In 4 seconds
Mr Bingo likes drawing things and rapping and this is a website of some stuff that he’s done.
In 39 seconds
Mr Bingo was a commercial illustrator for 15 years, working regularly for clients such as The New Yorker, The Guardian, TIME, CH4, The Mighty Boosh & The New York Times. An archive of the thousands of illustrations from this period doesn’t exist online because he got bored once in a motorhome and deleted his entire portfolio website. You can see a small selection of work from this period here.
In 2015 he launched a Kickstarter to fund a book about his Hate Mail project. The campaign featured a rap video and a diverse selection of rewards including being trolled, having your washing up done, going on a date in Wetherspoons, being told to fuck off on Christmas Day and getting shitfaced on a train.
He decided around this period to never work for clients ever again and focus on being some sort of artist which he’s done ever since.
Do you ever work for companies?
I prefer to turn good ideas into personal projects rather than waste them on companies.
Ok, what about private commissions?
It’s worth asking… I’m always potentially up for doing stuff, but only if I like you and I’m going to enjoy it.
If you asked me to design your wedding invite I’d tell you to fuck right off.
If you asked me to design a tattoo for you or something, I might be interested.
To give you an idea of the probability, I get asked about 500 times a year and I maybe do around 10.
I’m a bit more likely to do stuff for people who spin a decent emotional story about being a dedicated fan for 15 years or are going through a really rough time. Like those acts who do better on The X-Factor because their mum died.
We want to collaborate with you, are you interested?
Again it’s always worth asking, but it’s pretty unlikely I’m afraid.
I have a constantly growing list of ideas that I don’t have enough time to complete before I die, so any new ‘offers’ (unless fucking incredible) go to the bottom of a list that will never be reached.
How d’you make a living?
We don’t have a budget, but will you come and speak at our agency?
Unlike many people who will speak for free in return for exposure/networking/relationship building, I’m not interested in any of those things.
But we have loads of booze and snacks and we’re really fun bunch?
I’m 42 years old, so free alcohol, food and meeting people isn’t exciting to me.
Do you have a mailing list I can subscribe to?
Yes. You can find it here.
Why are you called Mr Bingo?
I played Bingo at Gala Bingo in Maidstone, Kent in 1998 and I won £141.26p and got the nickname Bingo.
I added the ‘Mr’ to it a few years later when I was pissed in a kitchen in Bath.
Do you reply to emails?
How many people d’you think come to the end of their life and consider all of the time they spent replying to emails as one of their most treasured memories? Think about it.
I do read almost every email I get, I just only reply to some of them.
The problem is I like making art, and if I’m replying to your email, I’m not making art, I’m pressing buttons on a keyboard.
If I reply to all my emails I just become a typing machine which is sort of a waste of time, right? That’s why I chose not to work in an office.
You seem arrogant, are you this annoying in real life?
No, I’m a charming sociopath. You’ll probably like me.
Why don’t you work for clients?
I prefer a life without deadlines, meetings, conference calls, briefs, amends, feedback, people telling you what to do, compromise, drawing other peoples ideas and dealing with stupid people.
Do you have an agent or manager?
Can we pay you to come to our party?
Will you ever release a full album of rap?
I don’t think so, no. Probably best to leave that to professional rappers.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A computer games designer. Stuff like this.
What are your favourite pens?
Pilot G-1 Gel Rollerball 0.7mm, Pilot DR Drawing Pen 0.1mm/0.2mm, Paper Mate Flair and Bic Cristal ballpoint (AKA the common biro).
Did you research the people that you sent Hate Mail to?
Has anybody been offended by receiving one of your Hate Mails?
I don’t know.
Do you do Hate Mail anymore?
No, but I’ll go back to it when I’m desperate, like when ageing bands reform because they’re running out of money.
Did you go to art college?
Have you ever had a proper job?
Where do you work?
Here in my studio in Farringdon, London UK.
Can I get a tattoo of your work?
Yes, if there’s anything of mine that you fancy getting tattoo’d on yourself get in touch and I’ll send you the hi-res artwork to work from. No charge!
What are your favourite words to burp?
Uganda, submarine & Barack Obama.
Are you going to do another kickstarter?
I’ll never do one for the sake of it, but if I think of an idea for something that I can’t afford to fund myself, sure I’d give it another go.
Do you take on interns?
I never have a permanent position for an intern but I am sometimes looking for people to help out on short term projects. If you think this may be you, please get in touch here and I may contact you in the future if something comes up.
Do you have a blog?
What was your ‘big break’?
I never had one.
Do your mum and dad understand what you do?
They have a vague understanding of what I do but I don’t think they’ll ever understand how and why it works.
Are you a workaholic?
Well I spend most of my life creating things but I don’t really call it work.
What are you inspired by?
Fuck off, who cares.
How do you come up with ideas?
I don’t know.
Why does this website constantly jump from first person to third person?
Mr Bingo doesn’t care.
Will you come and speak at our college/university?
Yep, I do this very occasionally, you can contact me about it here. But if I have to fill in lots of forms, I won’t do it I’m afraid as I have an aversion to admin.
Do you have any advice for students who want to get into illustration or art?
Make the work that you want to make, don’t follow trends, be honest, just get on with it, work harder than people who have normal jobs, only go for this as a career if you enjoy it, don’t expect instant success, don’t compare yourself to others, be competitive but not ruthless, ignore advice (sometimes), if you’re motivated by money get a proper job, don’t forget to have fun.
What is your real name?
Are all of these answers honest?
One of the answers is a lie but the rest are all the truth.
Do you have any plans for the future
Photo credit: Sam Piggott