In 2019, Eli Waduba Yusuf, a young Nigerian portrait artist, made a black-and-white pencil sketch of Kevin Hart, one of his favorite comedians.
It was one of his numerous original hyperrealism portraits, but this one was extremely significant because it contained his idol’s image, which took him two weeks to produce.
Yusuf told ABC News, “I’ve seen a lot of his movies, he’s my favorite comedian, and I wanted to offer him something as a gift as a way of saying thank you.”
Yusuf uses social media to post portraits of people and animals. He posted a photo of the drawing to his Facebook and Twitter accounts in the hopes that Hart would see it.
On both platforms, the intricate pencil image, which is as good as a black-and-white photo, received hundreds of likes, shares, and retweets.
Yusuf tried again two days later to gain attention. He tagged Hart’s Twitter name and shared Hart’s image this time.
Yusuf tweeted, “Please RT until @KevinHart4real sees it.” “Help a brother out, he’s one of my favorite comedians.” “Thank you very much.”
It was, however, another another futile attempt.
Not ready to give up, he took another chance and tagged his Twitter handle in a selfie of himself with the hyperrealistic drawing of Hart.
Yusuf also tagged Arinze Stanley’s account, a Nigerian hyperrealist artist who motivated him to pursue the genre.
“I’m Eli Waduba Yusuf, and my name is Eli Waduba Yusuf. I’m a Nigerian from Kaduna. I’m a PENCIL hyperrealism artist who aspires to be like @Harinzeyart. Thank you for retweeting and letting @KevinHart4real see it,” he wrote.
The message was finally delivered to the appropriate recipient.
“Talent out of this world… Wooooooooow,” Hart reacted to one Twitter user, and retweeted one of his followers who had brought Yusuf’s artwork to his attention. “Can someone kindly tag me with this kids details…,” he wrote.
Hart shared Yusuf’s Twitter post a few minutes later.
“I see it and want to buy it…
I’d also like to show my support for you and your incredible talent by paying you a price to produce a pencil drawing of three of my celebrity friends that I can give as a present. Send me your contact information and we’ll get to work!” The native of Philadelphia wrote.
Hart also reached out to Yusuf via Twitter direct message.
“It’s still surreal to me; it feels like a dream.” It’s been a huge challenge. Yusuf stated, “Kevin Hart has just blown my head.”
Yusuf, who began sketching people’s portraits when he was eight years old, also shared Hart’s request on his Facebook page.
Yusuf’s efforts to connect were also noticed by Stanley, a self-taught hyperrealism artist.
Stanley told ABC News, “I feel very privileged to be able to inspire someone somewhere out there. Seeing people succeed is the best feeling in the world; you can’t get a better feeling than that.”
Yusuf earned a degree in cooperative economics from Kaduna State Polytechnic. He was ecstatic when Stanley and tens of thousands of other Twitter users began to follow him.
“His work showed me the potential of art,” he told the BBC of Stanley’s work. “I resolved that whatever I see, I must reproduce and do even better.” “I made sure that every new project I worked on was better than the last.”
After his work went viral on Facebook and Twitter, Yusuf was motivated to launch an Instagram account. On the video and photo-sharing platform, he now has 24.9K followers.
“A lot has changed – just a few days ago, I was just a local artist who liked painting and wanted the world to see my work, but I had no idea it would happen so quickly,” Yusuf added.
That kind of ability ought to be seen by the rest of the world! Learn more about Eli Waduba Yusuf’s incredible art by following him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and his website.