Irish artist Emma Kenny took up fashion illustration as a hobby, but it's turned into something much more than that.

Having set up an Instagram and Facebook page to showcase her drawings – gorgeous stylised images of celebrities in red-carpet looks – Emma soon started getting attention from the stars she was drawing.

But the real surprise came last Sunday evening when Instagram queen Kim Kardashian shared one of the illustrations with her 48.7million followers, personally thanking Emma and tagging her page.

"It was really surreal," the Dublin-based artist tells SHEmazing! exclusively.


I love these sketches @emmakennyillustrations Thank you!

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

"I was sitting on my computer working away… my phone just started to go mad," she said of the moment she discovered what had happened.

"I literally had to do a double take."

Emma's following on Instagram has grown by a staggering 11,000 since Kim gave her the official seal of approval, but she wasn't exactly an unknown before that either.


Kylie shared!!!! @kyliejenner ♡

A photo posted by Emma kenny (@emmakennyillustrations) on

Kylie Jenner, Zendaya, J-Lo and Dita Von Teese are just some of the other stars who have liked or shared Emma's work in the past, with actress Lily Collins declaring the illustrations "amazing."

She's even caught the eye of a few fashion designers, among them Zac Posen, Ricardo Tisci and Roberto Cavalli.

"He [Cavalli] shared one of my illustrations on his social media and is now following me on Instagram which was a HUGE deal to me," Emma explains.


Arms will be flailing for a while after this one! Thank you @robertocavalli

A photo posted by Emma kenny (@emmakennyillustrations) on

Despite her huge success with fashion illustration, Emma's background is in game development and animation, and she says her fashion work came about very organically.

"I have no formal training in drawing, I have self taught myself over the years.

"Fashion illustration was something I used to do in my down time or in the evenings after work.

"I was lucky enough last year to do the illustrations for Suzanne Jackson's second book and it really escalated from there." 

We sense big things ahead for this Irish artist… but we reckon she has some celebrating to do first.