Former prison Arnold Sebutinde, from Rednal in Birmingham, began drawing portraits while behind bars six years ago.
Now the 27-year-old has left his old life behind and has set up his own successful business with the help of the Prince's Trust.
Arnold, who is originally from Uganda, grew up in a deprived community and became caught up in gang culture after moving to London aged 14.
He moved to live in Birmingham with his mother four years later, but once again got involved in the wrong crowd.
By 2007, Arnold was serving a prison sentenced after being convicted of conspiracy to rob.
He says the two-and-a-half year sentence served as a wake-up call for him, and decided to pursue his childhood love of art.
Arnold began to paint portraits of other inmates and decided to take a course in business studies with the idea of setting up his own business when he was released from prison.
Upon his release, the Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme, which helps unemployed young people to start-up in business, helped Arnold build a portfolio and set him up with a business mentor.
The artist went on to win the Young Ambassador of the Year Award in 2012 and is now venturing into the music business - promoting talent at youth centres and amongst young people in Birmingham.
Coventry artist John Devane has won £10,000 by coming second in The National Portrait Gallery's BP Portrait Award with his painting of his children.
Mr Devane teaches at Coventry University and his portrait features his children Lucy, Laura and Louis.
The winner was South-African born Susanne du Toit, from Berkshire, who painted her son Pieter in oils.
Almost 2,000 artists from 77 different countries entered work in the competition and 55 portraits have been selected for the exhibition which opens to the public at the gallery on Thursday.
The exhibition will come to Wolverhampton next year.
A Coventry artist will find out today if he has won a prestigious international award.
John Devane's painting of his three children beat nearly 2000 entrants to make the final two in the BP Portrait Award.
The winner of the £30,000 prize will be revealed this evening at the National Portrait Gallery.
Even though it's nearly 50 years since man landed on the moon, hopes of reaching other planets are a dream - but not for one Midlands man.Read the full story ›
Even though it's nearly 50 years since man first landed on the moon, hopes of reaching other planets are still a distant dream - but not in the mind of one Midlands man.
David A. Hardy's imagination has helped the rest of us visualise what life on other worlds might look like - and his work has been celebrated across this one. Andy Bevan has his story.
Here are a selection of some of Birmingham artist David A. Hardy's artworks.
The 77-year-old from Hall Green has used his imagination to help create scenes for some of the most iconic science fiction and fantasy landscapes.
And as you can see from the following images - even some of his home city's iconic architecture is a source of inspiration.
Derren Brown is a master of illusion whose trickery can leave us barely able to believe our eyes. But he is not just a magician, he is also a dab hand with a paintbrush, as a class of art students from Leicestershire found out today.
The TV star visited their school to show his support for a charity set up in memory of a former pupil.
Derren Brown is a master of illusion whose trickery can leave us barely able to believe our eyes.
But he is not just a magician, he is also a dab hand with a paintbrush, as a class of art students from Leicestershire found out today.
The illusionist Derren Brown famed for his mind-bending stunts has swapped the stage for the classroom as he shares with children another talent of his, painting.
Derren Brown taught a classroom of art students in Loughborough today where he showed them this portrait of his mum.
The TV and stage illusionist Derren Brown is at a school in Loughborough today to show off his skills as a portrait artist.
The magician is taking an art class with students at De Lisle College to offer an insight into his second love which is painting.