Former lead vocalist of the once popular Solomon Islands band, Apprentice, shares his passion for realistic art and the journey that got him to where he is now.

"I was once a lead vocalist striving to make a name in the music industry but then along the way, my interest shifted to realistic art," John Seda recalled.

His interest in realistic art goes as far back as his high school days.

Mr. Seda said as a young student in 1984, "I entered a competition and the judges from Japan picked me as the winner."

But the ambitious young man had his eyes on music and played a lead role in the Apprentice group that gained local popularity in the 90s.

"I left the music industry in 2003 and tried other means to earn some cash but nothing seemed to work out for me," he said.

It was in his last job that the boss caught him designing arts on paper and encouraged him to take up on the field of realistic art.

"I took on the advice and find the art really practical," Mr. Seda said.

Solomon Times was informed that it is not an easy task putting his arts together "because it takes up to 3 months to put one into a form of image and add details."

"My arts depict the general history of Solomon Islands from east to west based on significant themes for each province," Mr. Seda explained.

His focus is especially on traditional arts as it is "simple and unique".

"I use stone, wood and limestone to carve whatever comes to mind and once done, I soak the finished piece in tea for an hour, later leaving it out to dry naturally in the sun so that the stone maintains its natural look," Mr. Seda explained.

Asked on how he picked on the interest, Mr. Seda said his love for the art was from the influence of recognized arts family in Solomon Islands, "the Tangosia family".

In response to questions on the future of such hobby, Mr. Seda said that constitutional members should recognize the talented citizens and "find funds to support the market".

He said that youths from his suburb, White River in West Honiara, are now looking for a candidate to run in the next election, "someone who will prioritize the needs of the young generation, especially in the artistic field."

Mr. Seda has over the past five years been selling his crafts, and "my hobby has been a source of income for me".