This made my day: Man delights unwitting strangers with surprise sketches

This made my day: Man delights unwitting strangers with surprise sketches
Man sketches realistic portraits of strangers on the MRT.
PHOTO: Screngrabs/TikTok/Jeffandpencil

On your next MRT ride, you might want to keep a lookout for a man and his 2B graphic mechanical pencil.

While many may be engrossed by their mobile devices when commuting the train, TikTok user Jeffandpencil is busy sketching portraits of strangers.

Once he's done, Jeffandpencil passes his creation to the stranger and films their responses.

Last Friday (June 17), he posted a video where he passed a finished art piece to the lady sitting across from him on the train.

The sheer detail of his art is impressive especially when you take into account how MRT rides usually aren't particularly very long, maybe an hour at most.


"Excuse me, I drew this for you," he said to her.

The woman, who had her head down and was focused on her phone, was immediately blown away by what Jeffandpencil presented her.

"Thank you so much. Do you have an Instagram [account]?" she asked.

That video has since garnered over 143,000 views at the time of writing as well as 117 comments. 

It is unclear when Jeffandpencil began sketching strangers in public but he posted his first TikTok video of a stranger reacting to his drawing on May 6 and this artist has posted some 24 of such TikTok videos so far.

The comments section to the June 17 video was filled with TikTok users amazed at his talents with many encouraging him to "keep doing what you do".

One netizen asked: "What happens if you draw the stranger half way then he/she alighted at the station?"

Jeffandpencil replied that it does happen and he'll end up keeping the drawing.

Others got a little creative and gave him suggestions on how he can put his skill to good use. 

Jeffandpencil's skill impressed not only his 'clients' but also netizens, to the point where one requested that he find them on their train ride heading west.

In a separate video, posted on June 19, Jeffandpencil was filmed working his magic at a Starbucks outlet in Kampung Admiralty.

This time, he was drawing two ladies who were enjoying their cakes and drinks. 

Just like in the earlier video, the two women were amazed by his artwork. One of the ladies even reached out to him in the comments section saying how much he brightened their day with his drawing.

Jeffandpencil said that he was "happy to hear this" and thanked her in his reply.

It seems that Jeffandpencil isn't the only one drawing realistic portraits of strangers in trains and surprising them with it.

In fact, American artist Devon Rodriguez is world-renowned for doing just that where his drawings of strangers on the New York City Subway tend to elicit raw reactions, ranging from pure happiness to tears of joy.

His first Subway drawing was in August 2020 and he told American news publication Today that he posted it up on TikTok and the video received 4.9 million views.

On Father's Day (June 19), Rodriguez passed a father-son duo his drawing before wishing the older man a "Happy Father's Day".

This had the dad beaming as he tried to hold back tears while thanking the 26-year-old artist.

ALSO READ: No camera, no problem: Recruit makes detailed illustrations of BMT life in Pulau Tekong

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