This competition is now closed! But it was a heck of a lot of fun!

Congratulations! You’ve earned yourself a FREE bad portrait!

Here’s exactly how we’re going to make it happen!


Step 1

Run outside and high-five a stranger. Because this is a little victory and you should enjoy it.

Step 2

Find a photo of your face (or someone else’s face) that you’d like me to draw. Make sure it’s clear and of a high quality. It’s probably best if you’re looking directly at the camera and not doing anything too complicated. The lines in my illustrations are pretty thick and too much detail may not work well. Make sure the picture isn’t too huge – no more than 2Mb please!

Please note that if your image isn’t of good enough quality, doesn’t open, is corrupted or something else, I’ll write your name very nicely in a yellow square instead. This will probably look something like one of these, depending on what kind of mood I’m in when I do it. This will be in place of your portrait. If you really want a portrait, make sure your image follows the above guidelines.

As an example, here’s an image I decided to use for myself. My wife took it when we were standing beside a canal. The dead dog floating in the water is just out of shot. (Just kidding! It was a cat.)

Step 3

Email your picture to hello [at] davebirss [dot] com with the subject “I’m a winner and I want a bad portrait”. Feel free to write compliments and lovely things. Don’t feel free to give artistic direction or ask for special requests!

Step 4

Go and buy my book from Amazon while you wait for me to do your portrait.

Step 5

You’ll get an email from me with your portrait in it. It will be a bad portrait. You may not like it. But that’s the risk you took.
If you do like it, show it off to everyone and do whatever you want with it. It’s yours now.
If you’re really not happy, I’ll refund the full payment of £0.00/$0.00/€0.00 to you via telepathic channels.


Step 1

I get an email from you with a lovely image in it. I admire your good looks and mutter something highly complimentary under my breath.

Step 2

I open my iPad and import your lovely image into the brilliant Procreate app. I reduce the opacity to about 50%, open a new layer and start tracing the exquisite features of your delightful face. This takes me three or four minutes. I deactivate the photo of your face and export the black line drawing on a yellow background. This is a super-quick example of what I’ll be doing: 

Step 3

I send you an email with your bad portrait in it. I wave the email goodbye before importing another person’s face and starting all over again.

The reason for all of this

Do you remember why I did this in the first place?

It was to promote my lovely new book How To Get To Great Ideas.

I’m really proud of it. It’s helpful, it’s educational and it’s quite amusing in places.

You can read a little bit more about it on this page.

You’ve just helped me tell more people about the book and I really appreciate that.

I would love it if you were one of the first readers of the book when it’s released on 8th November.

You can do that by pre-ordering the book on Amazon right here.

Thank you so much again!

Dave Birss



Dave's classic book that explains where ideas come from and shows you how to have more of them.

Soon Yu and Dave Birss explain how you can use innovation as part of your brand's growth strategy.