Artist Pays Uni Fees After Being Commissioned To Make Lil Wayne Necklace

It's fair to say that most university students will take on a part-time job while studying to help make ends meet - picking up a few hours in retail or behind a bar to make a few quid.

However, one super talented student at the Royal College of Art in London was able to do one better than that and was able to pay off a 'chunk' of her university fees after creating a 18ct solid gold and diamond bust of rapper Lil Wayne's head for 'thousands of pounds'.

I think I can honestly say that that never crossed my mind while I was looking to make a bit of extra cash at uni.

Credit: Instagram/Joy BC
Credit: Instagram/Joy BC

Student and goldsmith Joy Bonfield-Colombara, 29, who works under the name Joy BC, was commissioned to make the piece of jewellery by one of the rapper's pals for his 36th birthday and to mark the release of his latest album The Carter V.

Joy told the BBC she was initially in two-minds about taking on the work, saying: "I was about to say 'no, I'm really sort of trying to figure out stuff with school'. They then said it's for my friend's birthday and told me who the friend was.

"I listened to hip hop from a young age. I used to listen to him in the club."

The pendant, which hangs from a gold chain, was painstakingly engraved with the rapper's facial tats and set with diamonds and took her two to three weeks to make.

Joy called the piece 'An Icon', and says she wanted to help break down the stigma surrounding men who publicly express their emotions.

Speaking to Dazed, she said: "There is a negative stereotype that for a man to cry shows weakness - I seek to reclaim the power that can be harnessed in the simple and often moving act of shedding a tear."

And if having a piece of your art worn by a major celebrity isn't quite good enough, Joy says that until she was given the commission she had been considering leaving uni as she was struggling to find the money to pay her fees, but thanks to the cash it brought in she could continue with her studies.

She added: "This year I was seriously considering dropping out of school because I couldn't afford the fees.

Credit: Instagram/BC Joy
Credit: Instagram/BC Joy

"The commission came a few weeks before I was due to start my second year, and meant that I could pay for school and continue to pursue the career I am so dedicated to."

Nicely done. And, I reckon it's safe to say that now her name is out there, and her amazing work is reaching a bigger audience, she'll be getting a fair few more commissions.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Joy BC/PA

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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