Mr Bingo chats about his crazy Kickstarter, plus a root around illustrator Steve Simpson’s studio
Despite the popularity of his Hate Mail project, Mr Bingo never expected the related Kickstarter to smash its target, raising an eye-watering £135k
No stranger to offbeat dark humour, Mr Bingo made post fun again with his ingeniously offensive Hate Mail service – and recently set up a Kickstarter page (fronted by a quite incredible rap video) to fund a retrospective book of the project. Imaginative incentives ranged from having Mr Bingo do your washing up, to getting drunk on a train with him, to being his friend for a year. Having set out to raise £35k in a month, he smashed it within just nine hours, and the counter kept ticking – eventually exceeding £135k. We caught up with the inimitable Shoreditch-based illustrator to find out more... What’s Hate Mail all about? People (strangers) pay me to send them offensive postcards. Since April 2011, I have sent 928 postcards. It started as a drunken joke, then got really popular. Too popular in fact, so the service is almost always closed, but it opens a couple of times a year for a few minutes and people that happen to be online at the right time manage to get some. Where do you get your inspiration? Everywhere, really. I hate people. There are loads of people in London (where I live), so there’s plenty of inspiration. Has anyone ever complained that you’ve gone too far or touched a nerve? No. If you order a service called ‘Hate Mail’ though and you’re offended by it, that’s as dumb as complaining that a restaurant served you food. Why do you think people like getting Hate Mail? I’m not sure, really. You’ll probably have to ask a psychologist. Are you surprised that you’ve exceeded your target by over 100 grand? Yes I am. Very. I’ve never done a Kickstarter, so I was really shocked when it went up so fast. When it hit the target I missed it, as I was drunk on a tube train. I came up to the surface, checked my phone and was like “WHAAAT?”. Nine hours to reach a funding target is madness. I’m super chuffed. How long does it take to make a Hate Mail postcard? I’d say between half an hour and half a day depending on the complexity of the accompanying artwork. Hate Mail has been a huge success. Can we expect bigger-scale projects? Cheers. I don’t have any plans for bigger projects. I like small things. Big things scare me – I should try some though. But now I’ve seen what crowdfunding can do, the possibilities are endless!
Mr Bingo loves to hate people; photograph by Claudia Rocha