David's celebrity drawing career started over 10 years ago when Jerry Seinfeld saw some of his drawings. He drew the entire cast of Seinfeld, which was one of the hottest shows on television at the time. For the next decade, David drew strictly celebrities that have posed for him personally. Most of the drawings have been for the celebrities’ private use, but some have been created for other reasons. For example, one was made for an auction benefiting the American Cancer Society.
In 2007, David created the concept of "1 Dot = 1 Person" to bring more meaning to his art. Every dot he places on his canvas now represents a real person, and every David Ilan project has a charitable wing. He called his first project (which is still running) Points With Purpose. This project gives a voice to the survivors of rape or sexual abuse. David has created several portraits using the "1 Dot = 1 Person" concept. People from more than 180 countries have dots placed in their honor in his portraits, including many A-list celebrities. For example, in the portrait he is creating for Special Olympics Southern California, David has placed dots for Scarlett Johansson, Danny DeVito, David Beckham, and Vanessa Williams, just to name a few. In 2008, David embarked on the Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama, a project that was approved by Obama’s Visual Arts Committee. The Obama Portrait was sponsored by American Airlines and attracted the attention of the Smithsonian museum. It was organized in collaboration with Ken Kragen (who was responsible for “We Are The World” and “Hands Across America”).
You can see samples of David's work at www.DavidIlan.com.