The work of a Galway based illustrator has caught the eye of Kim Kardashian, who is now featuring Nelle McCann's illustrations on her personal website. Ms McCann was contacted by a representative of the reality TV star a few weeks ago requesting the use of the images.
The artist, who is from Moate originally, has been living in Galway for the past eight years after she moved to the city to study art and design in GMIT. Similar to the majority of creative people, the interest in all things art has been there since a young age. "I have been drawing since I was young and people were always telling me to pursue a career in art. I did a PLC in art and design and then moved to Galway to study in GMIT. I love Galway, it is a really creative city with a great vibe."
Nelle studied at GMIT for three years but did not complete the course due to personal reasons. However this has not hindered her blossoming illustrating career, which only began a year ago. "After leaving the college course, I took a break from art for three years. One night I was looking on Instagram and saw these digital illustrations, I thought they were really cool and it just sparked my interest again. I decided to teach myself about Photoshop and Illustrator and began drawing. I started sharing some of the illustrations on social media and the work got a great reaction. It really gave me a boost that people liked what I was doing."
Over the past year she has been steadily building up her portfolio which is extremely impressive. Images can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her own website www.nelleillustrations.com "I have done some work for fashion designer to the stars Michael Costello, I did an image of Jennifer Lopez for him which he put on Instagram and Jennifer Lopez herself shared it so that was a real thrill."
The work for the Kardashians has really piqued the media's interest and she is hopeful the publicity generated will lead to more commissions. "I do portraits for people, but the area I really want to work in is fashion and beauty, that is where my real passion lies. I currently work part-time but I spend all the rest of my time working on illustrations. I don't want this to be a hobby, I want to be able to make a full-time living from it and hopefully I am heading in the right direction."
She wants her story to encourage young people to follow their dreams and not be put off if school is not for them. "I feel there is fierce pressure on young people these days to go to college. I am not saying a third level degree isn't worthwhile but I feel there is nearly a sense that if you don't go to college you won't get on in life which is not true. College is just not for everyone. I think if you work hard and follow your passion, you can get on well. I work really hard at what I do and amazing things are beginning to happen."