An artist who operates under a spoof alias of ‘acclaimed artist Hercule Van Wolfwinkle has raised nearly £5,000 for a homeless charity by doodling pictures of pets.
It all started when West Sussex resident Phil doodled his pet dog while colouring with his son. He posted the drawing on Facebook and as a joke offered commissions at the price of £299, but he was surprised to receive genuine requests for his ‘gibberish’ artworks. Soon his inbox was flooded with requests from strangers commissioning him to doodle their pets.
Phil does the illustrations for free and posts them on social media with funny fake reviews and started getting upvotes in thousands. Impressed by his posts many people were keen to pay a price for his drawings. He had to put a disclaimer on his Facebook page – that he makes for free of charge, as the picture drawings are so rubbish, he went ahead and set up a Just Giving page and suggested users donate there instead, Phil said, as reported by the BBC.
Within in five weeks demand of his doodles skyrocketed and Phil has raised £4,903 for Turning Tides, a charity which supports homeless people and aims to help them better their lives out of it. The 38-year old is now rushing close to 150 drawings per week with a backlog of 600 requests.
While Phil, who has a full-time job in commercial property, is trying his best to juggle both the jobs and overcome the backlog and finish the requests piled up, he’s a bit ‘overwhelmed’ at times, though not burdened by it. He said it is ‘brilliant fun’ to create the cartoons. Many people continue to donate an amount of their choice to support the message with an image of their pet. To overcome the overwhelming amount of requests Phil devised a lottery system to decide whether people get a drawing, as he cannot cater to all the requests streaming in.
Some of Hercule Van Wolfwinkle works can be seen here:
Phil said that ‘Homelessness is an important issue,’ as it is one of the basic rights for the people to have a roof over their heads. He stressed that charities like these are the last refuge to help homeless people, as the government's reduced funding to social services.
The spoof alias artist, as his next goal aims to raise £10,000.