Kelly Thompson

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Filmic Friday - Inez and Vinoodh

Happy Easter Friday! I've taken the day off today - I'm not so great at it, so still have to share a little film with you, something very visually beautiful this time. I was having a conversation a photographer friend the other day, and we were discussing how photographers become film makers and how the transition is much easier these days with most digital cameras also having film capabilities. I asked her if she would ever make films, to which she replied that she loved films too much to try and make one, there is a huge difference between shooting film and being able to visualise good film and then make it happen. Inez and Vinoodh are photographers who have managed to walk that bridge, I love this Miu Miu film in particular for its mystery - I feel like the outcast in the room, curious to know what everyone is hiding, but in a way that leaves me wanting to be included instead of feeling rejected.

Urban Walkabout Fitzroy Collingwood Cover

I am always so impatient to share new work with you, sometimes it can take months for a project to be released and it always feels so good to finally get things out! Today my second Urban Walkabout cover is released for Fitzroy/Collingwood regions. My gal wears Dries Van Noten and is made up with sexy smokey eyes, she really is all sass, no crass. To find this issue be sure to visit cafes, stores and bookshops in the Fitzroy area, she'll be sitting on the counter, giving you the eye ;).

Girlfriend Sweater

I think I may have mentioned last year on my blog that I had some fresh things in the pipeline to expand on my brand. At that point I was very excitedly working towards a small capsule collection with a heavy focus on illustrated print that I was very passionate about and incredibly excited to launch. This may have been a lesson about speaking too soon as unfortunately after 6 months of working late after hours I was left high and dry when a partner pulled out. After a month feeling slightly disheartened and licking my wounds looking at much fabric (that I endeavour to use at a later date) I have decided to take all lessons I can from the situation and hope that they will manifest in to better success under different circumstances. I instead re-evaluated and decided to do something small to start while I make fresh plans, just so I am getting something out there that I can then build on. 

Despite being very much a girly girl I have become slightly infatuated with good sweatshirts. It started with the Ruby Boutique Mr Destiny sweatshirt  which became my go to last winter, and since then I have been slowly building my sweat collection, loving the soft fluffy insides, but still retaining my femininity teaming them with skirts or wearing feature collars underneath. This Autumn I wanted a grey marle sweat, but I wanted one with a bold graphic so I could wear it crisp with a white skirt and not sink full deep in to the dulls of winter. I couldn't find one for less than $400 (ridiculous) so I have decided to make my very first sweat, not only for me, but also making it available for you too, my very first fashion item, I am very excited!

The sweatshirt will be ready end of May, start of June, but as a special offer to my blog and social media followers I have decided to offer the first 20 pre order customers a 33% discount to say a huge thanks for helping me along my way.

Want one? Head over to my shop and PRE ORDER YOURS HERE


30% Bing Bang NYC Discount

For those who missed my jewellery post here there is still a chance for you to purchase some fun new accessories at 30% off from Bing Bang NYC. To cash in your discount and brighten your Monday head to their site here and when you're at the checkout enter BBlovesKT to get 30% off. Monday isn't so bad after all.



Filmic Friday - A Selby Film

I have the heavy Friday feeling today, I'm off my game, I'm choosing bad colours and accepted a last minute Saturday illustration job, which at 3pm on Friday now feels like a very foolish idea. I find myself falling more regularly in to stares out the window, you know how it goes, it's time for a short film aka moment of procrastination. I watched this Selby film a couple of years ago and was just reminded of it, I enjoy it for a couple of reasons - Lucy has great glasses, they have the best squeeze goodbye in the morning and all I want is to have a weekend home as simple and relaxing as hers. Holiday homes have become much too fancy for their own good if you ask me.

Sparkling with Karla Spetic MBFWA

One thing I really enjoy about Fashion Week is the inspired makeup that pulls collections together - I find the beauty elements just as fascinating as the clothing on show and regularly check the MAC Cosmetics Tumblr page in equal amounts to any show coverage. As a makeup wearer it is very easy to slip in to an everyday (same same) makeup routine, and nothing encourages me more to experiment with my own face and the faces of my illustrations than a fashion week behind the scenes makeup snap. The makeup artists and hair stylists deserve a shout out for their tremendous efforts and creativity, you really have to hand it to them, I don't know if I could handle a week of 4am wake ups (particularly as a MAC makeup artist who is expected to be groomed at all times).

