Artist Simon Ellinas has set himself a challenge for 2020; every single day of the year he's drawing a caricature of a celebrity, related to a particular tube station.
Actually, he's doing slightly more than one caricature a day. "The total number of London Underground plus Overground stations is, I think, 382, which makes just a bit more than a year's work on a daily basis," Ellinas tells Londonist.
"As a born and bred Londoner, I know London and the Underground quite well and the fact that it is fairly generously populated by celebrities from all arenas, makes it an ideal project for me to showcase my work."
Ellinas has a track record of doing this kind of thing: in 2019, he sketched out a different caricature for each day of the year in his diary on their birthday — including Londoners like Sadiq Khan, Kate Bush and the Kray twins.
This time round, the celebrity must have a link to a part of London with a tube station.
The links are not always the most obvious. So, while Eddie Grant might be famously associated with Brixton's Electric Avenue, he actually lived, and went to school, in Kentish Town.
Likewise, Amy Winehouse had strong ties to the social scene of Camden — but also lived in East Finchley for a while. Says Ellinas, "I could have drawn Peter Sellers, but he really does have quite a boring face and George Michael, who was also born there, might well be on my radar for Hampstead."
"As the project travels through the central London tube stations," says Ellinas, "the celebrities are becoming more literary and historical, proving that the suburbs are the places that modern day pop stars and actors tend to move to."
Ellinas gets a feel for his subjects and their their nose/cheekbone shapes, etc, by studying a range of photos. "I have been known to draw on the tube," says the artist, "but it is not the shakiness that is a problem — I feel that it may be intrusive to draw people without their permission and as we Londoners never speak on the tube, there is a little psychological barrier there!"
Here are some of the Londoners that Ellinas sketched in his 2019 diary:
Check out more of Simon Ellinas's work on his website.