Artful ThinkingAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Designer, author and artist Bradley Bayou is the definition of a renaissance man. Raised in Dallas, he began his creative path while studying at the Skowhegan and Corcoran schools of painting and sculpture. He then spent time in New York City, painting the town with Andy Warhol and the Factory crew. This led to a very prosperous career in fashion, dressing everyone from Oprah Winfrey and Geena Davis to Beyoncé and Anne Hathaway. Since 2010 Bayou has poured his creative genius into constructing marvelous homes and spaces throughout the country.
Inspired by the current pandemic crisis and his daughter who is serving on the frontlines as a nurse, Bayou brought out his brushes and launched an effort to raise money for LA’s first responders. His hand-painted masks are not just protective and cool but give back to the medical community, with all proceeds benefiting the Frontline Responders Fund. Here he shares more about the effort and how we can all help!
-What inspired you to launch this effort? I started painting again recently, and have been dealing with helping my daughter get masks for the hospitals she works for, and it came to me, why don’t I paint masks and raise money for first responders, (like my daughter) so I painted a few and posted them for sale so I could do something to help.
-You started your career as an artist, have you been painting recently or is this your first real foray back? It has always been a passion for me since I was 14. It actually lead me to my fashion career, when I painted a vest for a party! With all this going on, I have been drawn back to my roots, and began painting again. I think this is the time for all artists to do that, to go back to thing that they had let go, whether it be gardening, knitting, or, like me, painting. It is so easy to get caught up with work and forget the very thing that got you here in the first place. How I painted on a vest and transitioned into fashion, I would like to also use my painting on masks to transition into helping others.
-Do you plan to roll this out with other artists? I would like to. A few artists have reached out to me, and we have been in contact to collaborate, either with an auction, or helping each other promote the masks or other items. My main goal through all of this is to raise as much money for our frontline healthcare workers as possible. The more help, the better.
-How many masks have you sold so far? We just started last Monday, and by Thursday night we sold over 30 masks. It was shocking even to me, but we are very happy to have raised money for men and women that need it.
-Aside from purchasing, how can the design community get involved?I believe that if other designers were also able to sell some of their products, and donate to a charity that would be amazing. Artists have helped others get through times like these for centuries. If we can use our artistic nature to help, I think that is the best thing we can do.
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