$1 Portrait Artist In Boston Common Gets Big Lift From Social Media

Photo: Matt Shearer/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — What started as just a way for Nick Shea to relax in the park and draw has now become a viral sensation.

Shea hangs out on a bench in the Boston Common with a small pizza box reading "$1 drawing of you!", and it's those drawings that have turned him into a social media celebrity. He now draws big lines in the Common, all for a chance to sit down and get one of his minimalist marker-on-index card portraits.

Shea told WBZ's Matt Shearer he's gathered a pretty dedicated customer base, which means he's out in the common drawing pretty much every day.

"People have told me that they left their house strictly for this," Shea said. "The other day it started raining while people were in line and no one left."

This is in large part to his popularity on TikTok, where videos of people looking to find him and get a portrait have tens to hundreds of thousands of likes and views. One girl in line told Wbz's Matt Shearer she went to the Common purely to find Shea and get a portrait.

Shea said he's happy his little business is taking off, but above all, he enjoys the conversations he has with subjects the most.

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"When I talk to people I can really help capture their essence, it helps me with the drawing a little bit," Shea said. "A girl the other day said her nail salon messed up her nails and was like can you just please draw me I need to get my mind off of this."

Shea posts some of his art to his Instagram account @realnicksheal.

WBZ's Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.

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