It is never too late to start learning a new skill or searching for a brand new hobby. Learning really doesn’t just stop and end immediately after high school or university, and 91-year-old Spanish grandmother Concha García Zaera is living proof of this.
The incredibly talented artist from Valencia has been wowing the internet with her incredibly detailed works of art, all done exclusively on Microsoft Paint. Now we’ve all spent quite a lot of time in the program as kids (and, let’s be honest, as adults), but very few of us have approached this level of mastery.
We’ve collected some of Concha’s newest masterpieces for you to gaze at, dear Pandas, so go on and have a look. Upvote the ones you liked the most, let us know which ones resonated with your hearts the most, and be sure to show your love to the artist by following her Instagram account.
I wanted to learn more about lifelong learning and staying bright as we age, so I reached out to Age UK, the country's leading charity that's dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. A representative of the charity was kind enough to answer my questions. You'll find Bored Panda's full interview below.
Artist Concha is very humble. In her Instagram bio, she presents herself in a very simple and wholesome way. “I am a 90-year-old lady. I like to paint with the Paint program. And above all to be with my family and with my friends,” she writes. However, her 91st birthday was on June 12 (she was born in 1930), so we assume she simply didn't have the time to update her bio.
Currently, the Spanish grandmother has a whopping 301k followers on Instagram and her circle of fans keeps growing. Back in 2018, when Bored Panda first wrote an article about Concha’s Paint artwork, she had 108k followers. This just goes to show that she creates art that’s the perfect mix of quality and popular appeal.
But above all, Concha’s skills prove to us that we really can do anything and at any age, given that we put in enough time and dedication. Persistence and focus are key here.
One of Concha’s granddaughters convinced her to create an account on Instagram in 2017 and that step has ensured that people have been able to enjoy her colorful and detailed Paint drawings ever since.
The grandmother’s journey into the world of Paint began more than a decade earlier after her husband fell ill and later sadly passed away. Her family gave her an old computer and she started spending time on the Paint program to keep herself busy.
“I have no imagination at all, so I get inspiration from the postcards that my husband used to send me or drawings that I find and like,” Concha told Vanguardia. It takes her roughly two weeks to finish a single work of art. Something else that inspires her is her beautiful hometown of Valencia. You can really see her love for the city in the care she puts into each and every Paint brushstroke.
Concha remains very humble about her skills and believes that her drawings are “simple things” and she can’t fathom why they get so much attention.
"Hobbies add color and variety to all our lives so it’s good to help to inspire others to take up new interests. New hobbies and interests can help maintain social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness and it’s a great way to learn new skills. Taking part in social activities may help us to stay sharp in later life," a representative of Age UK told Bored Panda about the importance of developing hobbies, especially within in a social context.
If you're living in the UK, you can get in touch with your local Age UK on behalf of your older relatives to find out what they have to offer. They have a huge variety of different activities available that even I'm jealous of. Each local branch of the charity has its own unique timetable of clubs and classes, including: Arts & Crafts, Bridge group, Coffee morning, Men in Sheds, Photography club, Pub lunch, Quizzes, Tea dance, Computer lessons, etc.
"If joining clubs and classes are not an option, or your loved one doesn’t feel ready to start going outside yet, there are still ways to help them engage with new hobbies. Making sure older family members have everything they need to take up or continue hobbies, such as arts and crafts or wool if they are a keen knitter, ingredients if they are a budding chef or even the right tools for DIYing, can help," the Age UK rep told Bored Panda.
"Doing activities together such as the gardening can be a great incentive too, or maybe help them research locally to see if there is a neighborly Book Club dial-in they could join. If your loved one finds it hard to stay physically active, or doesn’t know where to start, take a look at Age UK’s information on keeping active, which has ideas of activities for everyone. Even encouraging older friends and relatives to settle in with a favorite book or audiobook, do some cooking, listen to the radio while doing a puzzle, or tuning in to an afternoon radio play can help emotional wellbeing and mental health."
Our hobbies don't just keep us engaged—they can be a path toward living a higher quality life. "Having a hobby or learning new skills, whatever form they take, is important. And while for many they provide a nice way to spend spare time and an opportunity to interact with friends over a shared pursuit, for those with less social contacts it can give life a real sense of purpose and routine."
According to the Age UK representative, we can 'exercise' our brains by doing mentally stimulating activities, from puzzles to games. "If we want our brain to stay in peak condition, we should use it. In fact, one of the theories about reducing or delaying cognitive aging is referred to as the 'use it or lose it' theory. Research shows that things like learning languages helps keep us brighter as we age. It is just as important to look after your brain by exercising your thinking skills, as you would do physical exercise to look after your body."