Surprise sketches: Dartmouth artist cheers up strangers with drawings
HALIFAX -- The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many acts of kindness, including the surprise sketches of a skilled young artist, which are delighting total strangers on the streets and social media.
As an artist and illustrator, Max MacAulay draws realistic pencil portraits of people he meets in and around the Halifax area.
"People are the most interesting to draw because we can all connect to them the best. I wanted to up my skills for drawing so I started drawing people in public,” explains MacAulay.
Armed with a pencil and a sketch book, MacAulay would soon discover another important tool -- the ability to record video on his smart phone.
“I needed to try something different, so why not actually record the process of doing it?"
Earlier this year, MacAulay started surprising his subjects while recording their reactions for social media.
From a couple on a downtown Halifax street, to strangers in a crowded bar, MacAulay’s drawings have elicited shock and offers to pay, which he had declined.
“You don’t need to pay anything, I’m just doing it for fun,” he responds in one video.
His uniquely Canadian interactions have racked up millions of views through his social media channels under ‘Slick Skills’.
But the Dartmouth-based artist says it’s about more than the internet fame.
At a time when many of us feel isolated, MacAulay is finding ways to connect to complete strangers.
"I wanted to add something that someone would actually be happy about so they'd at least be able to forget about something bad that's on their minds or with what's happening with COVID,” says MacAulay.
MacAulay tested out his skills during an interview with CTV’s Ceilidh Millar at the Halifax Public Gardens.
"Here you go! Wow! Thank you! You're welcome."
"It's nice to just feel like there are people who are doing sweet, little acts like giving strangers surprise drawings!” said Ella Porter.
"It was very unexpected. I don't think you see too many people doing this, something so cute and wholesome to take home from like a walk in the park,” added Raelee Rath.
Acts of kindness that are leaving a mark on those on the receiving end.