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

Computer Arts - - Contents -

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

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