Friday, January 14, 2011

Chicken-Illustration Friday

I did this drawing in summer and never posted it, but it fits perfectly with this week's Illustration Friday Topic Chicken.

While in London for an illustration course, my class went to the Southbank to draw the people and the sights there. The Southbank is a walkway in London where street performers go to try to earn money off of tourists and there are a lot of people in costume who try to get paid for taking pictures with people and children. I sat down on a curb against a fence that faced the Thames River. Across from me was this guy in a chicken suit. When I sat down to draw him I was trying to imagine what it would be like if that's how I earned a living. From where I was sitting I couldn't really tell if he was happy with me or not for drawing him, because I actually was thinking that if that was my job I wouldn't want someone to draw a picture of it. But this chicken guy came over to me by the time I had finished and LOVED this drawing! He wanted me to give it to him, but I didn't really want to, and also I wanted to be able to bring the drawing back to my class and show my instructor. We exchanged emails so that I could send him a copy of the image, or talk about an exchange. The chicken man now had a name, his name was Mike, and he was from Poland.
I agreed to have breakfast with Mike in exchange for the drawing. We met up for breakfast, and Mike proceeded to tell me his story about how he became a chicken man: after moving to London from Poland, several connections fell through for him, and it was difficult to find a job. After some hard times that including worrying about where to even sleep for the night he acquired this chicken suit because it was left behind at a job site. He felt that God had blessed him with this suit as a way of making a living, and that it was his destiny to be a chicken man. I was humbled by his story, his faith, and his enthusiasm for earning a living as a performer on the Southbank. He promised that my drawing would be hung proudly in his home, and I was honoured to give it to him.


  1. That is a wonderful story. I love it. It reads like a mini-short story, all the better because it is true.

    Nice drawing, too!

    I have had some similar experiences when I am "caught" sketching someone.

  2. Wonderful story and illustration!

  3. Thanks for the positive comments!
    Craig: It can be interesting drawing in public because suddenly the public thinks that by drawing in public you want to talk to them about what you're making.

  4. Cool. Writing in public is very different because people get scared of you.


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