The Elephant In The Room

A lot of people - myself included - don’t really like the name Jim’ll Paint It.

I picked it on a whim back when Operation Yewtree was in full swing. I needed a name for my collection of Microsoft-Painted requests so I could post them on “puerile digital arts community”* It needed to get across the idea of making people’s dreams come true while also being in suitably poor taste. Plus my name is actually Jim (or James) - thus: Jim’ll Paint It. Perfect, I thought… back when I reckoned it would be seen by no more than a hundred people.

Fast forward 11 years and we’re all a lot older, a little wiser and many of us have kids. The BBC’s dramatisation of Savile’s sickening crimes, The Reckoning, is fresh in the collective memory. To make matters worse, the name Jim’ll Paint It is no longer confined to the dank corners of edge-lord message boards but is being seen by thousands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond.


I did change the page name simply to Jim but the ‘ll Paint It persists. My official stance on it these days is that Jim is my artist name while Jim’ll Paint It is specifically the project in which I paint requests using Microsoft Paint - a project which has recently taken a backseat to non-requested original works such as the Ultimate 90s mega rave, the Paddington Death tarot and various bird-related artworks.

A common accusation is that I purposefully used Savile’s crimes for financial gain but that is simply not the case. When I first shared those pieces 11 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed it would ever be possible to monetise them in any way. I know for a fact the name has cost me commercial work and I suspect it has cost me sales too. Most of the negative comments I get about it are under sponsored ads being seen by people who aren’t familiar with the page or the artist behind it.

That said, there’s no doubt the name has influenced the direction of the project as a whole. The bizarre and sometimes disgraced relics of 20th century Britain’s showbiz landscape form the backbone of Jim’ll Paint It. And every attempt to distance myself from it has failed. So, for now at least, it’s here to stay. 

* Guardian quote