Art comes in all forms and shapes and always makes people wonder about things and find the most accurate interpretations. But what is considered a good piece of art? To each individual, it might be a different thing: the memories or feelings the painting is calling out, techniques that are used to create the piece, the artist and their personality, their talent, and work. There is no one way to become a successful artist, and Hercule Van Wolfwinkle is one of the people who can confirm that.
Phil Heckels, better known as Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, started his artist career about a year ago when he was doodling with his kid. Little did he know that his little painting will change a lot of things for good.
The artist caught everyone’s attention when he started drawing pet portraits. In his last interview with Bored Panda, the artist shared that everything started with “thank you” cards that he was making that he decided to share on Facebook. Soon, people started asking him to draw their pet portraits. One of the most fascinating things about this is that instead of paying for these portraits, people get to donate the money to a homeless charity Turning Tides.
Bored Panda contacted Hercule to ask how he’s been doing. The man was happy to share that over the past year, he has achieved some great things. “A little over a year ago, I didn’t even know I had an interest in drawing and these few silly pictures have turned my life upside down (in a good way!) and seen me develop a real passion for fundraising and trying to do some good,” stated the artist. Over the year, he made more than 800 pictures and gained more than 100,000 followers on social media. Besides this, his work was acknowledged by the Prime Minister and featured on various media platforms. He even was listed as a Sunday Times Bestselling Author with his book Rubbish Pet Portraits. He also helped to raise over £110,000 for charity making life for those who are struggling a little bit easier.
The idea of getting your pet's portrait done became really something as the artist revealed that he now has more than 20,000 requests. Hercule revealed that it takes about 10 minutes to draw one portrait, but “the most time-consuming thing is writing the pet biographies and fake customer reviews - that and just managing the page, dealing with inquiries, shipping prints, fundraising ideas, etc.” This is why he compares getting a portrait to winning in the lottery - you might not know when or even if you will get your request done.
The story of Hercule is really inspiring as the person who never drew before now has drawn more than 800 portraits in just a year improving his skills and making himself and other people happy with his art.
Bored Panda asked the artist what are his aspirations for the future to which he replied: “The plans for the future are to just keep going with the fundraising and the project as long as possible. I’m having SO much fun and we’re hopefully doing some good in the process. We have big plans for the fundraising coming soon and I’m excited to see where it can go.”