This week I have the pleasure of sharing some musings from an individual who is incredibly talented, frequently irreverent and, dare I say, occassionally offensive.
Mr Bingo is an illustrator who ditched the world of advertising in 2011 to explore his unique brand of art. Art which happened to be perfectly suited for the social media age.
His rise in popularity has since led to work with The New Yorker, TIME, Esquire, The NY Times, QI and Channel 4.
He is possibly most wellknown for his Hate Mail project - where strangers pay him to send them a personalised, hand-drawn, offensive postcard. What started as a drunken idea, now sells out in minutes, whenever it relaunches.
In 2015, his crowdfunded book of Hate Mail illustrations went on to become the most successful UK Kickstarter for a book, ever. Oh, and his scratch off Naked Advent Calendars are another thing of beauty - I'll let you discover them.
They don't come much more interesting than Mr Bingo.
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Let's peel back some layers.
What gets you out of bed on a morning?
Firstly, Qi Gong, every morning at 8am with my pal Mark Shayler on his Instagram live, 7 days a week.
But also, just - life and my ‘job'. I’d rather be up and doing anything than wasting the day lying in bed.
What one ‘none-business book’ would you’d recommend that everyone read?
A philosophy of walking
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked in PR once for 3 weeks, cold calling teenage girls magazines and trying to get them to mention a lipgloss in their stories and features.
What’s your favourite - must have app?
Actual answer - Google maps ‘Cool’ answer - Radiooooo
Worst marketing buzzword?
What do you spend way too much money on?
On average I eat out twice a day. I don’t consider this a waste of money though.
If you were guaranteed the correct answer to one question, what would you ask?
Honesty, there’s nothing I really want to know, I’d prefer to just see what happens.
What is something that I could learn right now, that will be useful for the rest of my life?
How to spend time alone
How do you define success?
I used to think success was to do with career but now I’d say feeling fulfilled, satisfied and happy in life.
You visit your ten-year-old self and tell them about your life. What do they think?
They will be absolutely amazed and won’t quite believe it. They’ll think that getting divorced was utterly life changing and saddening beyond belief and they won’t believe that the job I do exists.
There are 5 empty seats at your table, who are your dream dinner party guests - from any time or place?
Louis Theroux and 4 mass murderers.
Sorry for the 4 failed answers here, it’s too complex and both options are equally good and can serve different purposes, I know you’re meant to only choose one option!
Early bird or night owl? Both (on different days)
Book or boxset? Book
Call or text? Text
Introvert or Extrovert? Both
Netflix or YouTube? Both
Library or museum? Museum
Classic or modern? Both Bot
Talk us through your workspace.
What helps you get through the day and do what you need to do?
Windows are the most important part of a room for me, they let light in, they give you views to stare out at, they can totally change the atmosphere and feeling of a room. I like spaces that are so naturally lit that you don’t need lights. Thats basically my brief for a studio or a house, and the rest of the stuff just fits into place and works itself out. Everything looks and feels better bathed in natural light, and drawing and making art just feels ‘right’ and pure. My studio is on a 4th floor so I see lots of sky, beautiful rooftops and huge tree. It almost feels like you’re in a giant treehouse.
Normann Copeengahen Block Table
It’s the tea trolley thing. It rolls around the room with tea and biscuits and gin on and the shape of it makes me very happy. My friend Dan described it as “Camp and fussy, like most of the stuff you’re into”.
Modular shelving manufactured by Heals in the 1960’s. I have 7 bays of this stuff and I’m obsessed with it. Looks amazing (IMO) and totally functional and modular so you can arrange in any composition or shape to suit your shelving requirements.
My girlfriend and sometimes studio co-inhabiter
I love having her around, we seem to work really well together.
Just Normlicht Color-Control smart light 5000
This is a lightbox I once borrowed from an old studio mate, photographer Chris Brooks. I feel bad that I’ve never given it back to him but whenever I’ve needed to trace something to draw (yes, I cheat), this has been my friend for the last 10 years.
I’ve been collecting vintage postcards for 20 years. In 2011 I started making art with them as a joke. It turned into a bigger thing which culminated in a kickstarter which crowdfunded 10,000 books plus countless talks about the project. The first round of Hate Mails sold for £5 and the final ones (before I stopped doing them when I got bored of it) sold for £1,000. I have a lot to thanks my postcards for.
The Hand Finished Cock Plant is my latest ‘art’ .
I originally made this print which proved to be very popular and I decided to take it a step further and allow people to order a one off bespoke version of the print featuring their own genitalia hand drawn as the plant.