When 12-year-old Carter Noseworthy picked up a new hobby during the pandemic lockdown, he never dreamed he’d get paid to do it.
The Halifax boy, who has always had an interest in drawing and architecture, decided to teach himself watercolour painting while stuck at home during Nova Scotia’s third wave of COVID-19. He has since taken a brief online course to brush up on his technique.
After starting up an Instagram account for his work and sharing his story with CBC News, he has been working non-stop to keep up with the demand for commissions.
“I’m definitely surprised, ’cause at first, I just went to Michaels [arts and crafts store] one day to experiment with watercolour in one of my sketches and then it just gradually became this business,” he said.
Since getting his first commission in May, he’s now completed close to 40, having sent his original pieces and countless prints all over North America, and across the ocean to countries such as France, Turkey, and Singapore.
Of all the world-famous buildings the aspiring architect has captured on paper, his favourite was the main Parliament building in Canada’s capital city. He said the shapes and colours worked nicely together.
“I’m very lucky, because I’m getting paid for something that I enjoy,” he said.
“I think it’ll help me in the future because those great buildings that I like to draw, they’ve been designed by architects. And if I draw them, it’ll help to understand how to design buildings when I’m older.”
But it’s not just iconic landmarks — he’s also had work commissioned by local businesses, like the Waegwoltic Club, and Field Guide restaurant in Halifax.
Then there’s the more sentimental pieces, including an original painting of his school as a year-end gift to his teacher and several commissions to paint people’s childhood homes.
“It made me feel good knowing that they asked me to draw something that they feel connected to,” he said.
Creativity runs in the Noseworthy family. Both his parents are artists in their own right.
His Instagram page is managed with the help of his mother, Colleen Wade Noseworthy, who never ceases to be impressed by her son’s multitude of talents.
“I watch him, and he’s so fast, it’s almost like his hand is moving and he doesn’t even have to think about it,” she said.
“What looks like a scribble, when it’s all put together, they’re windows and doors and fine details. I think that’s just a gift.”
$1 per sale to Autism NS
The price for each original piece varies depending on the amount of time and materials required to make it, but they average around $100. Prints sell for $20 and are sold locally at the Village Emporium in Chester, N.S.
For each piece, Noseworthy donates a dollar to Autism Arts, a program run by Autism Nova Scotia that helps young people on the spectrum explore self-expression through art.
“He has several friends who are on the spectrum, and he knows how important it is to work with art, and what it can do for you,” his mother said.
For now, Noseworthy is tackling one last commission before temporarily scaling back his watercolour business to focus on his next chapter — starting Grade 8.