Your grad cap, her canvas! Houston artist makes graduations memorable with viral cap designs

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(KMM Artwork)

It's grad season, and for years, a Houston artist has been making these stellar achievements memorable for graduates through her popular, viral artwork.

Krystal Mayo, owner and founder of KMM Artwork, is taking the fad of grad cap decorating to a new level with portraits that are vibrant in color and picture perfect.

Having been featured in publications and media outlets like Teen Vogue, BuzzFeed, Essence and The Shade Room, Mayo has taken her passion for art and shared it with people all over the country. 

Mayo says she has been an artist most of her life, but she didn’t take it seriously until attending Prairie View A&M University in 1998. She decided to take on grad cap designing in 2003. 

"In the early stages of my graduation cap venture, many of my sorority sisters (of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority) and the student body at PVAMU asked me to design their graduation cap for the commencement exercise, because they knew I could draw. This act of support has been integral to the exponential growth of my notoriety," she says.

Mayo says she takes a lot of pride in seeing her clients' reactions when setting their eyes on the finished product for the first time.

"It gives me purpose that I never imagined having," she said.

When asked what her inspirations for the caps' designs are, she said, "Everything."

"If I see an object or image, ideas automatically start popping in my head," Mayo said.

When asked how she feels knowing that she is making a person’s graduation memorable with her art, she says, "It’s an indescribable feeling, it’s unreal to me sometimes. Art makes me happy, so it makes me feel good to know that it makes a lot of people happy."

While Mayo was completely booked for graduations this year, people typically contact her as early as January for Spring graduations.

For booking or inquiries, contact Mayo at For more cap designs and art, follow her on Instagram: @kmmartwork.