Pet Portraits by Hercule
1520. Phil Heckels
Phil Heckels, from West Sussex, has raised over £24,000 to support the homeless by auctioning off his "rubbish" pet portraits which he designs under the name of ‘Hercule Van Wolfwinkle’.
Phil’s initiative started after he drew a picture of his family dog while playing with his son, and shared this online under the name of ‘Hercule Van Wolfwinkle.’ Soon after, he began receiving requests from pet owners across the country for a portrait, and decided to accept commissions in return for donations to charity. Phil has now received over 3,500 requests for portraits, with all money from the auctions of his work supporting ‘Turning Tides’, the largest provider of services for single homeless men and women in West Sussex.
In a personal letter to Phil, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Congratulations on the success of your pet portraits!
“What started as a fun project with your son has now raised a significant sum for local charities. Your ‘rubbish doodles’ by Hercule Van Wolfwinkle have also lifted the spirits of the nation. I loved the picture of me with Dilyn and I am delighted that we were able to help raise funds for local charities.”
“It has been a whirlwind few weeks and I will never cease to be amazed by what might come next! I am extremely humbled and grateful to receive this award, however I really do feel that the thanks should go to the many people who have supported this campaign and to the amazing staff and volunteers at ‘Turning Tides’ who work tirelessly every single day to achieve things far greater than drawing a few silly pictures! Everybody who has got behind this fundraising campaign have not only raised a staggering amount of money in a short space of time, we have also increased awareness of the rising numbers of homeless men and women in our community. I have supported ‘Turning Tides’ for a number of years and share their passionate belief that no-one should be without a home. I thoroughly enjoy drawing the portraits and will continue to do so for as long as we can keep raising much needed funds.”
Picture: above – Phil (right) passing over donations to Turning Tides charity; below – a sample of portraits by Hercule Van Wolfwinkle in aid of Turning Tides; and a portrait of Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his dog Dilyn, designed following his Points of Light award