This artist turns famous people into eerily realistic illustrations
File this story under “people we are incredibly envious of!” Russian artist Lera Kiryakova is stunning Instagram users with her beautiful and eerily realistic illustrations of celebrities. She currently has over 200,000 followers on Instagram and a simple scroll through her feed explains why: Kiryakova captivates followers with her super clean and easily recognizable portraits of our favorite famous people and characters.
We reached out to Kiryakova to pick her brain about her breathtaking portraits — and, honestly, “breathtaking: might be an understatement! Just check out this side-by-side comparison of Kiryakova’s Emma Stone piece to the original picture of Emma Stone, post-Oscar win.
“I started drawing when I was a child and went to art school,” Kiryakova told us. “But it [was] just for 2 years and I gave it up.”
She said that she picked up drawing again later on in life, and lucky for us, has stuck with it ever since.
When Kiryakova started on Instagram, she worked mainly in pen and ink to create her detailed designs. She’s since experimented with several different types of mediums such as oil, watercolor, colored pencils, digital, and Copic markers.
Out of all of the above, we asked what her favorite medium is. She said,
“Now I love markers! It’s really easy to take them with [me] and draw everywhere!”
Kiryakova has drawn so many inspirational people, we had to know if she had a favorite face in the crowd.
“My favorite person to draw was Maddie Ziegler,” Kiryakova said. “I drew her a few times because she is a bright character and I like her dancing. I also love drawing teenagers and children.”
And with Ziegler’s ability to shift into different characters, like for her Sia music videos, Kiryakova certainly has a plethora of unique reference photos to choose from!
Kiryakova may have a favorite face to draw, but we can’t pick a favorite portrait from her portfolio. They are all so amazing, it’s hard to decide which one we like best!
If you want to see Kiryakova in action, she has a YouTube account where she uploads speed painting videos of her artistic process.