Chesterfield tattoo artist's sketches of Captain Tom Moore and others 'spread a little happiness'
A Chesterfield tattoo artist has lifted some lockdown gloom, ‘spread a little happiness’ and raised money for the NHS with a series of sketched portraits.
Chris Cross, who jointly owns Tattoo HQ, in Theatre Lane, Chesterfield, was determined to keep busy when his business was closed temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chris’ love of art, he says he has probably drawn something every day of his life for the past 25 years, persuaded him to keep his skills up to scratch and provide some welcome cheer to other people during the crisis.
He said: “While trying to avoid the boredom, I was chatting with friends on Facebook and saw it was a good friend of mine’s birthday. So as a surprise I thought i'd just do a sketch of him.
“When I did it, it got loads of attention, along with some really nice comments, so from that point I announced that I would choose one person randomly, per day, from my friend list and do a sketch of them.
“It got to the stage where I was doing two or three a day, which was brilliant because it passed the time and stopped me going bonkers!”
Chris says that if he ‘could make just one person smile’ on each day it would have all been worth it – but at one stage he checked his Facebook messages and saw 43 people were requesting a portrait.
“ A good friend, Tim Cannon, of Chesterfield Motor Sales, then suggested I did a portrait of Tom Moore as he'd just raised the staggering amount for the NHS.
“Tim had it printed out and framed, which his friends at in2frames of Chesterfield very kindly did free of charge, and we created a raffle and choose a winner on Tom’s birthday.
“It was a great success in the end raising £639 for the NHS, along the way I also raised £65 which was donated to Ashgate Hospicecare.
By day 39 of the lockdown, Chris had completed 63 drawings, spent 324 hours doing them and all ‘to spread a little happiness in these terrible times’.