York artist gets a free car – and the love of the internet – with stroke of Twitter genius

11 May 2017 @ 7.00 pm
| News

He’s already won over the internet thanks to his remarkable artworks.

Now Hector Janse van Rensburg has done it a second time after a moment of bath-time inspiration that puts Archimedes’ Eureka moment to shame.

While Archimedes went on to achieve scientific glory, Hector got a basket of shower products. And a car.

Well, a car of sorts…

Friend of the President

Barack Obama by Shitty Watercolour

Hector is better known as Shitty Watercolour, the artist whose works first wowed Reddit and have since won over Twitter.

When he is not studying for his philosophy, politics and economics degree at the University of York, Hector is busy creating striking watercolour vignettes – of people, famous and not so famous, and of the thoughts inside his remarkable mind.

The last time we caught up with Hector he told us of his shining moment: winning the heart of President Barack Obama with his portrait.

He is so famous on Reddit that one of its creators used his Shitty_Watercolour profile to promote a new feature of the website at US arts fest South by South West.

Making a splash

Then Hector got a new waterproof smartphone.

He was messing about with it in the bath and took this pic:

Wondering what to do with it he hit upon his Eureka moment – and he Tweeted out the pic like this:

People loved it, and it got nearly 4K likes and hundreds of retweets. And it got two responses from Radox. The first was a tweet in reply:

And then this direct message:

Next stop, Aston Martin

That got Hector thinking.

He took another bath-time photograph, now with his freebie Radox products.

And he added a quick sketch of an Aston Martin car, leading to this…

“You guys can take it from here,” Radox tweeted to Aston Martin.

And Aston Martin came back with this…

Visiting the factory

“After they sent me the shampoo and stuff I knew I was going to take another picture,” Hector told YorkMix.

“I had to pick a brand to be the subject of it. There’s a science behind it – how high do you aim? What do you ask for? What is achievable?

“But obviously I didn’t expect a car. I was just doing it for the comedy.”

And the gift of a model car wasn’t Aston Martin’s only response.

“They also reached out over DM – and I think I’m going to their factory on Monday to look around. Which is bizarre.”

If Aston Martin are planning to surprise Hector with a £200,000 Vanquish S, they should know one thing.

Hector can’t drive.

Plans for the future

One of Hector’s drawings

Hector is about to take his finals at University of York.

After that? He’s keen to take a year out, just being an artist. “I’d love to be in a room with lots of paper,” he said.

He says he has had several artistic commissions from individuals and organisations. And he is hoping to do more short films – although probably not stop frame animation of his pictures, because they are so time intensive.

In the meantime his pictures touch a lot of people in this country and far beyond.

And that’s probably worth more than an Aston Martin. Just about…