OKAYAMA--Pencil artist Kohei Ohmori’s painstaking work is paying off after a tweet featuring one of his ultra-realistic drawings made him an overnight sensation on the Internet.

When Ohmori’s sister, waka poet Shizuka, 28, tweeted a photo of his latest work on Oct. 24 featuring a glistening bolt and nut beaded with droplets of water, it was retweeted more than 150,000 times before being covered by TV and online media.

The drawing is rendered in such great detail that it is almost hard to believe it is not a photograph, and the reaction to it has opened the door for Ohmori, 23, to pursue a professional career.

It took Ohmori a few months to finish the sensational work, which depicts the minute dents and reflections of the metallic pieces with white and black shades, at his home in Okayama city’s Kita Ward using only pencils.

“I re-create a tiny fraction of the whole and work on expanding it,” Ohmori explained. “It tests how well you can concentrate and how patient you can be.”

Ohmori has been posting pictures of his works and production processes on Instagram, and his followers increased from well over 10,000 to more than 50,000 after the drawing was posted on the photo-sharing social networking service.

Ohmori works on his drawing for three hours per day. He doesn’t make a sketch, but instead just stares at the original photo while he faithfully reproduces it on paper bit by bit.

About four years ago, Ohmori started producing realistic pencil drawings. He had enrolled in a college design course, but he became unable to attend classes after finding it difficult to maintain relationships with other people and juggling school projects with other activities.

“I like designing things, but I became nervous year after year, and I found it difficult to do several things at the same time,” Ohmori said.

At the time, he became interested in photorealistic drawings shared on social networking websites.

Good at concentrating on one thing, Ohmori thought photorealism was the form of expression for him. He started honing the necessary skills by himself.

Determined to become an artist specializing in photorealistic drawings and to devote himself to working on his projects, Ohmori dropped out of school in spring last year.

Since shooting to online stardom, Ohmori has received requests from companies to create pieces and provide his works for solo exhibitions, as well as other inquiries. The artist is also eager to pursue a career in photorealistic drawing.

“The more I become nervous, the better the quality of my work becomes,” Ohmori said. “It can cause trouble in my social life, but I want to make use of it in my work as my strong point.”