Dad's 'crap' sketches of people's pets have already earned $23,000 for homeless charity
via Portraits By Hercule

There are countless factors that go into determining the value of a piece of art. The artist, condition, size, historical relevance, proof of authenticity, and current art market can all have a huge effect.

There's also something to be said about whether the work is quality or not. Although, there have been a lot of questionable art pieces that have sold for millions.

For instance, Onement Vi By Barnett Newman went for $43 million. To me it looks like a blue ping-pong table. But art critics say it represents feelings of "loneliness" and "sadness."



Art affects different people in different ways so some things can attract buying prices that are way above what most would consider rational. That can be good news for the artist, as we can see from the story of pet sketch artist, Phil Heckels of England.

Last month, Heckels was trying to get his six-year-old son to make a thank you card for a family member. So, as an example, he created a wacky-looking picture of the family dog, a black Labrador named Narla.

"It was pretty crap," he told CNN. We agree. Especially the dog's neck. The real dog has a thick neck, but Heckel's sketch has a pencil-then neck.

He jokingly posted a picture of it on Facebook, offering to sell it for £299 (around $390). He soon received multiple requests from friends to draw their pets. So he set up a Facebook page under the name Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, to accommodate all the requests.

"Extremely realistic pictures which will grace any household," the site reads, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Heckel's artistic representations tend to have goofy-looking eyes and elongated limbs. He has drawn dogs, cats, horses, mice, and even a praying mantis.

One customer insisted on paying him for his precious art, So he set up a JustGiving fundraiser for Turning Tides, a local homeless charity. "I can't take any money for it so give some money to charity," Heckels said.

"It's an absolute basic human need to have a roof over your head," he said

So far, he's drawn over 220 portraits, raising nearly £18,000 ($23,000) for Turning Tides and he isn't even close to being finished. He has a backlog of over 1,000 commissions that grows by the day.

"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," he said. "I would die a happy man if I could spend the rest of my life doing this."

Even though he's become a famous artist, Heckels hasn't let the acclaim go to his head.

"I'm just having a laugh with it," he told CNN. "People seem to be enjoying it and I'm certainly enjoying it."

Here is some of Heckel's best work.

via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook


via Portraits By Hercule / Facebook

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Dude I Want That

There are many, many things that change in a household after children arrive. The number of toys and bright-colored items strewn about the house make it look like a clown moved in.

Parents soon give up any chance of watching a TV show they enjoy until after the children go to bed.

The refrigerator becomes jam-packed with juice boxes, go-gurts, and large frozen bags of chicken nuggets.

There's also a strange disappearing act that happens.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less