This may have started off as a joke, but Hercule Van Wolfwinkle's "rubbish" pet portraits are being sold like hotcakes and have raised over £50k for a homeless charity. Also, we want one too.
As BBC News reports, Phil Heckels, from Worthing, West Sussex, started working until the alias Hercule Van Wolfwinkle in 2020. Jokingly, he drew his his dog and put it on Facebook, offering paid-for commissions. He was just as surprised as anyone when genuine requests started coming in. Not only that, but his drawings have gotten really popular, and as pet owners ourselves, we can totally see why. Because the volume of requests was so big, it essentially became a lottery where Wolfwinkle decides who he draws and who he doesn't.
In addition to the drawings, Wolfwinkle writes accompanying fake profiles for each pet as well as reviews from the 'customers' - also written by Wolfwinkle. Additional merchandise, such as tea towels and calendars, has also been created.
Initially, the drawings were marketed at the joke price of £299. Later on, that became Wolfwinkle's original fundraising target. Now, "he has ambitions to reach £75,000, and has publicly vowed to get his first tattoo - his signature on his buttocks - on reaching that goal."
Wolfwinkle told BBC: "This whole thing is absolutely brilliant. To be honest it still doesn't feel real. I remember being sat on the sofa with my wife, laughing that we would never reach £299, and now we're here. I'd love to do this forever, it's just working out how we keep it going because I've basically created a second full-time job for myself. The money and publicity for Turning Tides has been phenomenal."