19-Year-Old Artist Creates Insanely Realistic Pencil Portraits

Mayor Olajide, a 19-year-old artist from Nigeria, has taken the hyperrealistic art world by storm with his photo-realistic charcoal pencil portraits.

We’ve featured some really gifted hyperrealism artists on Oddity Central over the years, true masters like Anna Halldin Maule, Hirothropologie, or Dru Blair, but it’s rare to see that kind of talent in someone as young as 19. And yet, here is Mayor Olajide, a 19-year-old Nigerian artist who has been attracting attention with his hyperrealistic pencil drawings for at least a couple of years now. He apparently started drawing when he was only 5 years old, and by age 15, he was already selling his art pieces and taking commissions to contribute to the family budget. Today, he is considered one of the world’s most promising hyperrealists.

Believe it or not, Mayor Olajide only dedicates his free time to his art. It’s something he enjoys doing when he’s not busy studying for college. He is a student at The Polytechnic in Ibadan, Nigeria, where he studies architecture.


“I draw anytime I’m in the mood. I don’t have a specific time, even in the night I draw,” the young artist said, adding that it is “something I do when I’m less busy, after school, during break time, a hobby.”


Olajide became interested in hyperrealistic art around the time that fellow Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley started making waves in the art world. He was inspired by the level of realism Stanley achieved with pencil alone, and decided to give it a try himself.


“His self-portrait, the one with water on his face, that was the one that inspired me the most,” the artist told Folio Magazine. “Kelvin Okafor and Ken Nwadiogbu, they also inspired me.”


Mayor Olajide usually takes a few dozen hours to complete one of his large-scale portraits, but some of his most detailed works – like the portraits of the late Queen Elizabeth II – have taken him over 150 hours to finish.


For more amazing pencil portraits by this amazing young man, check out his Instagram and Facebook profiles.