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English artist Sam Cox and his wife, Alena, sit outside their Kent mansion, which Cox covered in doodles
Gareth Fuller/PA Images

Press play on one video which 28-year-old Sam Cox shared on social media over the weekend and you’ll see how the English artist covered a 13-room white mansion in floor-to-ceiling doodles. Nothing – not the pillowcases, nor the stove, nor the television – is left untouched.

The video, which is just over two minutes long, is a time lapse made up of 1,857 photographs, Cox told the Washington PostThis is Adela Suliman. In reality, the project lasted almost two years.

Cox, who also goes by the artist aka Mr. Doodle, has been turning heads in the art world with his graphic doodle art, reminiscent of the artist’s work adjacent to 1980s graffiti. Keith Haring. By Susannah Butter of Sunday time, the young artist acknowledges the similarities in their work, but says his main inspiration ‘always goes back to when I was a kid watching’Tom and Jerry,’ ‘Wacky races‘ and ‘Sponge Bob SquarePants,’ and video games like ‘Crash Bandicoot.’”

Haring-meets-SpongeBob works have fetched Cox large sums of money at auction. In 2020, he set his own auction record by selling a large-scale drawing titled Spring at Tokyo Chuo Auctions For about $1 million.

With the money he earned from his art, Cox was able to buy his Kent mansion for around $1.5 million a few years ago. It was the first step towards fulfilling a teenager’s wish to reside in a house completely covered in doodles. “It’s been my dream since I was 18,” Cox told the Sunday time.

A decade – and, according to the Washington Post238 gallons of white paint, 286 bottles of black drawing paint, 401 cans of black spray paint and 2,296 pen nibs – later Mr. Doodle lives in that dream.

Sam Cox sitting in his scribbled bathtub.

Cox, also known as Mr. Doodle, has dreamed of living in a doodle mansion since he was a teenager.

Gareth Fuller/PA Images

After painting the interior and exterior of the mansion white, Cox put the pen to the wall for the first time in September 2020. Restrictions and pandemic lockdowns have left the artist much more time at home than wasn’t used to, which “accidentally helped,” he told the Washington Post. “We had to be indoors, and my main project was so easy to get to because we live there.”

The “we” he refers to includes his wife, Alena, who goes by the name Mrs. Doodle. Alena, an artist herself, often collaborates with her husband, such as on a heart-shaped Ukrainian flag, prints of which the couple sold to raise funds. UNICEFto support children in Ukraine, Alena’s home country.

When it came to the mansion, however, Cox declined offers from his wife to help him doodle. “I wanted to say that I had done everything myself,” he tells the Sunday time.

Different rooms and areas of the house were dictated by loose themes: The hallway, he recounts Sunday time, evokes Noah’s Ark, while the stairs represent heaven and hell. But beyond that, the doodles are improvised and mistakes are left untouched. Talk with BBC breakfastby Tim Muffett, Cox describes doodling as an “out of body” experience. “You’re just indulging in this fluid state of creation and it’s just the best thing anyone can do, I think.”

Artist Sam Cox and his wife, Alena, standing in their scrawled mansion.

Cox drew every inch of his mansion by hand, improvising and leaving mistakes along the way.

Gareth Fuller/PA Images

However, devoting your life to doodling isn’t always easy. In February 2020, Cox caught the flu and began having doodle-related hallucinations, which landed him six weeks in a psychiatric ward, he tells the Sunday time. “It’s a scary feeling to think you’re losing your mind and not knowing what’s real,” he says. “I’m glad I got my head around reality again and I now make sure to take walks and get out of the doodle world once in a while.”

Even so, Cox maintains that living in a fully scrawled mansion is “heaven”, as he tells BBC Breakfast.

Sam Cox and his wife, Alena, in their fully doodled mansion.

Even though Cox’s scrawled mansion could sell for a hefty sum of money, the artist is “pretty determined to stay there.”

Gareth Fuller/PA Images

Given the reception Mr Doodle’s work has had in recent years, the value of his Kent mansion has probably skyrocketed now that it’s covered in doodles. But Cox isn’t interested in selling the house, which he chose in part because it’s five minutes from his parents’ house, according to the Sunday time. He’s not even interested in selling tours in person, although he would like to offer tours online.

“I’m pretty determined to stay in this,” he told the Washington Post. “We really love where we live and we’re really happy to be home.”