Gorgeous paintings by a former student of the Grimsby College of Art of famous people such as Mel B and Cliff Richard

A former student at the Grimsby College of Art now paints many famous faces such as Mel B and Cliff Richard.

Shani Hogan, 53, grew up in Elsham near Barnetby and went to college on Eleanor Street after dropping out of school at age 16.

Two years ago, Shani had an eye surgery to remove a birth defect to allow her to see more clearly. Since then, her ability to draw and color has greatly improved.

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At the beginning of the lockdown, she began to promote her art more and more, which attracted the attention of some famous faces.

Shany was originally introduced to radio DJ Mike Reid, and has since gone on to paint for other famous people, including several household names.

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She said: “I lived in Elsham before moving to York about 23 years ago, often walking to Barnby and taking the train from there to Grimsby to go to the College of Art on Eleanor Street.

“The only thing that ever interested me was drawing, so I pursued my passion. I think I must have inherited the ability to draw from my mum and grandmother because they are very good at drawers.

“I went to college after dropping out of school, but it wasn’t until I started drawing better after having my congenital eyelid removed two years ago.

“Things have gradually gotten worse since I was born, but it got to a point where I could barely see and my balance was dramatically affected.



Chaney has drawn many celebrities and famous faces including Mel B, Frank Bruno and Cliff Richard
Chaney has drawn many celebrities and famous faces including Mike Reed and Cliff Richard

“After the operation, I couldn’t believe how much better I was at art.”

Since the lockdown began, Shany has been advertising her business much more, drawing the attention of radio operator DJ Mike Reid.

She said, “After drawing for Mike Reed, I drew on a leather jacket for former contestant Eddie Kidd Opie.

He pulled the jacket off in order to help raise money for his voice fund because he is currently in a wheelchair after having an accident in 1996.



Victoria Street in Grimsby

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Then I went to paint for Mel B, Frank Bruno, Cliff Richard, and the couple from Escape to the Chateau.

To me, my Captain Tom cartoons are what mean the most as I did in ‘Military Vs Cancer’ to help raise money for charity.

“In the two years I’ve been doing this I’ve been able to raise over £250,000 for charity.

“I never thought I’d be better off, it’s like I’m living my dream.



Chaney has drawn many celebrities and famous faces including Mel B, Frank Bruno and Cliff Richard
Chaney has drawn many celebrities and famous faces including Mel B, Frank Bruno and Cliff Richard

“I’ve also been asked to go this morning and even sponsored by Black Cab Media packing a black cab with all the people I’ve drawn to help me get around.

“It’s ridiculous right now, even though I have more famous friends than my regular friends. Throughout the lockdown, I’ve done 400 or so paintings and spent 70 hours a week doing it.”

Chaney said she was very sad to hear that the art college has since closed, but she hopes to return to Grimsby one day to see where her career began.

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