An initial career in fashion photography soon evolved. Inspired by the models she photographed Thompson began to capture her subjects as ephemeral illustrations that were published by major publications leading to a loyal following of fans. As her work became in demand she found herself working full time as a freelance artist, being invited as a keynote speaker at popular creative events and collaborating with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. As her popularity grew so did her practice finding Thompson today in demand for not only her illustration, but her broad creative abilities. She is one to watch and constantly evolving.
In 2017 Thompson founded Maker's Mgmt, a creative consultancy and Illustration agency based in Melbourne that represents commercial illustrators. Followed in 2018 by Maker’s Mrkt an online platform that encourages people to shop small and support independent Makers and designers.
Thompson is a popular keynote speaker and is well practiced in the art of creative thinking. Clients continue to place much value on the Thompson brand which has lead to ambassadorship roles for high profile companies such as Nintendo. This personal brand value has translated in to work as a creative consultant for businesses and individuals who admire Thompson's direction, connections to creative community, taste and ability to appeal to a broad audience. She is intelligent, dedicated, multifaceted and full of ideas.
Creative Direction and Guidance - If you are seeking outside creative guidance Kelly is an invaluable consultant when developing projects. Having worked from conception to completion for numerous corporate clients across diverse fields Kelly offers insight, opinion and direction.
Public Speaking & Event Hosting - A confident and well practiced keynote speaker with extensive experience speaking to large and intimate audiences. Amongst the things Kelly has spoken about are her own practice, creative community and roles of women in creative industry. Kelly has hosted events on behalf of clients and hosted PR events for brands. She is a positive and professional speaker and teacher.
Brand Ambassador - An enthusiastic and positive brand ambassador Kelly remains an appealing choice for brands wishing to connect with a creative audience.
Illustration & Design - Kelly is an accomplished designer and is available for commissions.
2014 - What I Love About Movies
2014 - Pride in Print Gold Award Winner
2014 - Curvy Book Feature Artist
2013 - Pride in Print Gold Award Winner
2013 - The Purple Book, Lawrence King Press
2013 - Darkness of Noon, Pearce Press
2011 - Hand Made Illustration, Monsa Publications
2010 - Trendy Fashion Illustrators, Monsa Publications
2010 - This is Fashion Illustration, Monsa Publications
2010 - The Beautiful, Gestalten Books
2010 - Curvy Book
2009 - Wooden Toy Quarterly, Handmade Edition
2009 - Curvy Book feature artist
2008 - Curvy Book
2007 - Curvy Book
2011 - National Grid Gallery, Pyjama Party - Sydney
2010 - Superette Store, Chick Habit - Auckland
2009 - Gorker Gallery, Bookworms Never go to Bed Alone - Melbourne
2008 - Pixel Ink Gallery NZ, Recent Works - Wellington
2007 - Good as Gold Store, Women of my Dreams - Wellington
2016 - Les Petit Fours - Friends of Leon Gallery
2014 - Curvy Exhibition - Semi Permanent - Sydney
2013 - Darkness of Noon The Department Store -Auckland
2013 - Darkness of Noon Edmund Pearce Gallery - Melbourne
2012 - Curvy Book launch exhibition - Wellington
2012 - Kathryn Wilson Art of Shoes,The Northern Club - Auckland
2010 - 22,National Grid Gallery - Sydney
2010 - Article 19, Amnesty International- Auckland
2010 - Forty Thieves, Gorker Gallery - Melbourne
2009 - Paint Your Heart Out, ruby Boutique - Auckland
2009 - Love Hurts, Tattooed Heart Gallery - Auckland
2009 - A Tale of Two Kellys, Per Square Metre Gallery - Melbourne
2009 - Handdrawn, Wooden Toy Magazine, Gorker Gallery - Melbourne
2009 - Curvy Book exhibition - Sydney
2009 - Frankie Magazine exhibition - Brisbane
2008 - Fashion Week Gallery - Auckland
2008 - Manky Chops Gallery - Wellington
For all illustration, creative direction and project related enquiries please contact the studio:
p: + (61) 4 1231 2105
Represented as a personality by Golightly PR
Represented for illustration outside Australasia by Debutart
Post: Kelly Thompson C/O Makers Mgmt
83 Valentine Street
“We are thrilled to have Kelly on board as our ongoing host and moderator for the CURVY creative conferences and events. Her depth of knowledge across all topics, speakers and their relevant industries is stunning. As a host she pulls all together seamlessly and does so in a fun and disarming manner that is a joy to watch and be part of. Her passion for female empowerment and the creative community shines through in all that she does.
We have a greater than 10 year history with Kelly, who has been part of the CURVY community since day one – and we look forward to many more.
I cannot recommend her highly enough”
— Robert Bergin Founder CURVY Creative Conferences, Director, SUBDVSN Agency
““I had the chance to work with Kelly in 2012 for the global launch of an Escada fragrance called Born in Paradise.
In the beginning Kelly was one of nine candidates on the pitch for the illustrations to be used on the packaging and the advertising campaign. Thanks to her motivation and her talent Kelly became an obvious choice, not only for our agency but also for the brand.
Beyond her undeniable talent, what I appreciated most was Kelly’s accessibility. No matter when we asked her to rework she was always available and worked very fast. All the agency’s staff and the client were very happy with the artworks that Kelly provided us. It was a very pleasant experience !
If one day I have another subject or client that requires illustration I’ll recommend Kelly without hesitation. I really would like to work with her one more time !””
— Romain Arrigoni - Directeur Artistique Grey Paris
“Working with Kelly on the MINI Clubman project allowed us to create unique content that raised brand awareness and engaged new audiences in a meaningful way. Kelly was a collaborative and efficient influencer throughout the entire project. All social content produced for the campaign had an authentic tone of voice and distinctive visual style. If you’re looking for someone to create thumb stopping social content for your brand, contact Kelly Thompson. ”
— Sam Snowden Social Media Strategist at Ogilvy Australia
“By chance, Kelly was recommended as a potential artist for a new cosmetic medical clinic I was planning (The Doctor’s Studio). Our concept was very visual and based around art. Kelly was great - bright, knowledgeable, talented, and fun to work with! Her illustrations were amazing - but more than that: she advised us on everything from branding to interior design to artist selection to website, and even did the art direction for our photo shoot. She’s just all-round brilliant!”
— David Topchian - Founding Director The Doctor's Studio
“I’ve had the joy of working with Kelly for over 10 years. If you know Kelly you will appreciate her warm generous presence, inquisitive attitude and love for life. We were extremely honoured to have Kelly present at four of our major symposiums across NZ and Australia. Kelly’s talks were articulate and moving. The workshops were all sell outs. Safe to say Kelly gained another 5000 fans each day if they weren’t already.”
— Simon Velvin | Director | Semi-Permanent