Forensic Friends

About Forensic Friends

Starting at Spark Monument Circle in 2015, Forensic Friends connects artists and the public by inviting them to team up on a happy version of a forensic police sketch. Instead of describing a stranger who committed a crime, people describe a friend or somebody they love (sometimes a hero) to an artist who draws the sketch on the spot.

Neither the person describing their friend or the artist drawing are allowed to look at a photo, or at the real person, during the process. This, in a fun way, tests the ability to remember what the friend looks like and takes pressure off of the artists. Overall, Forensic Friends has been a fun experience both for visitors and the artists who have participated. It humanizes the artists, demystifies art and the artistic process, and creates a real experience of collaboration between the public and the artists.

As part of this ongoing project, we continue to post pictures of the drawings on Instagram, using the hashtag #forensicfriends. We encourage people to also share the drawings with the subjects. Sometimes the subjects are nearby at the moment of the drawing, so we ask to photograph them with the drawing and share it on social media. Various artists have worked as portrait drawers using this process. We’ve brought this idea of Big Car lead artist Jim Walker to multiple events and public spaces over the years.

Check out some of the Forensic Friends drawings below:

Drawing people's friends at the @indycm MRKT Ball #forensicfriends @bigcarpix

A post shared by Jordan Lee Thomas (@missjordanlee) on

Visit from @visitindy. Their friend Ethan! #forensicfriends

A post shared by Big Car Collaborative (@bigcarpix) on

Another one of @christophermdanceart's #forensicfriends drawings! #circlespark

A post shared by Spark Placemaking (@sparkplacemaking) on

Elka of @pps_placemaking with her #ForensicFriend

A post shared by Big Car Collaborative (@bigcarpix) on