Seattle-based illustrator and artist Kelly Bjork’s work aims to balance “simple elements with small areas of detail”, finding comfort in the uncomplicated, which is “seemingly harder to find in real life”. Kelly started her career creating commissioned portraits, which led to her going freelance and becoming one half of stationary and gift company Pilgrim Paper Co. with fellow creative Teresa Grassechi. The job sees her illustrating greeting cards, a “dream job since childhood” for Kelly.
The illustrator’s ideas come from “day-to-day interactions” with the people, places and animals around her. “I’m inspired by witnessing sweet moments and intimacy,” she explains. “With our current climate, I think it’s important to have these moments, to remember they exist. It helps keep me sane, knowing that there is good out there.”
Kelly’s most recent works see her capturing languid scenes at the steam room and swimming pool, as well as detailed apartment interiors of cute kitchens and dining areas. “I do almost all of my work by hand. I work out my ideas by sketching coloured pencil to figure out composition and palette,” says Kelly. “Once I’m happy with that, I move my work to the nice paper – my printmaking background started with beautiful, thick paper. I mark out my pieces with non-photo blue pencil and then dive into my favourite part – painting!” Gouache is Kelly’s paint of choice for it’s flat opaqueness and the fact “you can re-wet the medium for continuous use is a sweet bonus”.
- Spin studio shares its latest work and how to perk up "depressed-looking" v’s
- Animator Dan Castro tackles the intricacies of relationships in this funny short
- “I don't want to lose my connection with the tangible”: illustrator Jack Taylor on his new digital and 3D process
- Greta Thorkels: a graphic designer creating Gilmore Girls zines and record sleeves
- Grégory Michenaud’s ongoing project sees him explore identity in a Hasidic Jewish community
- Photographer Gilleam Trapenberg explores macho culture against rose-tinted skies in Big Papi
- The New York Times Magazine’s new cover is actually a painting
- BBC’s new typeface BBC Reith is designed to improve legibility on screen
- “It needs to be normalised that women masturbate”: meet illustrator Jordyn McGeachin
- Life through the lens of enchanting photographer Vicki King
- Six months in the (enviable) life of photographer Ryan Lowry
- We get to know hilarious and thoughtful illustrator, Ruby Etc