Canadian-born artist Kristin Wilkinson has caused a stir among Liverpool supporters on social media of late with her incredibly detailed Reds-themed drawings.
A lifelong LFC fan with close family ties to the city, Kristin has garnered plenty of attention from fans and even the subjects of her sketches after sharing them online.
In a recent interview with Liverpoolfc.com, she explained how her passion for a club situated over 3,000 miles away began.
She said: “My grandad is from Liverpool and that was his team since childhood, so he passed that love on to us. Growing up, every weekend we would all gather around the television and watch them play.
“It’s difficult to properly put into words what I love about the club exactly. The thing that does take my breath away every time is the passion for the club by the fans. Seeing them on the telly singing before a game sends shivers down my spine.”
The Ontario resident also remembers having a similarly strong passion for art from a young age.
“I can recall always drawing as a child. My mother even has a photo of me at the age of four drawing with crayons and pencils. I stood out from other children my age that I remember. People would complement my work, and at a young age that didn’t really mean too much to me, but as I grew older I started to realise that my drawing ability was different than my peers.”
As such, it was only natural for Kristin to merge her love of LFC and art. And, after taking her artistic flair through college and into adulthood, the Canadian has now made a name for herself out of her hobby.
“It turned into a bit of an obsession and eventually I would be drawing or sketching all the time. I then went on to college to continue my artistic studies to improve my skills. And even then, my professors told me that I stood out from the other students.
“Why the Liverpool drawings? Because I love football and I love Liverpool FC. A few years ago I underwent some tests and I found out that I am on the autistic spectrum, which finally helped me realise why I do the things I do sometimes, and one of the traits is our ability to see the details that others can’t and we tend to “fixate” on things. Some things - movies, shows, athletes, etc. - just catch my attention for whatever reason and I feel this urge to draw.”
Kristin - or @SilentKW1 on Twitter - soon began to gain traction with widely followed fan accounts thanks to her detailed recreations of LFC legends past and present.
She explains: “I remember I was watching a game and all of a sudden I felt this need to draw something that had to do with the team. I had to.
“Steven Gerrard has always been my favourite player so, I decided to draw him and then went on to draw Jürgen Klopp after that. It was then by chance a LFC fan account with a large following came across it and they shared it. Since then my life has changed a bit.”
And not long after, the heroes she had spent so long rendering in pencil took note, too.
Kristin describes the subsequent response to her work as 'amazing' and ‘overwhelming’.
“I kind of really do my drawings for myself, and they’re just for fun. I draw what I love. With football, there are so many people throughout the world that love it too, so it’s been amazing to be able to connect with people, and now having all these people follow my work it’s a bit surreal and difficult to believe at times.
“And then when it comes to the subjects themselves responding to me and my work that is incredibly overwhelming. It’s wonderful though, absolutely wonderful. It really, truly makes my day to even be acknowledged by people who I’ve looked up to and been a fan of. To have someone like Kenny Dalglish or Jamie Carragher acknowledge my work is fantastic.
“But I draw because I love to draw and it’s been wonderful that my work has been received this way. I wouldn’t have believed it.”