Meet Kareem Olamilekan Waris, The Gifted 11-Year-Old Hyperrealist Artist


By Daniel Orubo

Over the past two years, we’ve been celebrating some of Nigeria’s most gifted hyperrealist artist — from Chiamonwu Ifeyinwa Joy to Kelvin Okafor — and now, we turn out attention to another who’s deservedly rising in the ranks: 11-year-old Kareem Olamilekan Waris.

The self-taught pre-teen, who started drawing when he was only six-years-old, hones his craft by drawing hyperrealistic portraits of his friends; cartoons he loves; comics he reads; and illustrations from textbooks and newspapers.


According to Kareem, his biggest inspirations are the Italian icon, Michelangelo and Arinze Stanley Egbe, the hyperrealist aficionado who took home the award for ‘World’s Best Self Portrait’ at last year’s American Art Awards.

Speaking with BBC about his work, Kareem said:

“I get my inspiration from the things going on around me, especially my family. I want to see my work among the great artists, in museums.”

Unlike most hyperrealist artists, who stick to just one medium, Kareem’s work is a lot more diverse, as he draws on multiple surfaces — canvas, faces, walls — using pens, pencils and acrylic paint. His hope is to one day become a “great artist”, and he is clearly working hard to achieve that dream.

You can check out more of his work right here.

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Mother and child Waspa…. its in me

A post shared by kareem waris (@waspa_art) on

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