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Pet portrairs that started as a joke

By Phil Heckel

"So untalented he's talented" dog artist raises thousands for charity

At night, British realtor by day Phil Heckel, takes on the alias Hercule van Wolfwinkle and paints "rubbish" portraits of beloved pets. He's raised more than $165K for a charity that tackles homelessness.

Heckel told Wales Online that he never set out to be a pet portrait artist. He was trying to encourage his son, Sam, to draw a thank you card when he decided to draw the family dog. Expecting to be laughed at, he posted it on Facebook, offering to draw other people's pets for a fee.

He posted that first silly pet portrait in August 2020. Since then, Heckel has drawn around 800 portraits, written a best-selling book showcasing his talents, raised another $24K for charity and completed a 24-hour 'draw-a-thon.'

B.L. Ochman
@b-l-ochman

B.L. Ochman is the human companion of Lucy the Rescue Puppy. She is a professional writer, podcast producer and trusted advisor to brands in verticals from cars to cookies. She's a native New Yorker and lover of Central Park—where dogs can be off-leash until 9 am. She also is a really pretty good swing dancer.

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