• Gathering Table

Artist Spotlight: Kinley McCaa

This week's artist spotlight features Kinley McCaa of Kinley M. Designs. Kinley is a wife, mother, and graphic designer. We first stumbled upon Kinley's BAKO merchandise while at Cafe Smitten. We couldn't help but fall in love with her mugs, cards, and tees. We are thankful to artists who are working hard to represent our city in a positive light, and we can't wait to learn more about the woman behind the BAKO brand.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself, and include something people might not know about you.

A: My name is Kinley McCaa. I’ve been married for 23 years and have a 16-year-old son. We live in a tiny house we built in 2012. I was raised in Bakersfield, and my husband and I own an electrical contracting business, McCaa Electrical Construction. I love traveling, cooking, spending time with friends and family, and volunteering.  

Q: Where do you find inspiration? What drives you creatively?

A: I find inspiration everywhere! Since I was a kid, my eye has been drawn to design, signs, and graphics. I’m inspired by so many things that it’s difficult to pinpoint specifics. I love styles from street art and modern, clean lines. If had to pick one thing, I am naturally drawn to whimsy and have a crazy addiction to graphic tees!

Q: How did you decide to create the “Bako” line of merchandise?

A: As a Bakersfield native, we’ve called our town “Bako” ever since I can remember. There are many great things this city has to offer. My greatest memories are in this valley, and I love what Bakersfield is becoming. Love and pride for my hometown inspired me to create the ©BAKO merchandise.

Q: How and when did you discover your talent in the arts?

A: Growing up, my family owned a sign business. My father is a natural artist, and I remember watching him for hours as he meticulously hand-painted all kinds of signs. I even remember him pinstriping the sides of cars! Now, that's taking it back! At a young age, I began learning graphic design at the family company and realized some of my dad’s artistry was in my blood, too. I was passionate about the trade.

Q: What has surprised you most about working in a creative field?

A: Creative people may not be creative all the time. Some days, I hit a block wall and doubt myself and what I am doing. What helps me is taking a step back. In these moments, I spend a day on a different project and come back with a new and better perspective. That’s when something great usually happens!

Q: Are there any recent highlights you are particularly proud of in regards to your art? Maybe talk about a challenge you’ve had to work through or overcome.

A: I’m most proud of my ©BAKO line. My design business has not been my focus the last couple of years. I was mainly creating invitations, business cards, and logo designs for a few clients. Coming up with the merchandise has been really fun, and I’m super excited for the buzz it has created. It’s been the jumpstart I needed to get back into designing more.

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you'd like to tell us about?

A: Yes! I’m currently working on a line of speciality greeting cards as well as more Bakersfield merchandise with different designs. These will be on the website very soon, so stay tuned!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share that would be helpful for creatives or entrepreneurs while building their businesses and pursuing their passions?

A: I hate the word competition! When pursuing your passion, it’s important to not only support other entrepreneurs but to also learn from them. Your style may not match your client’s, and that’s okay. In the long run, being the guide and helping your client find exactly what he or she wants is most important.


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