Billionaire Mark Cuban Claims to Have Made $10,000 Doodling Cat Portraits—What?

Photo: kittendivision.com.

CubanCat1

International Cat Day may be officially over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some reasons to celebrate. Billionaire investor and—often mercurial participant on the Shark Tank television show— Mark Cuban has added another role to his lengthy resume: feline portraitist.

That’s right, the energetic entrepreneur whose team the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championships, has taken to doodling cats, and his albeit rudimentary portraits are proving quite profitable. He peddles them at $1,000 a pop and claims to have raked in $10,000 so far.

The tale behind the Cuban cat drawings is of course just as colorful as the man himself. Cuban readily admits that this was not his idea. Instead, it was the brainchild of a Shark Tank contestant named Steve Gadlin, who scored $25,000 worth of funding from Cuban for his website, I Want to Draw A Cat For You.

Gadlin, whose price for a cat cartoon was a more reasonable $9.95 per piece, has since stopped making his scribbles after completing nearly 20,000 cats. “The project has run its course,” he told DNAinfo.

However, in a recent ESPN podcast, Cuban said he had realized a 20 percent return on his “tiny” investment, adding: “What made it even more fun for me is [Gadlin] had some that wanted the cat drawn by me. And I’m like OK, I’m going to price it $1,000 so everybody says ‘no’. Literally, people said yes.”

Asked by the interviewer if he can draw, Cuban responded: “”No, I can’t draw worth crap! But for $1,000, I’ll draw a cat.”

Alex Morrell at Forbes took the additional step of contacting an art valuation expert to assess Cuban’s drawings: “The expert who wished to remain anonymous was not impressed.”

Related stories:

Our 15 Favorite #MuseumCats

10 Best Cat Paintings

Artist Paints Politicians As Cats


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