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British dad’s “crap” pet portraits raise thousands for homeless charities

British dad Phil Heckels has raised more than £18,000 GBP for homelessness charities after sketching pretty shit portraits of people’s pets.

What has your dad done with their mediocre talents recently? Started a pub covers band? Phil Heckels never so much took a high school level art class, however the real estate agent from Worthing, South England has proven the subjectivity lies at the heart of all art.

Heckles was trying to get his son to make a thank you card, so he decided he would draw their family dog named Narla to create some inspiration for his son. He uploaded his self-described “pretty crap” portrait to Facebook for a laugh, offering to sell it for £299. What ensued was an avalanche of people wanting commissions of their pets, and they’ve gone so delightfully viral.

Cat Portrait

Heckles’ Facebook page Pet Portraits By Hercule, where he now posts under the pseudonym Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, is open to submissions from the public and currently has a waitlist of over 1000 pet owners excited to get their own “super realistic full colour which is just like looking at a photograph or alternatively the more contemporary black and white portrait that will grace any home”.

Despite the humorous price tag of £299 (excluding GST), Heckles has now completed over 220 amusingly disproportionate sketches without charge. Instead of charging for the drawings, Heckels instead asks for a donation to his online fundraiser for Turning Tides, a local charity organisation dedicated to ending homelessness.

Hercule portraits

Heckels says he is “just having a laugh with it, people seem to be enjoying it and i’m certainly enjoying it… I would die a happy man if I could spend the rest of my life doing this”.

When he spoke on the importance of the the donations to homelessness, Heckels said “It’s an absolute basic human need to have a roof over your head”. While he doesn’t expect to complete the entire backlog of requests, he is eager to raise as much money and awareness as possible.

You can request your own portrait via Heckels’ Facebook and you can donate to the fundraiser here.