18-Year-Old Instagram Art Sensation Quits School

Jack Ede's portrait of One Direction member Harry Styles.
Photo: Via Jack Ede/Instagram.

Jack Ede, the 18-year-old artist whose hyperrealist portrait drawings of members of the boy band One Direction as well as other pop culture figures including Bryan Cranston, Justin Bieber, and Tyler the Creator have found a devoted fan base on Instagram, has decided to quit school and “take my future into my own hands,” as he told the BBC. Ede now has more than 31,000 followers on Instagram and has been offered £400 ($675) for his portrait of One Direction member Harry Styles.

“It was quite scary to drop out of school because I felt I had nothing to fall back on,” Ede admitted. “But if you have a dream, then you should go for it. I reckon I wasted two years at school doing nothing. I didn’t expect this to happen a month ago. I feel honoured people appreciate my work and that I can hopefully make a living off it.”


Jack Ede’s drawing of Louis Tomlinson.
Photo: Jack Ede, via Instagram.

Ede, who readily admits he doesn’t actually listen to One Direction, originally approached the sister of band member Louis Tomlinson, Lottie Tomlinson, to share one of his drawings. After she did so with her 88,000 Instagram followers, Ede’s work began attracting an incredible level of attention and the young artist set up a business to sell his work.

“My aim is for people to not know whether they are looking at a photo or a painting,” Ede told the Mirror. “I have had so many commissions to do drawings that I am now booked up until at least Christmas. I have just posted one to America—it’s great that interest in my art has gone worldwide.”

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