I absolutely adore Hercule Van Wolfwinkle's pet portraits—people send him photos of their pets, and then he draws them, with hilarious (and charming) results. He doesn't ask to be paid for his work—the portraits, which he uploads on his social media, are free, but in return he asks for folks to donate to two charities.
On his website, he explains his story and his style:
Hercule's self-proclaimed 'ultra-realistic' style is akin to that of a small child who has never seen an animal before and is only just learning how to hold a pencil properly, but people like it. A large social media following and worldwide media coverage catapulted Hercule into the limelight and he has used this exposure to raise money for his chosen charities, Turning Tides Ending Local Homelessness and StreetVet.
Here are the descriptions of the two charities he donates to, from JustGiving:
Turning Tides is the largest provider of services for single homeless men and women in West Sussex and they believe everyone has the right to a home, regardless of the difficulties and issues they may face in their lives. Turning Tides know anyone's life can unravel into homelessness, so they bring together compassionate individuals and organisations who work tirelessly to transform the lives of people in our local community and to change perceptions of homelessness.
Victims of the UK homelessness epidemic often have scant support, except for, in a growing number of cases, the companionship of their pets.
Many have had their pets since before losing their homes, which makes their bond even more profound, such that their pet's well-being is a life-shaping priority.
StreetVet's volunteer vets and vet nurses provide accessible fundamental veterinary care. They vaccinate, microchip, treat for fleas and worms, prescribe pain relief, help fight infections, perform surgeries and sometimes just sit and listen.
I seriously love his work–he somehow perfectly captures the essence of each pet he draws. I would absolutely adore a portrait of my dog Henry Rollins, but it's pretty much a lottery, as he has over 60,000 requests in his queue already! I'll just have to be happy exploring his Instagram, instead.