A Long & Clumsy Tale on Fanart, Bertie Carvel, and Good Cause

Before I start:
If you’re not too keen on reading all the words below, just be a good person and go here to give monies to Alzheimer’s Society. The story can wait. The people can’t.

If you’re okay with reading on — do go on.



It is a long story that started with me offering to paint something for sale to raise the money for a friend who just sounded too miserable while not being able to afford the access to something she really wanted. Because yes, I might not be a keen commentator at the social media platforms, but I do pay attention when people around me sound miserable, so the offer was made. My friend abruptly stopped sounding miserable, and told me something like, “if we’re raising money, we’re raising it for a good cause”.

“Okay”, I told her. “But I’m still painting something you’d like to have”.

Add here the fact that the friend in question (name’s Rina, by the way, and she’s amazing) is involved with fan-based projects, connected to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell fandom. We spent roughly a week before the Valentine’s Day, poking each other, communicating via skype to share the progress, and even at some point came to the idea of the “limited edition” of the initial image, because putting objects into human hair is just something I like doing, and…
This happened.

Bertie Carvel for Rina's project

Spoiler #1: we did manage to spread some love and donate some coin here to Alzheimer’s Society, and that Valentine’s Day was… Well, «satisfying» is a tad too mild to describe it.

Spoiler #2: that’s not the end of the story.

In case you never knew: making others feel better is priceless. Making others make others feel better is something that seriously counts as genuine happiness. A while ago I did a very interesting commission (I did add the resulting image to the gallery, so some of you might remember it), that also included portraying Mr Bertie Carvel, bless his soul and facial features. This one was dedicated to the Bakkhai play they had at the Almeida Theatre in London, and looks like this:

Agave, as portrayed by Bertie Carvel - one of the best commissions I've performed.

Agave, as portrayed by Bertie Carvel — one of the best commissions I’ve performed.

As some of you can also guess, it looks a tad darker in print and in dim daylight (see the header of the entry for reference). The person I did this commission for is a gentle soul and a keen theatre-goer, so at some point I received an honest-to-God handwritten letter from her. The letter included the print, signed by the man in the print, and an idea.

What if we repeat the fundraising for the same cause?

Lots of people suffer from that diagnosis. We lost Terry Pratchett to Alzheimer’s. I feel like it is a good thing to spend the money you could get another cup of coffee with on a really good cause: the page Carolyn (yes, you should know the author of the idea by name!) set is here, so even if you don’t give a flying duckling about the art print, do please go there to raise some funds.

I’m finishing this entry with slightly lighter heart, and with a funny coincidence. So far, of all the people I made commissions/art stuff for, the only ones who set some charity wheels in motion were the fans of Bertie Carvel and Eddie Izzard (the British vibes are strong here!). I know there are some movements like this in other fandoms.

Let’s hope their numbers will increase.


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