I decided to draw this look last night as I waited for some client feedback - possibly quite a nerdy thing to admit, go and relax or do some exercise Kelly, but I found myself late night drawing away. The look from the Karla Spetic MBFWA show reminded me of my glitter filled youth, but it was the white eyeliner that was an instant standout for me as it was something I could most definitely try out at home. I've included below a little step by step colouring grid as I know some of you really love that element of my blog. Warning she looks a bit creepy if you stare at the layers too long.


Photographs thanks to MAC Tumblr

NYC Women's Health Magazine

As a regular customer of Women's Health Magazine during various bursts of "I am going to get fit", it was fun to be asked by Women's Health NYC to do a little infographic in support of an article about home highlighting your hair (something that I am also very experienced in, but quite bad at). Based on photographs of one of the staff members from Women's Health, and a few selfie reference photos to get the hand angles right I decided to simplify it down so only hair, face and hands were included. This was a fun little commission and is out now in the April issue, if anyone sees my page I would love to see the illustration in situ, so please share it with me! :)



Pastel Perfection

I was not lucky enough to be blessed with that hair that dries naturally slick and smooth, those girls make me sick...with jealousy (of course). My blow drying technique resembles a walk through a car wash during the dry blast stage - no fancy brush rolling, just all over head rotation hot blast until my arm hurts. The final result rings true to my Leo star sign, a fuzzy golden mess, definitely not the Queen of the pride, think bouffant triangle. As an early teen the fuzzy baby hair around my face was tamed wet with rows of bobby pins holding my fringe close to my face where I left it overnight to dry and hopefully wake straight. I was not privy to the luxury of a ghd straightener, this small town girl didn't even know they existed. Permanently straightened fringes (an anti perm I believe) and many many bad hair days later my life was changed the day I got my first ghd straightener, my first straightener that has lasted at least ten years (and numerous floor drops). Not one to fight the volume I have been blessed with, my ghd has become my hair taming saviour -smoothing and curling my shambolic blowave, teaching that baby hair a lesson and grooming me in to the glossy haired girl I always wanted to be, every day my curls are thanks to ghd.

Last week my slumber was woken by an aggressive door knocking courier (who unfortunately witnessed the untamed lion hair) delivering a very exciting and surprise package. Inside was a delightfully packaged jade green straightener perfectly in sync with all of my pastel catwalk daydreams, now my coat matches my shirt, matches my shoes, hair straightener!! You know how I love my colours. The candy toned collection includes jade, periwinkle and lavender which had someone not chosen for me I would have been quite indecisive about what colour to choose, which one will you choose?

(side note- compulsive order Kelly is also really happy to learn the ghd switches itself off after 30 minutes, no more trips back to the house in fear, hooray!).




Melbourne Walkabout

I am excited to share the new cover of the Melbourne Urban Walkabout, dressed as the ultimate city gal in Givenchy and looking deliciously Autumnal for her seasonal release. I hope you like her! For those of you who are not familiar the Walkabout is a free pocket sized city guide that tells you all there is to know about what is going on around town and how to get there. The Walkabout foldout flyers can be found around the city in various cafes, bars, bookshops and public spaces, they are everywhere! The best part about this job is that I get to do five covers in total, five fashionable babes for suburbs around Melbourne, all rolling out over the next couple of months, I can't wait to see them around town. Included in the first issue is a little interview about my work. I thought I'd share it below for you. 

1. How would you describe your style of artwork? 

I feel like I have two directions at the moment, one is bright, bold, glamorous and graphic where as the other is soft, delicate and simplified. 

2. How did your journey start? 

I did an honors degree with a photographic major and originally was working as a fashion photographer in NZ. During this time I started to draw a few of the girls I photographed and from there one of my friends suggested I have an illustration exhibition. In 2007 I had the show, sold 30 prints and was off from there... 

3. What have been your biggest challenges as an artist? 

Building profile and getting people to know of my work - it's always tricky when you're stuck at a desk drawing all day to get to know new people and find time for self promotion. Before you have a reputation many artists also struggle with clients who want everything for nothing, we all spend a lot of time trying to educate people about the value of our work and our time, and the value of usage of our work.

4. What/who keeps you motivated and inspired to continue creating? 

I always have a huge (unachievable) list of things I would like to do, it's never ending and I could never tick everything off unless there were five of me. It's just something that's in me, I find much satisfaction in completing new things and sharing new work, as I get older I am definitely becoming more aware of how easily five years can pass and this thought keeps me motivated to push myself further. 

6. What would you say is Melbourne's best-kept secret? 

Bluebird Cafe and their baked eggs, so good! 

7. What's the thought behind the artworks that features on the cover of the Urban Walkabout guides? 

I wanted them to be bold and eye catching, maybe a little more high fashion than covers of the past, the eclectic group of fashion friends from all around Melbourne.

