Kelly Thompson grew up in New Zealand with a passion for illustration beginning at a young age. As a child she would copy Rembrandt portrait paintings in coloured pencil. She later graduated with a Bachelor of Design from Massey University in Wellington, majoring in photography. Starting with an initial career in fashion photography, Kelly was inspired by the models she photographed and began to capture her subjects as ephemeral illustrations that were published by major publications leading to a loyal following of fans.
“I just enjoy capturing women who are comfortable in their skin. I appreciate that it doesn’t always last, so why not make the most of it and share it instead of hiding it away.” Kelly Thompson
As her work became in demand Kelly found herself working full time as a freelance artist, being invited as a guest speaker at popular creative events and collaborating with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. As her popularity grew so did her practice, today Kelly is in demand for not only her illustration, but her broad creative abilities.
“I’m not entitled to success. Being an illustrator is a luxury and I need to work for it.” Kelly Thompson
Since moving to Australia in 2010 Kelly became a founding director of UNA , a creative agency based in Melbourne that has worked with leading brands such as FIA Racing, Tag Heuer, Escada, M.A.C Cosmetics, Nike, Covergirl, Mini , Maybelline NY, Apple and Pepsi.
Kelly Thompson is currently a popular artist, public speaker, educator and fashion enthusiast.
“Kelly Thompson’s illustrations are an exploration of the fearless femme, brought to life by colour. Her work is in increasingly high demand amongst leading fashion brands, and for good reason. It’s incredible.” Maddison Tutt, Mamamia