If there’s anything Los Angeles does an exceptional job of, it is springing creativity, craft, and confidence from all corners of the city. Whether in the form of music, writing, fashion, or art, there’s something to be said for its masterminds. Beau Dunn, a buzzed-about influencer, contemporary artist, and LA native, helps us break down the industry and what it means to be a creator in today’s age.
Los Angeles, California: known as the “City of Angels”, endless opportunities, and where you’re offered nine different versions of milk to put in your coffee. It functions as both a magnet and mecca for those who see beyond the black and white; who relish in progressive and experimental environments. While Los Angeles sprouts possibility, it can quickly become ruthless when trying to sort through a population of nearly four million people all reaching out for the same thing.
Beau Dunn was born and raised in Los Angeles and stayed close to home when attending Pepperdine University in Malibu. Now with more than 240,000 Instagram followers and a list of hearty accomplishes under her belt, Beau has a strong grip on the inner workings of both the city and the career-side of business. In the midst of attending art installations and television segments, I had the chance to interview Beau within her hectic schedule. As noted in an article within a 2014 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, “Dunn’s works blend fashion and art together,” which is exactly the topic we got down to.
“My passion at an early age was acting and modeling. My parents had a rule that I had to finish high school and attend university, but could work in the entertainment industry after the age of 18 (I had a lot of friends dropping out of school to pursue acting),” Beau notes. Growing up in Los Angeles, there is a whole alternative realm of exposure when it comes to creativity. It bursts between the seams of Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive and seeps through the communities of Studio City, Beverly Hills, Westwood and so many more. “My love for fashion came at an early age, too (thanks to my fabulous mom),” she adds on.
Although there is no perfect scale that determines the success of an artist, art carries a threshold of how it affects its consumers. “I had always had a love for the arts, and was immersed in the contemporary art world at an early age because both of my parents are art collectors. Art was always a passion, and a way to express myself therapeutically,” she says. “I never thought in a million years fine art would be a profession, because honestly, I just created art for fun.” From her first debut exhibit right out of college in 2010 to 2018 and nearly 25 independent exhibits later, Beau’s collections go the distance of impacting those who spectate them.
Beau’s art, consisting of paintings, sculptures, and photography, is rooted in the fantasy of adolescence and childhood intertwined with the greedy materialism and consumerism in America. It highlights once-innocent ideas with the paradoxes of societies shifting ideals. Some of her most renowned series are: Plastic (Glam Barbies in front of a sheet of thousands of Swarovski crystals applied by hand), Size Does Matter (a series of colorful plastic condom-wrappers), and a lighted neon sign denoting “Need Money For Birkin” which most recently caught the TV spotlight on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Her work has also made appearances at both LACMA (Los Angeles Country Museum of Art) and Art Basel in Miami Beach.
But in Beau’s world, art and fashion don’t only exist independently. “I think art and fashion are two industries that have greatly merged. Big fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton are in the forefront of collaborating with artists and supporting emerging artists. I have always loved the connection between the two, with a passion for both.” Taking her love a step further, and constructing more of an entrepreneurial facet to her name, she notes, “Most recently, I have merged my love for art and fashion together in creating a fully personalized clothing and accessories brand called Beau’s Babes!”
While her name rings for miles in the art and fashion world, there has been a greater push to emphasize the intentions of social media platforms, not only to promote personal brands or work but to help spark a movement as well. “I am grateful for having platforms across many industries where my voice can be heard. I use my platform to raise awareness for women’s empowerment and body positivity by sharing my own experiences. I also share about charities and foundations that I am extremely passionate about such as The Art of Elysium, a charity I have been working with for seven years bringing art into LA hospitals,” she states proudly.
But it wasn’t necessarily easy for Beau to get to the point she is today. She claims, “my best advice is create from your heart and do not take advice from other’s – listen to yourself. I try to explain my art concepts to my family and friends and no one really gets it.” Patience and understanding is a crucial trait in any industry but being engulfed in a world as subjective as art and fashion can be easily intimidating. Beau adds, “being a creative in today’s world with social media can be tricky, but I say follow your dreams and do not be afraid of failing.” Days after the interview, Beau’s Instagram Story flashed up with a quote from Angelina Jolie: “I tell my daughters, ‘Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you.'” The image was circled with a pink pen and with Beau’s handwriting “Love This!” scrawled underneath, showing exactly Beau’s stance in the industry.
With encouraging advice for how others can use social media, she notes, “I would suggest using Instagram as a great platform to get your work out in the public. I also think having a tribe of friends that support you and don’t mind posting or telling others.”
There’s a lot to reflect on so far in Beau’s career, but ending with one memento of advice she’d spread to the world, she affirms, “the best life advice I have ever received is “you will never regret being kind.” That quote will help you in all aspects of your life.” Regardless if your work touches in the creative industry or something in the sciences, this advice deserves to be bookmarked in your mind for success in all future endeavors.