Last year, Jirka Väätäinen, a student at Arts University College at Bournemouth in the UK, decided to bring Disney's most famous heroines to life. The 22-year-old graphic design student combined photos of real women with Disney's classic cartoon renderings using Photoshop, and created digital paintings that brought everyone from Sleeping Beauty to Princess Jasmine to life. Shine featured his work and 14,000 Facebook likes later, Jirka's art was a viral sensation.
Now he's followed up his series with six more realistic princesses. What took him so long? "Each art piece does take hours, and I usually don't finish my pieces till days or weeks later," Jirka told Shine on Wednesday. Despite all the attention he's received (his work has been shared by over 100,000 on Tumblr) he hasn't turned his passion into a profit. "I'm not currently selling any of my Disney inspired art, since I am afraid that there might be a copyright issue with these being so heavily influenced by the Disney brand," he says. Still, showcasing his talent has earned him a few freelance jobs while he finishes up school, and given him an excuse to re-watch his favorite Disney movies growing up- purely for inspiration, of course.