Fan art often comes in the form of paintings, sketches or illustrations, and it’s one of the most popular ways fans pay tribute to their favourite celebrities.
But recently, Malaysian arts and culture content website, Eksentrika, featured a 23-year-old illustrator and designer who pieced together a portrait of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury using tapestry crochet!
Shanita Lyn Kumar from Subang Jaya, Malaysia, was inspired after watching Bohemian Rhapsody with her family, and decided to use her crocheting skills to create her very own portrait of Rami Malek.
And being a huge fan of Queen, she thanks her dad for introducing her to their music when she was young.
It took her eight months to bring the piece to life although she did experience some problems about two months in, which forced her to redo all the stitches again.
“I was just getting back into crocheting when Bohemian Rhapsody came out, which was what sparked the idea for this project!” Shanita said.
“This is my very first crochet tapestry. Prior to this I’d pretty much only made bags and accessories to give as Christmas presents.”
Loving the process of working with her hands and creating something beautiful out of nothing, Shanita shares that her love for crocheting began when her grandmother taught her the basics of the craft when she was in primary school.
“If you’re creating something original, the initial step of coming up with an idea and developing a pattern is a lot of fun—it’s an exercise in both creativity and technical know-how. Then, once you’ve got your pattern planned out, it’s a very calming and repetitive process, looping yarn and counting stitches,” she said.
“It’s a hobby I’ve returned to on and off since then. I slowly began learning more on my own as I went.”
However, creating this masterpiece wasn’t easy as the tedious and painful process caused severe pain in Shanita’s hands, wrists, neck, shoulders and back.
“I got a wrist guard to use while crocheting and made sure to take frequent breaks. I also got my mum to help unknot my shoulders every now and then,” she said, adding that her parents did not know what she was up to at the time.
“Since I wanted to surprise both my parents who are massive Queen fans, keeping the subject of the tapestry a secret for that long while living under the same roof was definitely another challenge. It was a lot of, “No, don’t look!” and “Wait! Let me fold it up before you come in!” But their reaction when I finally unveiled it made everything totally worth it.”
Shanita is now putting the beautiful portrait up for sale and hopes to find someone who will love to purchase it.
Wow, look at that intricate detail!! Shanita surely did wonders with this portrait, and all she needed was, creativity, her amazing skill and a sheer will for making something beautiful.
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