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Veronica Beard Photo Shoot

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Meet the Artist: Carly Beck

Welcome to her whimsical world of best-dressed pets

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Our eagle-eyed fans will notice all the furry creatures in the whimsical painting above are wearing Veronica Beard. The pup on the couch? She's wearing the Arielle dress. The one by the window? Our hot pink Jania pants. And the feline to the right? The allover sequin Nila dress—this is a party, after all. 

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The artist behind this delightful scene is Los Angeleno Carly Beck, whose previous career in fashion, working for trailblazers Steven Alan and Diane von Furstenberg, lends her characters a certain aura of chic élan. Here, we chat with artist about her work and career—and the playful backstory behind the fun fete she dreamed up for us. 

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P.S. If you're in New York next week, Beck will be our special artist-in-residence at our Madison Avenue and Soho stores on 10/29 and 10/30, respectively, from 11 AM to 1 PM. Come by and she'll custom paint any VB style for you—the perfect gift for any pet lover

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Q&A

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The Veronica Beard party above—okay, set the scene for us… 
I was so inspired by the Fall 2019 VB collection. I love the splash of pink mixed with leopards and tweeds and it made me think of Givenchy's looks for Breakfast at Tiffany's. I thought it would be fun to place the pets in an iconic NYC apartment wearing Veronica Beard’s classic and modern collection. And it wouldn’t be a party if a Pomeranian didn’t spill the champagne. In my mind, she popped the cork across the room and then dropped the bottle to retrieve it.

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What's the story behind your pet portraits?  
I wanted to create an environment that captured my love of interiors, pets and fashion. Seeing an animal in designer clothing lounging in a chic apartment was a daydream I needed to actualize. My favorite thing is to watch the personality of the pet develop on the canvas. 

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Where do you get your inspiration? 
I am constantly scouring Instagram, reading magazines, and taking in the beautiful architecture of the West Village, where I live. I always have an “over and over” on when I paint. That’s a movie I can watch again and again—Marie AntoinettePhantom ThreadRaiders of the Lost Ark—and it seeps into the art.

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Cowgirl

Claudia

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Your medium of choice?
Acrylic on canvas and tiny wood box dioramas.

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When did the art bug bite?
I come from a very odd and creative family—we’re basically the Kansas Tenenbaums—so I’ve always been around art but didn’t start painting myself until about four years ago. I went through a break-up of a very long relationship and needed something to fill the void. So one day I painted my cat sitting in the sink… and strangely felt much better. I have painted every day since.

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What were you doing before?
I’ll skip over the strange era of working for a Senator on Capitol Hill. But my years in fashion have contributed a lot to my painting. I worked for Diane von Furstenberg and learned a lot about print design and color. Then I worked for Steven Alan and enjoyed seeing smaller brands develop. I still keep one foot in fashion with my handbag line C.A.B., a collection of novelty shapes in pop colors and textured/printed leathers all handmade in Los Angeles.

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It wouldn’t be a party if a Pomeranian didn’t spill the champagne. In my mind, she popped the cork across the room and then dropped the bottle to retrieve it.

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What was your first art love?
Gustav Klimt's Mada Primavesi. I wanted her white dress with the appliqué flowers.

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And the artist who changed the way you see things?
David Hockney for his color palette and Lee Krasner for her imagination.

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When you get the artist equivalent of writer’s block…
I’ve been lucky not to be cursed with that. It does take a little time for the idea/concept to come into focus, but once it does I usually can’t stop.

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What's your top art hack?
Just work every day, no matter what.

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We have to ask, naturally, about your own pets…
Of course! I’m down to two cats: Mr. Mittens, a tuxedo from South Pasadena, and Lady Adelaide, a calico from Wichita, Kansas.

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Artist Carly Beck

Cinnamin

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