Kelli is a hand-lettering and illustration artist creating funky, fun and fresh work that encourages self-worth, embraces individuality, and prioritises mental health. With the belief that sharing personal stories has the power to help those in similar situations, Kelli’s art follows her journey of ‘figuring out life, finding purpose and passion, and discovering what the heck equals happiness’.

Tell us a fun fact about you Last year I spent 6 months backpacking around Southeast Asia on a shoestring budget. On this trip I fell in love with immersive travel and opportunities to directly learn from other cultures. I’m currently making plans to take my illustrations on the road so I can explore the world and give the digital nomad life a try.

How did you get into illustration? I straddled the graphic design and fine art worlds for a while, when I discovered illustration and hand-lettering I realised it was the perfect balance of both.

Who or what inspires you the most? I have a large and diverse number of inspirations; but, the top three right now are self-confidence, mental health, and entrepreneurial spirit.

What does a typical day look like for you? I wake up at around 6 a.m., this is when my creative juices are strongest. Plus, I love to watch the sunrise and enjoy the peacefulness of daybreak. I either begin the work day with drawing, working on client illustrations, or a little bit of email maintenance. After, I start my daily self care routine of journaling and meditation. I’ll take a midday break and then get back into the creative groove, working for a few more hours. I typically end the day with a yoga warm up, quick HIIT workout, and yoga cool down. I like to incorporate mindfulness and movement into my daily routine to maintain my mental/physical health so I can enjoy each day and create my best work.

What do you do when you have a creative block? Lots of things.. go outside, doodle, dance, talk to a friend, listen to a podcast, read a book, meditate, exercise, relax, play, change my location, have a new experience.

Top three clients you've worked with? Women of Illustration, Known Supply, The Washington Post

What tools (digital or not!) do you use to create your work? I am currently a HUGE fan of procreate. Using the app on my iPad Pro has increased the speed of my workflow and made it possible for me to work from anywhere. Though I mainly work digitally, I always incorporate a bit of human touch; I like to preserve the textures and imperfections I discovered through my printmaking background into my illustrations to give it a unique, tactile quality.

What's your favourite resource for inspiration? First mass consumption of ideas and experiences, then complete isolation and reflection.

Do you have any tips for artists thinking of doing freelance? Most importantly you have to believe in yourself, this path can be hard so you need the mindset and drive to keep going. Second, embrace your quirks, the things that make you different and unique; this will help you stand out from the crowd and attract an engaged like minded community and those amazing yet elusive dream clients.

What would your dream project be? Simply using my illustration and design knowledge to help individuals and brands dedicated to creating a better future.

How can fans keep up-to-date with your work? Instagram

Read more

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