5 Quick Ways to Blow £3k

Last month I was commissioned to conceptualise, design and execute a three-piece fresco on the bedroom wall of my next-door neighbour’s bedroom.

My brief was simple: cover the walls with a colourful design that features characters from the world of ‘Mario & Luigi’ – characters from a video game world that I’d not had the chance to familiarise myself with. I decided to take this job on for a few reasons.

  • Whenever I take on a new project I always like to stretch myself – no one likes to stagnate, so I never take on work which is in anyway similar to something that I’ve done before. This was a project that definitely put me out of my comfort zone.
  • Working in the confines of a child’s bedroom is something that I’ve never done before, it meant adapting my bombastic, adult-oriented style to something more kid-friendly – certainly a challenge for me!
  • I was given £3000 for the work which is the kind of money that I don’t think anyone would ever sniff at.

The job itself was much easier than I thought it was going to be. Instead of attempting to immerse myself in the world of this ‘Mario & Luigi’ that this kid was so obsessed with, I decided to just go online and find some stencils that I could use. Unfortunately, the only stencils that I could find cost up to £20 each and I wasn’t about to go and bankrupt myself, especially when we hadn’t agreed any deal related to materials.

In the end I decided to just roll with my instincts. Wisely, I decided to take payment beforehand. Art is such a subjective media that it can be so easy for clients to disagree, when really it’s not their place to question the intentions (or end product) of the artist. I was pleased with the finished product, deeming it to be the best thing I’ve done in the space of one hour for years:

With cash in hand, I made a quick dash to my car and then proceeded to blow the entire paycheck in the space of a week – here’s how I did it:

Caught Speeding [£100]

I don’t often drive my car and for good reason. I’ve been caught speeding a few times before, but I think this was perhaps the most satisfying incident I’ve had the misfortune to be involved in. I’d like to blame my misfortune on my recent addiction to GTA but in truth, I was simply giving in to my baser instincts. Suburban streets are so much fun to bomb around and it’s not like kids are out playing in the street at this time of year – right?

I was surprised that I was even pulled over in the first place. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been that hot on my driving offence codes but the police officer was kind enough to refresh me on them…

New TV [£350]

My old one was starting to look distinctly retro and, as much as I like retro things, this was more the kind of retro that was evinced by gawky teenagers in tatty foreign language text books. My bulky grey box had been with me for what felt like an eternity. Together we’d spent hundreds of hours bingeing on daytime television and idly scanning Babestation, but now it was time for a change. The new TV came last week – a gorgeous, slim black mirror – totally worth it.

Night-out in London [£1000]

A big paycheck means a bit night out. Last time I was in London, I was feeling rather bloated for one reason or another, this time around there was none of that. On a diet of vodka and whisky I exploded onto the bar scene. Everyone was my best friend as long as they were female and not aligned with any kind of feminist activity. I bought drinks, I jumped in taxis, I burned money like there was no tomorrow – it was exquisite.

Food shopping for the week [£50]

At some point during what was certainly one of the worst hangovers of my life I realised that I had exactly nothing in my fridge or cupboards – this was soon rectified with a trip to my local Waitrose. Half a bag of avocados and 3 litres of freshly squeezed orange juice later I was happily trotting back home with a big, stupid middle-class grin on my face.

Back-dated Bills [£1500]

A pile of red letters sit in a dusty patch next to my door mat. They’re covered in footprints, bits of sick and bottle caps. I hate them, they are the bane of my life. It was with a heavy heart that I called every phone number on that list, I parted with the rest of my Mario cash in order to absolve my various debts.

The next morning I woke to the sound of a fresh stack of bills hitting the door mat. Looks like I’ll need to get another mural painted…

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