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In today’s competitive art world, some creatives might agree that it can be a struggle to gain exposure. But thanks to social media, unknown talent has a chance to be discovered on a global scale. One young artist to recently get his big break is Nigeria-based Eli Wuduba Yusuf, who creates incredible hyperrealistic pencil drawings. For one of his most recent works, Yusuf paid tribute to his favorite comedian, Kevin Hart, with a portrait in jaw-dropping detail. He posted the artwork on Twitter in the hopes that Hart would see it. Two days and thousands of retweets later, he got his wish and much more.
To Yusuf’s surprise, an extremely impressed Hart tweeted back with an incredible offer. “I see it and I want to purchase it,” he wrote. “I also want to support you and your amazing talent by giving you a fee to do a pencil drawing of 3 of my celebrity friends that I can gift it to.” Since then, Yusuf is now the process of selling the portrait and has started working on Hart’s commissions. “I hoped he would see it and actually believed he would see it someday,” Waduba reveals. “But I did not know it would happen so fast. It has been so overwhelming and words cannot describe it.”
Inspired by the work of fellow hyperrealist artist Arinze Stanley, Yusuf is one of many talented Nigerian artists who deserve global recognition. “I loved drawing growing up,” he says, “but I knew I could be better when I saw the works of people like people Arinze Stanley, Kelvin Okafor and Ken Nwadiogbu.”
Nigerian artist Eli Wuduba Yusuf created this incredible hyperrealistic pencil drawing of his favorite comedian, Kevin Hart.
— Eli Waduba (@EWaduba) February 22, 2019
The portrait soon went viral on Twitter.
My name is Eli Waduba Yusuf
Am a Nigerian, based in kaduna. Am a hyperrealism PENCIL Artist, I hope to become like @Harinzeyart. Please Retweet, let @KevinHart4real see it, thank you pic.twitter.com/oYYUQxbK5e
— Eli Waduba (@EWaduba) February 25, 2019
Hart saw it, offered to buy it, and even commissioned new works!
I see it and I want to purchase it…I also want to support you and your amazing talent by giving you a fee to do a pencil drawing of 3 of my celebrity friends that I can gift it to. DM your info and let’s get to work! https://t.co/ImOYa0UNlL
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) February 27, 2019
God has finally made my dream a reality… Am so grateful @KevinHart4real for stooping so low for someone like me, am so grateful for everyone who contributed in one way or the other to make this dream become a reality. I lack words to appreciate you. Thank you so much. pic.twitter.com/17b8Au86Tl
— Eli Waduba (@EWaduba) March 4, 2019
Here’s more of Yusuf’s amazing drawings.
All images via Eli Wuduba Yusuf.