Rhianna and Ed Sheeran are amongst the thousands of fans of Port artist Mike Gibson, who has become an internet hit for his lifelike portraits of celebrities and musicians.
Aged 20, the talented self taught artist can’t believe how his fame has blossomed in the last year, now with over 35,000 followers online.
“It’s a bit overwhelming, I didn’t expect it to this extent,” said Mike, who is particularly thrilled that singers Rhianna and Jessie J have privately messaged him to praise his portraits of them.
He presented singer Ed Sheeran with his portrait recently, at a private gig organised by radio DJ Rick O’Shea.
“Ed called me up on stage. He said the portrait was amazing, he was pretty shocked and asked me how I did it,” said Mike.
He works in coloured pencil to create his photorealistic artworks.
“This year I hope to possible start painting, I want to try different materials,” he said.
Mike focuses on portraits.
“I love capturing peoples essence and expressions, I love challenging myself with every piece I do I try to develop and try new things as much as I can,” he said.
His high speed videos of portrait drawing have won him lots of attention, while a recent drawing of a crying Barbie highlighted the mask people wear in public.
“In online profiles people judge on faces, they don’t look at the person behind,” he said.
The young artist got his education in St Patrick’s BNS and Coláiste Iósagáin.
“I have been into art since primary school, my teachers, family and friends always encouraged me. When I left school I took time off to promote my work.
I do want an art degree behind me, I hope to do a portfolio course and go to the National College of Art& Design,” he said. Mike hopes to eventually open his own studio and art gallery.
See @itismike on Twitter, or Mike Gibson Artwork on facebook for more.