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Lucky artist
Wednesday 20th June 2012, Morpeth Arms, London.
As I walked across Vauxhall Bridge I called Chilli, the cabbie from outside the St Pancras Hotel. I'd entrusted Chilli with a Wearelucky invite but I hadn't heard anything back and it was getting close to knocking-off time. Surely he couldn't have gone a full working day without picking up a happy passenger? The voice on the end of the phone confirmed my fears. Not one smile, not one cheerful conversation. Chilli was apologetic and said he felt responsible for not finding a Lucky Person. I felt bad for that and invited him to join us for a drink by the river. It wasn't the end of the world. He could try again tomorrow.
From the bar I spotted a girl wearing a T-shirt with what I thought was 'Lucky You' emblazoned across the front, but I couldn't quite see the first letter. All I could make out was 'ucky You'. Could it be? I moved towards her table, craning my neck for a better view of her chest...until I caught the red-hot glare of her boyfriend and sloped off back to my pint.
A few minutes later I snuck another glance....it did say 'Lucky You'! Her boyfriend was still fuming, but I was too excited to care. I strolled over and, without saying a word, slid a Wearelucky invite across the table. I didn't really fancy explaining this one, they'd have to debate it amongst themselves.
It took Tess more than half an hour to decide to take part. Great stuff! Her boyfriend relaxed and joined my pals for a beer as I went off to take some snaps. Tess was wearing her mate's jacket but didn't want it in the shots as she hadn't asked to borrow it. I didn't mind, it was the T-shirt that I was interested in.
Questions & Answers
1. What were your first thoughts and feelings when propositioned with Wearelucky?
First thoughts: This can't be real! Feelings: Thrilled! I was unsure whether or not it was a hoax, but I had quite a strong feeling that the proposition was genuine. This almost worried me more than the prospect of it being a fake. How do you interpret the word 'good'? The invite stated that I had 48 hours and the decision was left to me. Not a conundrum you expect to deal with on a trip to your local.
2. What have you decided to do with the money?
After much deliberation, I am happy with the decision to use the money to continue making art. The first port of call is buying a video camera. I'm a video artist and I currently borrows cameras, so now I can work towards my goal of completing a new video piece by the end of the year. By the end of the following year I intend to have enough work to select pieces for my own solo show in London. Through using this generous gift I am able to further my career as a creative practitioner. In this crucial and formative post degree show period, the money I have been given couldn't have come at a better time. It really was a stroke of luck.
3. Is it better to make a small impact on a big problem or a big impact on a small problem?
Anyone giving it their all and doing whatever is in their power to make a change is making a difference.
4. Has Wearelucky challenged the way you think about giving?
Having been taught to see money as a cycle, you shouldn't harbor it if you want it to come flowing back, I've always held onto the belief that you mustn't get too wrapped up in wealth, especially if you want to say happy. I think the Wearelucky project is an inspiring and innovative means to challenge traditional conventions of charitable giving. Allowing the freedom to interpret the donation is not only an innovative and exciting opportunity, but a valuable lesson in responsibility. It's given me the opportunity to really think about what is important to me in my life.
5. Why do you think we feel good about doing something for others?
Giving a gift is as rewarding as receiving one. This gift is the most substantial sum I have ever received and hopefully the bearer reaps an equal sense of reward from the feeling of giving. I imagine the most exciting aspect would be knowing you are the sole catalyst that inaugurates change in a stranger's life.
6. What question should I be asking you?
I feel like you should ask me, 'Do you feel your decision to spend the money on a work of art or a material object is a worthy interpretation of the word 'good'? I'm still unsure of the answer to that.