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Dorchester Artist Becomes Known As 'One Dollar Portrait Guy' On Boston Common

BOSTON (CBS) -- You may have seen him before on the Boston Common or on social media.

"I've been looking at TikTok videos and saw the one-dollar portrait guy," said Adrian Wong of Boston.

Asked what he's often referred to, the artist explained, "the drawing man, one dollar portrait guy, dollar drawing of you- like that's just my name I guess to some people."

His real name is Nick Shea, and the Dorchester artist has been coming to the Common almost every day since last summer.

"I sit out here with just a pizza box and just a sharpie and some index cards. It's really simple," said Shea.

Nick Shea
Artist Nick Shea (WBZ-TV)

With his limited supplies and advertising, he sits on a bench and creates portraits for strangers, for just $1.

"I love it. I think it's pretty good. It's pretty accurate. He got my necklace too," said Mimi Brown of Boston.

"I always do my best. I do care about art and I've been drawing since I was a little kid," said Shea.

"He could probably upcharge but he's keeping it a dollar. So anyone can really afford it and it's super cute and personalized," said Aleeza Huda of Chicago.

Each drawing takes about 2-3 minutes, and especially on nice days, the line of people waiting can be long. Nick tells WBZ-TV he never rushes the process because his favorite part? The conversation.

"We have fun conversations. Get music recommendations. Just make some friends," said Shea.

"It was just nice to talk to somebody and have a genuine conversation I think," said Disbennett.

"The most rewarding thing has been people messaging me and telling me it really meant something to them. They were going through something during the day and getting the drawing really impacted them in a positive way," said Shea.

For more on Shea, visit his Instagram page.

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