As children, our life was only about playing, eating and sleeping. Since not all humans are the same, some children are born different like Edmund Thomas Clint from Kerala, who before reaching the age of 7 astonished the world with his precision in art and created over 25,000 paintings!
Born in Kochi, 1976, Clint’s tryst with art came even before he turned 1. He drew a perfect circle on the floor with a chalk at an age when kids can’t even hold a pencil properly.
His father, Joseph’s friend Mohanan was an artist and it is said that he was the one who inspired little Clint. The toddler would sit patiently with Mohanan and observe him paint.
His parents were supportive of their son’s talent and brought him a box of coloured chalks to draw with. Joseph then bought him a new box of crayons with which, Clint covered the walls of the house with his doodles.
There were days when he would finish 100 paintings in a day!
The financial condition at home wasn’t good but Joseph, on all of his outstation trips from office, would buy art supplies for the toddler.
Mohanan recognized Clint’s talent earlier than anyone. He knew that Clint had the ability to create something extraordinary. Upon Joseph’s insistence, he agreed to mentor the little one.
After Clint turned three he was diagnosed with a kidney disease that doctors informed were fatal. He came out of the condition alive with the help of a homoeopathic doctor Joseph Abraham. The painful process didn’t deter his will to paint. Clint continued to explore the depths of his creative mind.
A time came when Clint, 5, won an art competition that was meant for children under 18!
His artworks included drawings of animals and mythological characters. He was a master at portraying the beauty of daily life. One day Clint and his father witnessed a traditional Theyyam performance. He was so pleased with the dance that he put it on canvas in a near perfect condition.
However, his career came to an abrupt end when the kidney ailment caught hold of him again, a month before his 7th birthday. After his demise, during an exhibition, a group of performers spoke to his father about the same Theyyam painting and said ‘the painting displayed here is the Theyyam of Muchilottu Bhagavathy. When we perform the elaborate process of Theyyam makeup, we deliberately leave it unfinished. We fear that if the makeup is complete, the artist will die soon. This Theyyam is absolutely complete and perfect,’ according to a Better India report.
He lived a short life but his legacy is still alive in Kochi and in the hearts of art lovers all over the world!