Professional artist creates art for dozens of NFL athletes

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Posted at 10:19 PM, May 08, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - For most of professional artist Nick Iby's life, he was was not the guy you'd describe as artsy and doodles were the extend of his masterpieces.

So how'd he get to where he is now, in his own studio, creating art for pro athletes and celebrities?

"I was dating a girl, things were good and then we broke up and I was super sad," Iby said.

It all stems from heartbreak, which happened five years ago when Iby was a sophomore in college and looking for a way to cope.

"In my college dorm room I started drawing because drawing was better than crying, and putting my emotions somewhere," Iby said.

So after filling up his dorm room with drawings and doodles, an artist was born. Fast forward to today and he's made art for 40-plus NFL players and counting.

It's not just arts and crafts talent that got him here, but arts and crafty business acumen. Iby took it upon himself to find clientele by simply sending direct messages on social media. He started with popular YouTubers who have large audiences, and after success, started reaching out to NFL players as well.

"The first person to every reply was Christian McCaffrey and I was like holy smokes," Iby said. "I honestly think I'm more talented business-wise and relationship-wise than I am art-wise. There's a lot of people I know that are way better artists than me, but they don't have that business bone. It's like a perfect marriage of business and art.”

One of the NFL athletes who's benefited from the marriage of the two is former ODU standout and Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke.

"Going to deliver art to Taylor was super cool," Iby said. "We got hang out for a little bit, we grabbed a bite to eat. I surprised him with the art and he loved it."

What was born out of heartbreak now leads to works of art that are loved.