Catherine Jenna Hendry, better known as CJ Hendry, has made a name for herself, not to mention millions of dollars, through Instagram by selling her works online. Her photorealistic pencil drawings are so popular that they sell like hotcakes. She has proven that in today’s world it’s no longer customary for artists to take the gallery route to get noticed.
This artist, who’s based in Brooklyn, New York, USA, is a pioneer of sorts in offering her artworks to the masses online. She explains this on edition.cnn.com, “In the past, artists had to wait for a gallery to do your show and people couldn’t just see your work. They came to the exhibition when the gallery allowed it to happen. Now you can show people whatever you want at any time you wish.”
Hendry’s drawings are lapped up by the discerning art buffs because they’re so realistic that they can be easily confused with photographs. So detailed are they that she takes anything from 80 hours to 200 hours to complete a single artwork. Her forte is drawing luxury items and she has to her credit drawing everything from Louboutin sneakers to Chanel perfume bottles to crumpled up Hermés shopping bags and much more. This delving into luxury goods and recreating them on canvas is what resulted in her initial success.
This contemporary artist, who was born in South Africa and raised in Brisbane, Australia, is known for her hyper-realistic, large-scale artworks of luxury objects. For this, she uses her self-developed scribbling technique, since she has had no formal training in art and is completely self-taught. In fact, she studied architecture at Queensland University of Technology and finance at the University of Queensland in Australia but dropped out in favor of art. She subsequently moved to New York, USA.
To kickstart her art career, Hendry started posting her incomplete works on Instagram along with the meticulous process involved in finishing them. Although Instagram at that point in time was still in its infancy, she continued to post her works consistently. Her works caught the attention of Instagrammers and she managed to sell her first work, a pair of RM Williams boots, for US$6,500. This motivated her to keep posting her works on Instagram.
One of Hendry’s artwork, the crumpled $100 bill with Kanye West’s face on it, was purchased by Kayne himself for an undisclosed amount. Today, her collections sell out in seconds for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The viewership on her Instagram page is over 520,000 and counting.