Plato, one of the greatest philosophers that ever lived, once said that “If you think your child’s academic studies are more important than the arts, think again.”

Pablo Picasso, someone who has had a significant influence on 20th-century art, once said that “every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Johnson Siosi, a 38-year-old artist from West Kwaio, says he always had an interest in the arts since he was a child. He says while his interest in schoolwork was not enough to keep him in school his interest in art grew over time.

Siosi says that his passion grew stronger during his high school days, and it was then that he knew he wanted to be an artist.

"I started just doing simple art painting, and over time I did more realistic paintings, the feedback I got when I first started encouraged me to continue," he said.

"Being an artist is a blessing for me and that is why I continue doing it, I just love being an artist.

“An art is unspoken thoughts behind the artists mindset, and it keeps part of that person alive. That’s what I think,” a soft-spoken Siosi said.

He says that art plays a vital role in preserving the beauty of our culture, our way of life, and transferring that onto a canvas is the power of art.

"Art has power, just like music, it touches the heart which is why I like it. I think art should be encouraged, so I encourage everyone who is interested in the field to continue with their arts.

"Find something you are interested in, maybe promote our culture or way of life, or something for the next generation to look at and wonder," Siosi said.

He says for a diverse country like Solomon Islands art provides another way to unite and help build understanding. He says art has the power to bridge cultures, especially if people focus on capturing the different aspects of our many cultures.

“I think it will help us as a country, the promotion of the culture of Solomon Islands through the arts.”