They were featured on national and international television and newspapers. They won national awards in adult competitions, exhibitions and inspire their peers with their artwork to achieve greatness at a young age. These 13-year-old twins, Max and Louis, from Okemos, Michigan are making their mark in their school, community, and are planning to branch out to the state.
Three years ago, Vivian Dwyer, a local artist, stumbled upon some of the Boyang Twins’ artwork at The Arty Party Studio workshop. “I had never seen a 9 year old draw a tree that way. Soon after watching Louis, I saw Max draw some creatures, and I got the same feeling from him, too. I told him to draw insects, and the rest is history. I knew that they were prodigies, but they had no idea what they were capable of,” said Dwyer, an art instructor who has won numerous awards at Arty Party competitions. Instantly, Vivian was starstruck by the artistic capability of these 9-year-old boys.
By just taking one glance at their work, she knew that with the Boyang Twins’ early found talent, in addition to her deep knowledge and rich history in art, partnering could be one of the best decisions they both make in their lives.
The Boyang Twins aspire to continue to impact their community with their metaphorical artwork. “We feel that our artwork has opened doors and helped us to communicate with our community. We showed our artworks in galleries, exhibitions and Lansing Arts Night Art,” said Max Boyang.
We also had the privilege to donate some proceeds from our artwork sale to Joey’s Wings Cancer foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing. While enjoying interacting with people at these community events, we hope that art can inspire youth to admire nature, work hard and keep developing their own skill,” said Louis Boyang.
Even with their early success, like many other highly successful creatives, undergoing obstacles and limitations tend to only increase as time progresses.
“A lot of the time the pressure came from ourselves,” said Max Boyang.”We like challenging ourselves to reach a point higher than what we could reach before. For example, we always try to do something different when we start working on a new piece. It is not that easy. Occasionally, we would slack off, but every time, the desire to become better pushed us to continue. While learning from others and our own mistakes, we keep developing our own styles.”
Their mother, Heidi, also agrees that due to the twins young success, comes additional pressures and concerns. “My husband and I want to make sure the boys don’t get distracted by all the praises, recognitions, and attention,” she said. “They are still young. They need to focus on developing, getting better, and not worrying too much about what other people think about them, or their artwork. That is also the reason why we declined all the commission requests. We want the boys to do what they like to do freely. That way, they can truly create the artwork from their hearts.”
What’s next? The boys have been loyal to their own styles and techniques for some time now, and feel like it’s time to expand to new approaches. “While we have developed our own styles with our artwork, we like experimenting with new approaches,” said Max. “We hope that we can improve, present and share our work with more people. Additionally, we’d like to reach out and share our experiences and skills with other kids our age,” said Louis.
We had the privilege to talk about our work in The People’s Church with kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing, and with autistic youth at the University of Washington,” said Max.