Meet the Artist : Johnny Kelly
Johnny Kelly was born in Dublin and graduated from DIT with a degree in graphic design. He then worked in graphic design for a number of years in both Dublin and London in addition to pursuing his illustration work. He recently completed a two-year MA in Animation at The Royal College of Art where he was awarded the Conran Foundation Award.
His graduation short film ‘Procrastination’ won him a lot of fans and acclaim. He was awarded the Jerwood Moving Image Prize 08 and also selected to be part of the Saatchi & Saatchi New Director Showcase at Cannes. His work has featured in Creative Review ‘Ones to Watch,’ as well as Shots, DesignWeek, and Grafik magazine.
He has produced work for MTV, Spin, Fallon London and The Guardian. Most recently, Johnny wrote, directed and designed a new short commissioned by Adobe called ‘The Seed’, using a mixture of 2D and stop-frame paper craft. Johnny Kelly is represented by Nexus Productions.
Has your job ever got you laid, free drink, arrested?
I wish the animation world was that exciting, but sadly no. It’s given my hand mouse-cramp, that’s as exciting as it gets.
What did you want to be as a kid?
I wanted to be good at sports, but that wasn't happening on any level so I stayed inside drawing Judge Dredd over and over. I wanted to be a comic book artist and my hero was 2000AD artist Simon Bisley - as well as being mind-bogglingly talented with an airbrush he also seemed quite rock 'n' roll. He even owned a tank, I think. I wrote to him when I was 12 and he wrote back three years later when he found my letter in a drawer, very kindly including a giant poster of a lady on a bike wearing a bikini and covered in barbed wire.
What's the best tool of your trade?
The trusty felt tip has stuck by me through the peaks and troughs of my career so far (personal fave the Uni-ball 'eye' Micro made by the Mitsubishi Pencil Company Limited).
Why did you choose these three images?
They are newish.
How would you describe them to a blind person?
Seed growing underground
Can you spot the theme?
If your art was music what would it sound like?
I have a feeling it could sound a bit like (jazz-rock fusionistas) Weather Report, with but less saxophone solos. It worries me that I don't think I'd listen to my music. I would possibly be quite familiar with the beginning of the first track because for some reason it would keep coming on in digital music application, but generally I would never make it past the third track in the album.
Big up yourself
I make a mean lasagne and I'm aggressively polite
How far have you gone for your art?
I was born in Dublin and I live in London, so not very far.
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