It's three years since a potential disaster was averted in the most pleasing way imaginable.
Consider the absurdity of stopping members of the public as they go about their day... then inviting them to grab a paintbrush, and together, paint a portrait of one of the most famous faces on earth; David Beckham.
Oddly, despite no vetting procedures, no age restrictions and no talent checks, the outcome was something of a masterpiece. Watch below.
'Painting Beckham' is one of our all-time favourite campaigns, made all the more satisfying when you consider that the artist we created it for, Jamie Wilkinson, would go on to enjoy his first viral video, attract high-profile media coverage and sign his first contract with sports merchandise retailer Fan Cave.
Get the full campaign stats here.
To celebrate three years since 'Painting Beckham' and the exhibition it was devised to promote, we rang Jamie this afternoon for a good old catch-up.
Us: In the three years since 'Painting Beckham', what have been the standout moments for you?
Jamie: I would say getting the contract and doing the collaboration with Ronnie O'Sullivan. I’m the only official artist featured in that shop and Ronnie really likes my work, so that was a big achievement to come off the back of 'Painting Beckham'. Out of all the artists that have painted Ronnie, he’s told me that my work is the best he’s seen. I was really chuffed about that.
Us: What has it been like meeting Ronnie?
Jamie: He’s a really nice, down to earth, easy to talk to guy... and he’s really complimentary of my work. I always enjoy speaking to him.
Us: Of all the celebrity portraits you've painted for Fan Cave, which is your favourite?
Jamie: I would say Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne, Tyson Fury and Ronnie — basically, all the ones we got signed by the stars themselves [laughs]
Us: What's your strongest memory of the 'Painting Beckham' day?
Jamie: Just how everyone came together and interacted with me painting. There was a real buzz around town — and a lot of people were coming up and praising what I was doing. The fact people wanted to get involved and be a part of it was great. Also, the fact such a broad age groups got involved and stopped their shopping was a nice surprise, too!
Us: And your standout memory of the exhibition?
Jamie: It was something I’ve never done before — it was my first ever solo exhibition and I was at the centre of it all. I’m not one to be the centre of attention, so this was way out of my comfort zone. But, once I threw myself into it, I really enjoyed it. The in-person reactions were a completely different experience for me, too — I’m used to social media feedback, but the face-to-face element was great. It was a busy week, I remember finishing work and heading to the exhibition on some days, but I enjoyed it!
Us: If we had this same conversation in another three years, what do you hope to have achieved?
Jamie: I’d like my artwork to be less of a side hustle and more of a permanent career. A good steady income to be coming in would be amazing. I’d like to be in galleries — like top fine art galleries. I’d like to be more widely known. A more established artist, I guess.
Us: You're a huge part of the new TV series we've created (arriving December 2022). What are your hopes for the show?
Jamie: For it to be successful and be something that people are drawn to and want to watch more of. For people to really love the show.
Us: Any closing words for aspiring artists who are nervous about putting themselves out there?
Jamie: You’re not going to be able to please everybody. If you put it out and it’s not a hit, it doesn’t matter. You can paint something that everybody likes and paint something that nobody likes, but if you’re enjoying painting, that’s all that counts.
I’ve always seen my art as a hobby. When these opportunities come my way, i see them as bonuses. I would encourage artists to Just take every opportunity… big or small, because the small ones can lead to big ones. The contract I signed with Fan Cave came off the back of the 'Painting Beckham'… and now the show is on the horizon. Just enjoy what you’re doing and try not be too worried about everyone’\s opinion. As long as what you're doing doesn’t offend [laughs].
Visit Jamie's website here