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Local creator uses art to show eccentric side through custom resin business, fashion design

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Article Originally Published by Anvitha Reddy on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Anvitha Reddy on North Texas Daily

Skin covered in bright paint and a long green wig, merchandising graduate student Lauren McCullar poses as a martian for her annual costume series on Instagram. She explores her love for art through costume design and fashion-inspired art, in addition to her extravagant costumes. 

“She [has] just always really interested in costumes and fashion,” said Aubrey Leatherman, McCullar’s sister and Houston resident. “She’s always had a great eye for that as a kid, even in middle school. Her costumes are so amazing and impressive to me.”

McCullar finds inspiration from fashion designers who use clothing as an art form. Alexander McQueen and Iris Van Herapin inspire her because of their clothes sculptural feel, which allows art to feel life-like, she said.

She expresses herself through multiple mediums of art, including photography, paintings and jewelry-making.

“I look at clothing as art as well,” McCullar said. “Like with any other art form, [fashion] is all about interpretation. The definition of art can be very broad because I also do fashion-styling and self-portrait photography.”

Art has always been a part of her life, McCullar said. Growing up, she turned to art to express herself when she struggled in grade school. 

“I’m dyslexic so school has always been hard for me,” McCullar said. “I enjoy working with my hands and narrowing in on a task and letting go of whatever else is going on [through art].”

Inspired by varying complexities and textures, McCullar prioritizes leaving her artwork up for interpretation. 

“It is not so much that I wish I could paint like the Dutch painters or the Reinesance painters who are like perfect,” McCullar said. “My hand is just is not capable of that, at least at this point. So, I love [Vincent] Van Gogh’s work and how it is organic and kind of texture heavy.”

Earlier this year, McCullar decided to explore her interests in art further by selling her paintings, and she has delved into resin creations. Including art palettes with flowers, asymmetrical snake jewelry sets and dried lemon coasters, McCullar’s art reflects her passion to create and impact the community.

“I [started my business] because I enjoy working with my hands and creating new things,” McCullar said. “The most important thing is making something that someone is happy to wear or look at.”

McCullar creates new products based on her customers’ preferences, as each product is made-to-order. McCullar has included flowers from her apartment complex’s Crepe Myrtle trees, among other unique materials. 

“She always hits the ground running and she asks a million questions,” Leatherman said. “As a business owner, she sees an idea in her head and she has to accomplish it. I feel like her creative juices are constantly flowing and she’s like, ‘What else can I be doing?’” 

When creating a new product, McCullar receives a customer’s request through social media and offers them a list of customizations including color, florals, glitter, fixtures and opacity. 

“It was customized so with her pieces, you can choose what colors you want and what things you want floating in the resin,” said Nerina Alvarado, McCullar’s customer and Bakersfield, Calif. resident. “She did a really good job about communicating with me and making sure it was the right shade of pink because I’m particular about the way I like my items.” 

Since starting her business, McCullar hopes to make products that are more environmentally friendly. 

“I try to keep it eco-friendly by using recyclable or reused packing supplies almost exclusively,” McCullar said. “After learning about the negative impact that resin has on the environment, I’ve researched sustainable alternatives to traditional epoxy resins. After using up the rest of what material I have, I will be switching to a plant-based eco-resin.”

McCullar’s artwork is sold on her art Instagram (@laurenmccullarart), and her costumes can be found on her personal Instagram account (@nancylauren).

Featured Image: Lauren McCullar stands in front of her art hanging on a wall in her living room while looking out a window on Oct 28, 2021. Photo by Jami Hitchcock

Source: North Texas Daily

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