We caught up with the lovely illustrator, Creative Director and blogger, Kelly Thompson to chat about her creative process and garnering a reputation as one of New Zealand's most internationally recognised illustrators.
Did you expect a career in illustration to take you this far?
I knew that I wanted it to go somewhere, but I never really realised exactly what you could do as an illustrator and the opportunities there could be. I definitely didn't expect that it would grow to me having my own agency and working as an art director. Some of my most memorable experiences would be winning the Escada pitch, speaking at Semi-Permanent numerous times. Taking the plunge to stop drawing all the time and launch my own agency, UNA was a pretty exciting step, I'm sure it will become memorable!
Liam Galaxy Turtleneck | $159
What’s your typical design process?
First, I ask as many questions as I can of the client, figure out what they actually want, ask for examples of things they like, show them things to figure out where their head is at. The most important things are to make sure you're on the same page at the start. Then I do research followed by super rough (and kind of terrible) sketches which I occasionally share on Snapchat so people can see how basic they really need to be. I always accompany these with references of my work so people can visualise what they are going to get. From there I revise the sketch if adjustments are needed, or I go on to tidy line work. Once done I resubmit, make adjusts or move to colour which I do digitally. Then Ta da!
For art direction and consulting the process is a bit more varied and longer. I always meet clients in person or we have skype meetings, there is much more researching, clarifying requirements, mood boards, sourcing of creatives, creative management. It's a bigger process, but I love it.
RUBY Bunny Stole | $109
What has been your most exciting collaboration so far?
I did a really fun event for Maybelline NY NZ a couple of years ago that involved me creating a face chart then flying to NZ and hosting a press day where I ran through the new season products and taught an art class with makeup, I really enjoyed using my skills in a completely different way. Recently with UNA we were commissioned to do the Formula E worldwide racing campaign, a project that ran for almost a year and was seen on LED billboards the size of football fields and all sorts of amazing media around the world, that was extremely exciting because it was just such a huge scale project!
Liam Galaxy Skirt | $199
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love taking some time out with pilates, walking by the river near our house with the dog and getting outside as much as possible! I've also just started a personal project called Everyday Girls and am about to do my first sketch for that. The project will be pretty big and run for a couple of years so I imagine so my spare time will be well stacked. I have also launched a new blog where I chat about the industry and creativity. I also try to support brands I love and people like me, who are just starting out
What are your favourite pieces for our latest RUBY & Liam Winter collections?
I've been wearing the Galaxy Turtleneck a lot! I really like how it's a little bit 70's with the golden sparkle as I'm going through a huge disco/70s moment right now. I love the velvet Bunny styles, the velvet Vampire Choker and the red Alpine Peacoat, it's such a good colour for dull grey winter days.
RUBY Vampire Choker | $29
Thanks Kelly x