Kelly Smith is an Australian Illustrator, working predominantly in fashion and portraiture. Kelly graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Tasmanian School of Art, and has worked for a number of local and international clients including: Net-A-Porter, Vogue Australia, Portmans, The Sunday Times and General Pants Co. Her work has also appeared in the likes of In Style, Company, Curvy, Russh, Vogue Australia, Flare, Shop 'Til You Drop, and Fallen. Taking inspiration from fashion, film and fairytales, Kelly's fine detailed pencil work captures a likeness to her subjects, traditionally created on one layer, while watercolour and digital elements add subtle hints of colour and softness.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Kelly: It was something that I just did from a very early age. I’ve always drawn, and I can’t imagine not doing it. Everything I have learnt and still learn only drives me further. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Kelly: I studied at the Tasmanian School of Art and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in both Graphic Design and Photography. Question: Where are you originally from? Kelly: Hobart. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Kelly: I still live in Hobart. We get the best of both worlds here. It’s a small city nestled under a huge mountain, but situated by the sea. It’s absolutely beautiful. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Kelly: I converted one of the spare bedrooms in my house into a studio that I could work out of. I painted the flooboards white, dragged in my desk and bookshelf, plastered the wall with magazine pages and that’s my little sanctuary. A life size Kate Moss hangs over my desk and Marion Cotillard for Lady Dior is on the opposite wall. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Kelly: Artistically I would say illustrators such as David Downton, Stina Persson, Julie Verhoeven and Kat Macleod. All are so unbelievably talented and unique. They’re who I aspire to be. If we’re talking ‘Muses’ then the faces I stare at on my studio wall all day include Sophie Dahl, Marion Cotillard, Kate Moss, Diane Kruger, Sasha Pivovarova and the amazing Gemma Ward.
Question: How do you get your ideas? Kelly: All over. I get a lot of inspiration from couture shows, ready to wear, film, fashion photography, pop culture, nature. Literally everything. A lot of my ideas generally stem from something I’ve seen that I want to re-interpret or push further. Or just bizarre things that pop into my head that I think would make for interesting illustrations! Question: Do you collect anything? Kelly: Only magazines. I have piles and piles of them. They’re categorized into Title and/or cover subject. I’m literally addicted. Fashion Magazines are my vice. Question: What is the first record you bought? Kelly: It was the Grease soundtrack. I think I had to replace it about 3 times. I would play it over and over until it got chewed up in the tape player. Question: Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? Kelly: I like to sit on the floor and pull out old magazines/books and just pour over the imagery for a while. There’s always SOMETHING that gets me raring to go again! Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Kelly: I have a bit of a passion for Paris. I’ve only visited it once but it left the biggest impression on me. It’s like a postcard come to life. I love it. But I would also really love to travel to Sweden. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. The art and design that comes out of it, it’s amazing so that in itself is enough to entice me! Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet? Kelly: Walt Disney. I’d just hug him and say 'Thank you'.
In Style (UK), Net-A-Porter, Vogue (AUS), Flare (CA), Portmans, Girlfriend (AUS), ROC Eyewear, General Pants Co.Favourites
: LYRA Art & Design pencils. F for outlines and B-3B for shading!
: Clothes-Country Road
: The Fashion Spot
: Daydream Lily