A while back I was asked by Rook Clothing  to draw some of their photographs for use in their upcoming lookbook. The guys at Rook are always really nice to work for, I have worked with them before on a couple of tee designs, they are very pro-artist and I love their attitude towards encouraging creatives. 

Here is an interview by Jamie Nguyen with me, as seen on the Rook tumblr, I'll put the final pieces up once they are released soon...

J. The creative process is never easy, but the end result is always rewarding to see. We linked up with New Zealand photographer and illustrator, Kelly Thompson, to reillustrate our summer look book. Here are some more sketches before they were scanned to Photoshop for the final touches.

Tianna Gregory - Wipe Out Tee


Paloma Jacinto


Kaylee Volpe


We also took a moment to get some insight into Kelly’s thoughts on her inspirations as an illustrator.

What inspires you or drives you as an illustrator?

I’ve always had a lot of self discipline and a desire to succeed and do more. I’m not exactly sure where it comes from, but it is definitely a big part of my personality. I just love to create and I enjoy the feeling of completing something and being happy with it. I always have many things I want to do, so I guess I’ll be driven until I tick them off one by one. I’m never satisfied doing nothing. I’m terrible during the holidays!

Rook is about bringing the artist from behind the scenes to recognize talent artists like yourself and to also inspire other artists to push the boundaries. How do you think you’ve been an inspiration to others and Why?

Hmm…hard question! I think that coming from a small town in New Zealand and managing to turn my love of illustration into a job and getting great press, clients and international recognition has been inspiring for people in New Zealand, or people who come from similar small places who feel a bit disconnected from the rest of the world. I really like to share my processes and involve my fans through social media or by speaking at events or taking classes. I think that helps inspires other or at least break down a few walls. 

Walls? What do you mean by that?

I think that after people get some recognition in their field, people who are younger or aspiring can fear making contact or put you in a “too cool” basket, but in reality, we are all just people doing our thing. I like to be honest and not pretend my career is anything it isn’t. I think that helps people get some insight and realize they can do it too with some hard work. 

Very well said. Humble and down-to-earth, Kelly Thompson still keeps it real on the regular. Stay tuned as we reveal the final sketches later this week.

By, Jamie Nguyen



Twitter: @kellythompson1

Instagram: @kellythompson4