“God gives each of us something at birth. A person doesn’t become an artist – he is simply born an artist,” …and so it began for Martiros Manoukian, the artist born on August 5, 1947. His talent emerged at an early age and he began painting seriously at age 11. Even as a child, Martiros exhibited his great enthusiasm for freedom, adventure, and nature. Full of energy and the desire for self-expression, he was already rebelling against the status quo, conformity, and anything “collective” in character. Once, after skipping school, he reappeared with a painting in hand, explaining that he couldn’t attend school because, “Nature grabbed me and seduced me… and I had to paint it.” That painting eventually won first prize at his art school in the Soviet Union. His unusually advanced artistic ability enabled him to enter the Academy of Art in Yerevan in 1967, directly from high school. He also traveled to and studied at the academies in Moscow and Leningrad and completed his studies in Yerevan in 1972.