A dad in England is raising thousands for charity after his unique drawings of people’s pets have gone viral. Phil Heckles is not an artist, he’s a 38-year-old who got his start six weeks ago while trying to help his six-year-old son make a thank you card. He drew their family dog to inspire the lad and later shared it on Facebook, with a jokey caption offering to sell it for around $390.
“It was pretty crap,” he admits, so he was shocked when requests started rolling in from people who wanted him to create one of their pets. He set up a dedicated Facebook pageoffering services under the name “Hercule Van Wolfwinkle,” a pseudonym he’s been using on the social network for years. While Phil says he tries hard to draw them, his artistic talents are limited and his drawings tend to include googly eyes, oversized limbs and wonky features, but they’re now in demand - he has over a thousand requests waiting.
When one client insisted on paying Phil for his work, he didn’t feel comfortable taking money, so he directed him to donate to charity instead. Since then, he’s set up a fundraiser for Turning Tides, a nonprofit that supports the homeless, and it’s brought in around $15-thousand over the last few weeks. “It is like a little bit of fun and a little bit of light when there isn't much to be cheery about at the minute,” the emerging artist says.