Kindred Shizzards

It is satisfying to learn that out there in the wide world, separated by time, space and the M40, others have also theoretically crossbred lizards with farmyard animals.

Porl by Katherine

What are the odds of that? Presenting: The Shizzard! Half sheep, half lizard, it’s got an impressive fleece that would keep it warm as far north as say, Newcastle, extending the range of this unusual beast by a good few miles. It’s got Wuzzle written all over it, and I love an excuse to mention Wuzzles, but it could likely eat those guys for breakfast.  Luckily Porl’s great fire-breathing skills should keep him in check for now, that fleece would probably go up a treat.

Artist: Katherine

Lost Porls Part III: …and then there were none

On the day we crowned our 1000th drawer of Porl and bestowed upon him great honour and gifts (a paper flower and a badge fixed to his head with spit), there was but one among our party who had not yet leapt aboard the thigh-slapping hayride that is Porl artistry. Naturally, he was encouraged to join in post-haste, and here is the gift he bestowed upon us:

Porl by Stan

Yay, it’s one of the rarer happy Porls, blowing his tongue like a streamer and defying gravity with his body glued sideways onto stiletto-clad trestle table legs. He’s tottering off somewhere right now, full of optimism (and possibly opium), eager to share his vision for the pas de deux with the Premier Maître de ballet en Chef , hoping to save the reputation of the Paris Opera Ballet and keep his orphaned ingénue sweetheart from the streets before finally succumbing to consumption in a drafty garret. Quelle tragédie…

And so the end of the line has been reached. Perhaps a little dark for a 9 1/2 year old’s efforts, but I assure you the artist was fully 24 when he drew this. Of the three facts offered about himself only the beard one is true, though “Nowhere” and “Suffolk” are synonymous to some.

Thus concludes our foray into Lost Porls, hitherto they are now all accounted for… except for the one in your mind’s eye that is yet to make it onto paper.  Let us have it, I prithee. Let it not end this way.

Artist: Stan

Anniversary Edition – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

As Porl celebrates his ninth year flitting from imagination to imagination, from pen to paper, from scanner to book, from computer to blog, we’d like to invite you back for a little retrospective.

From humble beginnings etched onto lined paper in a highschool drama changing room to an idea reimagined more than 1000 times over 55 different countries, Porl has touched many people right in the soul. As an existential thought experiment he was quirky and inspiring, now as a character that is never the same twice he represents to us the spark of creativity that’s in everyone, their interpretations making him so much more than he could be if we’d never shared him or encouraged others to ask what or who they think he is. When we repeatedly see him depicted in ways that we just never would have thought of, it forces us to ask, can anything be pinned down and defined? Do we take our own ideas and perceptions for granted and think them not unique or  special? Do we forget how different another’s perception could be, when we think we have it all worked out?

So on this note, I invite you, dear reader, to perceive these. These are the first two drawings of our friend Porl, scribbled by his loving creators all those years ago in Karen’s daybook, not knowing at the time what he was to become. Perhaps you imagine they will be wild and creative images, artfully fashioned into the very essence of an intangible dream that no other being could perceive? Let’s take a look.Porl IHmmm. This would be more one of those dreams in which a strange being who insists that you spell his name P-o-r-l appears licking jam off a manhole cover being carried by bearded hawks and then turns to smile benignly at you just as you wake up craving toast and unsure if you’ll ever look at a horse the same way again.

But this is unquestionably an adorable image. Porl has just sprung into visual existence and seems to be loving every minute of it! And why wouldn’t he? Let’s move on then, to this:

Porl II

Convinced that what this creature is decidedly lacking is a big horsey neck, a second attempt is made to capture him, his lizard’s head now perched at the top of a long neck complete with mane. However, I can’t help but feel that this might have been at the expense of more attention being paid elsewhere.

He appears with an intriguing inscription, could that be “Porl?” or “Porl’s”? And if the latter, does it continue just under where he’s been cut out to say “got four of the funkiest legs I’ve ever seen on an animal and a tongue so big a chameleon wouldn’t touch it with yours”? I guess we’ll never know. But Porl has come a long way since then, a long long way indeed.  Witness:Porl by GrahamAnd just to echo a sentiment that has come up a few times, “If I’d known it was going to turn into something like this, I’d have drawn it better!!”

Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

Porl by Kevin Artists: Karen and Rachel, February 5th, 2001. Graham, Kev.

All Creatures Great and Porl

Jamie's Magic Porl

On a sunny day here, we find Porl out for a spot of exercise. While his blonde locks swirl pleasantly in the zephyr, his expression rather belies a slight disgruntlment as he wonders how many more laps of this ruddy paddock he’ll have to do before attracting the attention of the good young ladies of the farm and procuring a sugar cube and a pat on the rump. But then his mind wanders to the severe underuse of the term “flimflammery” today and a dream he once had in which he is a camel and a woman tells him repeatedly “don’t jump, Porl”. Thus he continues his pacing until dusk when that curmudgeon of a stable boy finally brings him his worsted jacket and a hay bale to nibble.

Artist: James

Porl’s Showbiz Chums

Celebrity responses have varied somewhat. The Queen was ‘interested’, Timmy Mallett said “Good Luck with your funny idea!” Mr. Bean had had ‘many similar requests’, and the Beckhams sent signed photos of themselves. We did, however, acquire some delightful Porls from a small handful of celebrities, including Richard O’Brien, Richard Wilson, and Bruce Forsythe.

Porl Wilson

Porl O'Brien

Porl Forsythe

Artists: Richard Wilson, Richard O’Brien and Bruce Forsythe

One Million Giraffes

Not very long ago, in a galaxy really close by, Porl has discovered he has a second-cousin-twice-removed-on-his-mother’s-side. Seemingly sharing Porl’s very own Impossible Dream, in the very same media, format, style and idea, a chap in Norway is collecting one million drawings of giraffes. And he’s half way there in less than a year.

What this tells us is two things – one, that the power of twitter is not to be underestimated (we collected almost all of our Porls in person, and still span 55 countries, but this took tiiiiiime, man. 1000 was a big number in the days pre-interweb. Unfortunately we ain’t tech-savvy but we can but continue to be true to our glorius quest one brick at a time, one single solitary brick and know that Porl brings a weird kinda joy to many of the hearts he touches) and two – that people all over the world are ready to embrace projects like these, projects that span continents and overcome any difference between people and unite them in something they have in common – simple participation. So, to our kindred spirits over at http://www.olahelland.net/giraffes, we salute you!

So if meeting at Porl has tickled your appetite, why not skidaddle on over to giraffeland and join in the madness? Porl is – see work in progress below. You might notice someone a little familiar there too… I know! It’s a Giraffe!!! And yes, they’re practically tounguing each other, just get over it.

Porl meets the Giraffe