Arinze Stanley is a talented young Nigerian artist whose works often leave people scratching their heads and asking themselves if they’re looking at a pencil drawing or a high-definition black and white photograph. Yes, his drawing skills are that good!
Arinze’s interest in art, and drawing in particular, was sparked at a young age, primarily by the fact that he was always surrounded by paper. His family ran a paper company, so he would often kill time by grabbing a piece of paper and trying his hand at drawing. But he only started exploring hyper-realism in 2012, and became a professional artist a year later. He has never taken any professional art classes, and claims that the level of detail he is able to produce is solely the result of years of practice. Looking at his fantastic artworks, it’s safe to say that he has come a long way in very little time.
“I’ve got a slogan I work with and that’s ‘Practice, Patience, and Persistence’,” Arinze Stanley said in an interview with Ruqayya. “They have actually guided me throughout the years and still guiding me till now. Constant practice, I think, made me better at what I do but It would not have been possible without persistence and patience, as I take over 200 hours to complete a drawing and I only have time to work during the night due to my busy schedule at work during the day.”
But it’s not just drawing that Stanley puts a great deal of time into. According to All Africa, “when he’s drawing hair in a portrait, he studies the kind of hair he’s using as reference, the volume of hair, the size of the strands of hair depending on the kind of hair,” in order to come up with the best way to replicate it on paper.
Arinze says that he takes inspiration for his artworks from everything around him, and takes reference photos himself using a Canon Rebel T5 camera, but focuses primarily on portraits. He confesses that he often ends up staring at people’s faces unconsciously, and adds that being a portrait artist has made him appreciate the varieties of human facial structures and details.
Stanley’s favorite artist is fellow countryman Kelvin Okafor, whose works we’ve featured on OC a few years ago. The young artist also cites Okafor as the one who really got him interested in hyper-realistic drawing. It was after seeing some of his amazing artworks online that he started making photorealistic charcoal and graphite drawings of his own.
For more of Arinze’s breathtaking drawings, check out his Instagram profile.