Culture

Artist Beau McCall Creates Chic Fashion and One-of-a-Kind Mosaics With Buttons

Thu., Jun. 14, 2012 11:32 AM EST
by Yvette Caslin

(Photo Credit: Greg Frederick)

“For as long as I have been doing this and as long as I have been breathing, I feel like I was born to be creative. I am a Pisces, and they say Pisces are the most creative of the Zodiac signs. I feel this is a gift,” shares Beau McCall a crafts artist, fashion designer and stylist. “My mom [Velma] has supported me 100 percent and has always had my back. She visits junk stores, thrift store and flea markets on a treasure hunt to collect buttons so she can keep me busy. She is truly my strongest motivation.”
Here, Beau McCall shares what fans can expect at the upcoming art show Strivers Gardens Gallery and Souleo Enterprises LLC Present “eMerge: Danny Simmons and Artists on the Cusp,” with an opening reception on Thursday, July 12, 2012. –yvette caslin

Hometown: Philadelphia
Resident: Harlem

What can art enthusiasts expect from you at eMerge art show?
A lot of excitement and mediums of art that is not your everyday materials, I am doing buttons.

When did you realize that you were an artist?
In elementary school, I was always crafty and creative. I am really not athletically inclined. Even my brother played ball. I never had any coordination. I use my hands to make things         using telephone wire and whatever was available in the house. When I was around nine years old, my mom had a pair of T-trapped sandals and I wanted them. She told me, “These are girl sandals.” I had a pair of Keds sneakers. I cut off the top and wove the telephone cord together to make the straps, removed the cushion and glued the straps down. I said, “Look mom I have the sandals, but they are boy sandals because I made them.”

Are you an artist full time?
No, my dream is to be a full time artist, but I have to pay the bills. Being an artist in any medium is a struggle on a daily basis — financially, getting people to believe in what you do and keeping the strength to stay focused and move forward.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
I came from a fashion background. One day, I decided to embellish a sweater with the buttons from my mom’s button collection in a jar which included mother of pearl, plastic, wool and decorative buttons. Two years later, I moved to Harlem and experienced Harlem Week’s fashion show. There I absorbed and observed. I shared with the person who accompanied me and told them that the next year, I would be participating. I did some unique creations on denim jackets. Along that journey, I was spotted by Women’s Wear Daily. It was an accomplishment for me because I was featured among people who were making fantastic things from scratch and making patterns. When I read the full-page spread, it gave me a boost of confidence.

What keeps you inspired?
I love all types of music but I grew up listening to jazz, classic jazz. It’s smooth, rich and a part of our culture and heritage?

Which artist(s) do you like best?
John Hendricks. I recently discovered Anita O’Day. I also like Betty Davis, P-Funk, LaBelle, the Pointer Sisters and Bette Midler.

(Photo Credit: Greg Frederick)

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