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Artist Who Drew Prince As "The Little Prince" Says The Pop Icon Was A Hero

"People are memorializing one of my big personal heroes with my art," Jenna Crawford told BuzzFeed News. "That's something I never thought would happen."

Posted on April 22, 2016, at 11:37 a.m. ET

Since Prince died on Thursday, you've probably seen this illustration, which poetically depicts Prince as the character from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Jenna Crawford

The image was posted on Twitter a few days before Prince died and has been retweeted more than 2,000 times.

But the illustration is a creation of Canadian artist Jenna Crawford who came up with the design in 2012. "I was going through a pretty big Prince kick at the time, and I just threw it down with pen and Prismacolour markers," she told BuzzFeed News.

Crawford posted the image on her Tumblr at the time but the blog was later deleted for unrelated reasons.

"When I heard the news that he'd passed away, I forced myself offline for an hour or two," Crawford said, adding that her email was later bursting with media companies asking for permission to use the image. She was also contacted by a T-shirt company who wanted to commission the illustration.

"I basically came home to find my drawing was famous," she said.

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Crawford said Prince has been a personal inspiration for her. "I learned from him that it's OK to have flair, to act like yourself, to completely disregard gender norms," she said. "Prince and his work have really motivated me to be myself, and I'm forever going to be grateful for his influence."

Bertrand Guay / AFP / Getty Images

Crawford said she's happy her illustration is being shared but the success is daunting. "Two days ago, I was just some bumpkin doing a webcomic and character designs," she said. "Now I've got people sharing my drawing all over the world."

"People are memorializing one of my big personal heroes with my art," Crawford said. "That's something I never thought would happen."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.