You’ve seen it, been inspired by it, and have most likely used it as a mantra of sorts since its first appearance over I-45 in 2012. But what you probably didn’t know is that though the “Be Someone” artist is anonymous, you can still support his cause without revealing his super-secret identity.
Besomeone, as the artist prefers to be called, boasts his own official website where you can purchase collectibles and artwork directly from the source. Recently updated to reflect the artist's own recent graduation, the online store offers a wide array of original work for sale, including a new university collection spotlighting a "Besomeone State University" tee and a limited edition diploma shirt for those truly wanting to celebrate the artist’s achievement. Anyone else want to enroll?
The bridge mural is so beloved, it's inspired nearly 26,000 people to request the city of Houston deem it a protected landmark. As is the case with other public art that's achieved icon status, "Be Someone" is frequently vandalized–as of this writing, there's a haphazardly scrawled "MATTRESS MAC" overlay, to which we say, 1) We respect the sentiment, but can't you find another spot?, and 2) You forgot the K in Mack.
Still, Besomeone tells Houstonia the movement's impact is worth the effort of touching up the mural every so often. “I've seen nothing but great things come out from my work," the artist says. "I have been witness to stories that my work has changed [someone], or saved their life. I want to spread ‘Be Someone’ to a worldwide scale.”
For those interested in helping Besomeone do just that–or anyone with a penchant for really cool abstract art—a purchase straight from the source can make a difference in keeping the spirit of the message alive. The shop has some fun and interesting prints depicting new takes on the famous design, including a unique collage print hand-pulled by the artist himself on handmade textured paper.
And for those who'd rather wear their love of Houston on their sleeve, the store also carries limited quantities of shirts like a loud-and-proud Texas top.
Showing off his artistic range, Besomeone is even selling a one-of-a-kind porcelain “Be Someone” bowl. That’s right–he does pottery, too.
Regarding other Houston-based stores peddling merchandise with the celebrated slogan, Besomeone says, “I love how much of an influence my work has had on artists, and how they come up with their own style inspired by my work. At the end of the day, I'm thankful to have my work embraced by the whole city.”
There are countless instances in the life of a Houstonian where such an adage can be motivating. Situations as commonplace as driving into work on a Monday morning and as character-building as working to make a difference in your neighborhood after an event like Hurricane Harvey or the devastating shooting in Santa Fe. The adoption of “Be Someone” as a collective idea that we’re all just trying to leave our own mark on the world has resonated with drivers down I-45 for years, and as we’ve seen throughout the city, a little graffiti can make a big difference. You can find Besomeone actively sharing his work, and his story, on Twitter and Instagram.