Why Doodle Portraits make me sick! 😛

Why Doodle Portraits make me sick! 😛


I started out calling it an art residency, and Sonder Coffee (the host), posted on Instagram calling it a sick pop-up. 

It's not like I've never heard that slang before, but maybe a first time I've actually been sick.

So from now on it's billed as a pop-up (fun) as opposed to an art residency (fusty).

The Slang Podcast about the word 'sick'.

This word stems from the US and its early uses have been traced to jazz slang popular in the 1920s onwards.


Sold out

All of the remaining spaces of the original 36, were booked by the middle of the event.


  • 24 people booked a slot and used it.
  • 29 people were drawn (some slots I drew two people).
  • 4 cancellations
  • 3 no shows
  • 1 got the wrong time
  • 1 arrived but didn't come forward to take her slot as too polite!

So I've been feeling VERY excited ever since about doodles, drawing portraits, cartoon sketching and character design. These have always been close to my heart, but it's a true joy to create something that people actually need and are willing to commit 30 minutes of their time for.


I'm totally obsessed with my products and that's my comfort zone. So putting the product aside and focusing on people was the kernel of this project.

Consider my surprise when people actually turned up for the experience as much as the finished portrait! It really never occurred to me that being there could be of equal (or more) interest to people than actually getting the portrait at the end of it.

My favourites

Here are some of my favourite portraits from the sessions. I didn't draw them at the time with the doodly frames - added those yesterday as they present nicely.

The nice thing about the word 'doodle' is that I can mix up the styles of drawing and they still fit the description. Here is a scribbly portrait. Very loose and free.

Man drawn in black with fine tip scribbles. Resting chin on hand

This one looks a little Elizabethan Tudor, with the high, frilly collar and hair curls at each side.

Young girl with curly hair. Colourful portrait.


I do love drawing hair styles. Maybe the next pop-up should be in a hair salon?

Teen girl drawing with top knots hair.


This style would be particularly good for using in a pattern design because it's moving towards abstraction. Still clearly a face though. 

Felt tip portrait in doodle frame

A quick experiment with his daughter's portrait as a checked pattern. Quite fun - another creative item on my infinite TO DO list.

Checked pattern made from a doodle portraitClose-up of checked pattern made with a doodle portrait


Next up

Since I love drawing these, and the concept captured people's imaginations I have big plans for more doodle portraits. Both live in person, and direct from photos. Watch this space. 

Follow along

Schedule of live Doodle Portrait drawing events >>>

If you live in Salisbury you might like to follow @sondercoffee35 on Instagram for more sick posts and stories. 

And to see daily doodle portraits @shimmyshimshop





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