest you remember his name.
Photos: Dušan Krtolica