Young artist 'overwhelmed' by response to Ed Sheeran portrait

Wilf Elliott alongside his Ed Sheeran portrait

Wilf Elliott says he has been "overwhelmed" by the reaction to his portrait of global superstar Ed Sheeran. - Credit: Wilf Elliott

A young artist is hoping to reach superstar Ed Sheeran after his portrait of the singer became a massive hit on social media.  

Wilf Elliott, an apprentice tattoo artist, decided to produce the work of the Suffolk star wearing an Ipswich Town shirt after a conversation with his dad.

The 18-year-old said: "We were talking in the pub and I was a bit stuck on who to draw next. 

“My dad was like, why don’t you draw Ed Sheeran, he’s pretty local, if you draw him in an Ipswich Town kit that might catch his eye.”

The work, which took four days to produce, gained traction amongst Ipswich Town fans on Twitter. 

A Tottenham Hotspur himself, Wilf said: "It's been really nice to have positive comments about it, you can get a bit overwhelmed.    

"I just kept updating my Twitter with posts of how the progress was going, and posted the whole thing and it did really well.

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“It’s a football club I don’t support, so to see that reaction from another group of fans, it’s really nice."

Wilf first got into drawing as a child but took it up again in the first lockdown, despite being colour-blind.

“I wanted to be in the RAF, but I couldn’t because I'm colour-blind. So, I started drawing, I drew planes when I was little but it only really started kicking off back in the first lockdown.

Wilf Elliott's Ed Sheeran portrait

Wilf re-discovered his love for drawing during the first lockdown. - Credit: Wilf Elliott

“I did a drawing of London rapper AJ Tracey, and he liked the picture and commented on it.

"So that made me think 'oh wow, that’s my first piece I’ve done in lockdown if he’s seen it then why not keep doing more?'  

“I’m 70% colour-blind, so for example, if you had a blue and a purple next to each other then imagine everything being really dull, so those colours look very similar, so it’s almost like lowering the brightness on your phone.         

“So you kind of just have to match everything up, and go with how you perceive it, so I’m constantly asking my parents, does that colour look right?” 

The Clacton-on-Sea resident is hoping that following the interest in his work, that it can make its way to the Shape of You singer.

"That’s the main goal, I’ve been quite lucky, I've had some nice touches here and there since I posted it.  

"One of my clients who I tattooed; her friend is really good mates with Ed so she’s sent a message across that way."

Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton has also helped, sharing the work with Sheeran's management team.

Wilf is also looking forward to using his talent in the future.

“I’m in my first year of my apprenticeship, so I’m going to keep going through that side, trying to get to a very high level of tattooing, and hopefully down the line become an established artist in the area.” 

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