8. Which locals artists have you been following and interested in?

I previously worked as an account manager at The Jacky Winter Group, so there are many that I love! Some of my current favourites are Andrew Archer, Eirian Chapman and Beci Orpin who are all Melbourne based. 

9. What have you most recently been working on?  

I just completed a three year project for Escada Paris, I had to design the packaging and worldwide campaign imagery for their new fragrance "Born in Paradise" it was my dream job really. At the moment I am working on a fashion collaboration, a piece for a new film book and some editorial pieces for a couple of magazines. I always have lots of variety! 


Just Ask #6 - What Inspires you?

What are your inspirations for illustration / photography?  Bart


This is a slightly tricky question to answer, mainly because my inspirations are always evolving and I am constantly finding new things that spark ideas. Every day either through client work or my own dedicated time I am researching, trawling the internet or referencing books, and I am finding as I get older I become more inspired. It is also very important for me to take time out from looking at everything else, sit somewhere quiet and let everything I have been absorbing filter and turn in to fresh ideas. Sometimes just doing a drawing inspires three more, when I am my busiest is when all the ideas pop up.

My inspirations for photography and illustration are a little different - illustration has definitely taken over in the last couple of years, but I am starting to find my desire to shoot brewing again, I think this is somewhat inspired by having a break from photography and remembering how much I love to do it. In saying that there are some things that remain constant, and no matter what I am doing they always catch my eye and get me excited.

1. Colour - This is always number one. I become quite colour obsessed in all areas of my life and this most definitely filters in to my work. I am not sure exactly why, but I always have one colour at a time that I am addicted to. A couple of years ago it was orange, my illustrations had orange hair, my lounge had an overdyed vintage rug, plants were planted in pots in tones of yellow and orange, my hair went from red, to orange to bright yellow to the extent that I was called a Lichtenstein girl on the news at NZFW. My work palette became built around what matches with orange and what clashes, and then just like that it was over and I became addicted to turquoise, trying to sneak it in to any client work. I find colour very energising and I am fascinated with how it can alter mood, it is forever inspiring me.

2. Nature - Being an illustrator I spend a lot of my time indoors and at a desk, luckily I have a dog and am forced to take a daily walk. It is during this time that I get a lot of ideas, filter thoughts, see interesting textures and clear my head. Nature is the best place to get motivated and inspired.

3. Time - Nothing motivates me more than the realisation I am getting older, and the knowledge of how fast the last few years have gone by. I find a lot of inspiration reading articles about businesses, how they started and how far they have come. It always amazes me what you can achieve with three years of hard work.

4. Youth and the female form - I sometimes gain criticism for my use of young models in my work, usually from people who have no knowledge of any part of my process who are jumping to conclusions. I am inspired by beauty and want to capture it and experience it, it is very fleeting and I think it should be celebrated while it lasts. I am fascinated by mannerisms and love to watch people as they talk and be aware of body language - I find so much inspiration to draw when a model stops posing a running through the model routine and just lets me see who she really is. Thats the moment that makes the drawing.

5. Glamour, fashion and mystery - To some extent I think fashion has lost its essence, it is just season to season fashion, but many lack style. I am inspired by women of mystery, costume jewellery, fabric textures, and clashing patterns. People who are not trend focused who love to play and experiment.

6. Friends - While of course there are always the forever friends, Some of my newer friends made in the last few years are the most inspiring people I have ever met. Surrounding myself with creative people, not necessarily doing the same thing as me, but who are similarly driven gets my mind racing. Having friends who you admire, but also challenge your way of thinking who you can talk with honestly are the best people for inspiration. Once a month I meet with a group of creative girls, we have jokingly called it BLC (Business Ladies Club), we head out for a meal and drinks and just talk about what's happening and our work, every time I leave BLC I am refreshed and full of ideas.

7. Clients - Who would have thought it. A lot of the time with client work you are asked to do things you wouldn't usually do, and sometimes things you don't really want to do. To some extent I can thank the Escada project for pushing me to be more brave with my use of colour.

8. Artists - I try not to look at other artists too much, and never do when I am working as I want my work to be from my own head not theirs, but these are some of my favourites: Eirian Chapman, Andrew Archer, Richard Grey, Vania Zouravliov, Malika Favre, Adam Custins, Henrietta Harris, Derek Henderson, Lina Scheynius, Craig and Karl, Guy Shield. (Some of their works featured in the image above)


If you have a question simply comment below on this post or any post and I will dedicate a blog post reply on Mondays.