Kelly Anna Plays to Win!

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Kelly Anna Nike

The rise of the slickest: Welcome to Machas Kelly Anna!

Despite all the odious Brexit non-sense, London is still a powerhouse at the heart of European creativity —  and visual artist Kelly Anna is no doubt one of the most interesting and exciting talent to come out from the Big Smoke.

The bold, strong, sinuous and colourful figures that define her language are a true celebration of contemporary femininity and life in general. Complementing the human form with inspiring text, graphic shapes or figurative elements, Kelly Anna’s work is getting traction by the day, capturing the attention of Cara Delevingne and Beyonce amongst others and scoring collaborations with the likes of Nike and Refinery 29.

After selecting her for our Moleskine Smart Writing Set and Huawei Mate 10 Pro project, we were so impressed with her bright personality, determined attitude, contagious laugh and overall great energy that we came to realise that she basically ticked off all the boxes to be the perfect Machas Artist. “Having a team of very feisty, powerful women backing me and my work,” says Kelly Anna, “feels incredibly re assuring!  I am genuinely humbled to know how much everyone at Machas believe in and understand my vision.”

Kelly Anna’s path to becoming one of the most exciting young new artists around started at a very young age, it could be said that art runs in the family: “my father is an incredible figurative sketcher,” says Kelly Anna “his drawing approach is really fascinating to watch. He will never hesitate to make marks on the paper. He has a real confidence in mark making.” Kelly Anna’s father influenced not only her approach but also the main subject of her art, the human body, which became more and more the focus of her attention.

“While at university studying fashion Illustration, I started working the fashion shows at LFW. I would sit front row and live illustrate the looks coming down the catwalk and that experience influenced my style profoundly. My artwork is all about exaggerating our natural forms; I absolutely love the female form as there are so many lines to exaggerate, I love seeing the figure turn into an incredibly powerful image.”

Before focusing on her career as a visual artist, Kelly Anna honed her chops in the creative department of few London brands. First as the Head of Print at Illustrated People, and then with Sophia Webster, Kelly Anna had a first-hand experience of “how to merge my creativity with the commercial needs, an invaluable lesson in today’s world”.

Kelly Anna’s works frequently features inspiring slogans such as “Never Tame Your Game” or “Survival of the Slickest”: “I find it hard not to write words when I’m working on a project, they often come to me when I am sketching. I think they can really tell a story. If it happens naturally, It usually means its meant to be on the page. If it doesn’t feel natural or feels forced, People will read that!”

Although the theme of empowerment is a recurrent thread, it’s not pursued consciously: “I never set out and tell myself this piece is going to be empowering, it is simply what I am seeing around me or how I feel. I genuinely believe humans are incredibly powerful beings.”

London has also been instrumental in shaping Kelly Anna’s vision: “Its hard to live here and not be shaped and moved. You are constantly evolving. Its integral to stay relevant and I think being in the heart of the city helps you stay in tune. As an artist its integral that we record the world we see around us, I’m incredibly inquisitive and am constantly looking for the next bit of inspiration. Whether that’s from fine art, human behaviour or social stereotypes.”

See Kelly Anna’s portfolio here.


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