Okay, part 2: Benedict Cumberbatch signed my drawings. He was a bit nervous signing them as he didn't want to mess up. Then his handler told me to open my portfolio and show the copy of a drawing I drew for him, a family portrait (his parents and him as a baby). I showed him while telling him "I actually drew something for you, too. There's a copy in here, but I left the original on the gift giving table." I then pointed to it and he just stared at first. Then he went "Oh my god that is terrifying. That is SO realistic.", his handler pointed out the baby section, and he laughs and goes "That's the terrifying part!"
You'd think that's the end of it, but no. Oh no. He then looked at the drawing next to it and exclaimed "It's James! James Rhodes! Has he seen this?" I told him he had, then he decided to flip through the entire portfolio. He commented on a few (two One Direction pointillisms, he goes: "It's the boys."), and kept saying things like "You are so talented." Then he gets to this old Nick Jonas one, asks who it is ("Uhm.. It's Nick Jonas, haha."), and fires of a range of questions about my artwork. He asked how long a drawing takes me, while staring right as me as he's asking it (7 to 8 hours was the answer). Then he asks how it works, how I start. "Do you just start with a section, do you sketch first and then draw on a different paper?" " No, no. I do outlines and then I start shading and adding details." B: "So you just work on the same one from the start? Do you start in one place, like here and then finish pieces?" Me: "Yeah! I start top left, so the graphite doesn't smudge as much. Otherwise my right hand would smudge it." B: "Oh! That makes sense, yes of course."
So.. Then he continued through the portfolio, sees one and goes "This looks like a young Martin! Who is that?! It really does look like a young Martin." We both laugh. I flick further and go "I do have one of Martin and Amanda here." B: "Oh wow. Wow. That is so good. That is such a good picture of them, too."
And THEN. He saw my ink drawing of Tom Hiddleston. He stares at it, says "Has Tom seen this? This is amazing." I replied "No, I have no way of getting it to him." Benedict looked up, cocked his head, and said "I can get it to him. I'm his friend." Me: "Would you.. really? You're.." B: "If you want it signed by him, just write your address on the back, leave it on the gift table. I will get it to him, get him to sign it, and he'll send it back to you. Is that okay?" Me: "You are fantastic, thank you so much." He smiled this huge smile, looked at the drawings again, and handed the portfolio back. We then thanked each other.. and I went and put the Tom ink drawing on the gift giving table.
I'm not entirely sure today wasn't a dream. Benedict is the most amazing man I've ever met. Ever. I'm in awe at his kindness and generosity.
PS: Check my next tweet for the drawing I gave him.