PICTURE SPECIAL: One Direction and Little Mix inspire artist Emilia

A TALENTED teenage artist is enjoying a brush with fame – after drawing inspiration from her favourite musical performers.

Emilia Apreda’s picture perfect illustrations of pop stars have proved such a hit that some of her subjects even have her work adorning their walls.

TEENAGE TALENT ... Emilia Apreda with her 'selfie sketch' of herself with One Direction's Zayn Malik.

TEENAGE TALENT ... Emilia Apreda with her 'selfie sketch' of herself with One Direction's Zayn Malik.

The 18-year-old. from Whitburn, set up her own website a year ago showcasing her eye-catching pencil drawings of chart-toppers such as South Shields’ own Little Mix, fellow X Factor winner James Arthur and global sensations One Direction.

Her rise to prominence comes despite the fact she vowed never to become a full-time artist when she was growing up, instead preferring a career as a graphic designer.

But when her pop favourites Little Mix saw one of her drawings and reacted positively, she decided to focus on her burgeoning talent.

Creativity clearly runs in the family, as Emilia’s mum Ursula is herself a gifted portrait artist.

Miss Apreda said: “When I was growing up I didn’t want to be a full-time artist, as I saw how much of a struggle it could be as my mother is an artist. But when Little Mix saw one of my pictures and liked it, that inspired me.

“I am just hoping to build up my website and get more followers on social media to show off my work.

“The portraits are of performers that I like. It is easier to create if you are inspired by their music or by what kind of person they are.”

Emilia left St Anthony’s sixth form in Sunderland to concentrate on her artistic career.

She has made a big impression on James Arthur – as well as Little Mix star Perrie Edwards and her fiance Zayn Malik.

Perrie has become such a firm fan that Emilia was commissioned to create a portrait of her and Zayn as a birthday gift for her in July.

She said: “I went to a signing for James Arthur and showed him my drawing of him. he loved it.

“Now his mum and my mum are friendly. He has the picture on the wall of his flat in London.

“Also Zayn’s sister wrote on twitter asking for fans to send in their pictures and I got in touch.

“I did a portrait of Zayn. I was expecting him to send it back with a signature but it turned out he said he liked it so much he wanted to keep it.

“I have also done a portrait of Perrie and Zayn together for her birthday.”

Emilia’s portraits take between five and nine hours to complete.

She has her own twitter account to attract new eyes to her etchings and has an extensive portfolio of her work available to view on her website.

For more information on Emilia’s work, you can visit her website at emiliaapreda.bigcartel.com or folow her on Twitter, at twitter.com/Emy_LMixer