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Mr Bingo / Down Under - Melbourne, Thursday 27 October 2016
It’s always interesting to hear about creatives and their career paths – the highs and lows, the clients and of course the never ending crazy deadlines. It’s ‘all part of the job’ so they say, but Mr Bingo has managed to leap out of his commercial whirl (for now) and put his money where his rather rude mouth is!
We heard via twitter that Mr Bingo was keen to pay Australia a visit, so we snapped him up and set up a couple of dates so we could hear first hand about his work and comic profanities!
Being an illustrator seemed to be the natural step for someone who grew up ‘drawing’, ‘I guess it’s a natural progression’ he said. As creatives we all start like that and through a combination of art teacher encouragement and college education we find ourselves as designers, photographers and illustrators, working in busy studios or agencyland. Mr Bingo’s career path was tangentially set when he won a £100 prize playing the traditional family game on holiday – comically everyone started calling him ‘Bingo’, and it stuck! He rarely uses his own birth name these days and although the Melbourne show goers managed to prise it out of him, I’ll resist telling you that secret!!
Mr Bingo’s second love growing up was humour – a rye sense for the ridiculous, daft drawings and silly cartoons, Monty Python was mentioned as a favourite, giving you an idea of where his comic roots lie. But as we all know, and as parents always say “You can’t make a living doing that!”
So after a 15 year career as a successful illustrator trying to be serious, his comic love finally got the better of him and resurfaced – I guess he turned back to his roots. Finding the vehicle to jump start this comedy was the key – and a collection of old and odd postcards brought to life the genius of Hate Mail. For a fee Mr Bingo will post you or a friend a foul mouthed illustration, all in his inimitable style and typography – so successful has this idea been that over 1500 cards have been written and drawn and sent all over the world, each one with an individual rude message. So rude and chuckleworthy are these cards that they have been featured in many newspapers, magazines and online blogs and have even been subject to curated gallery events, transporting Mr Bingo to new heights as, in his words, ‘an artist’.
His Hate Mail collection can be found in a fabulous coffee table book which was published with the help of a very successful Kickstarter program – the work involved in producing the project’s introductory Kickstarter video is something to behold and his presentated description of the process and finished result, hilarious – very clever and very much brand Bingo! You can still find it on You Tube.
If you weren’t lucky enough to get a signed copy of the book of ‘Hate Mail – The Definitive Collection’ at one of AGDA’s shows you can get a copy online at shop.mr-bingo.org.uk
So how was the show and what did we learn? Well I think as creatives we are always looking for what’s next – where is our creative future heading? Mr Bingo demonstrated that it’s ok to take time out and change direction, sometimes the traditional view of success on success is far too monetery driven, dont forget to take stock and have some fun in yor career path. In Mr Bingos case his future was in has past, it was always there. Confidence, talent, tenacity and his use of social media and modern marketing tools have given him an interesting and exciting direction. Seeking like minded and professional assistance (as with the rap video) can boost and enhance your project – never be afraid to ask and move things up to the next level!
Finally the book might not be right for your granny’s birthday present, but you could certainly take Mr Bingo round for tea, he presented an energetic fast moving and funny show which delighted and enthused the Melbourne crowd – very slick and great fun, and what’s more, he didn’t even swear once!
Thank you Mr Bingo!