We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelley Dillon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelley, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I decided to pursue a creative career because of the versatility and freedom. There is so much that you can do as an artist and designer, making every day is different, new and exciting. There’s no limit to what you can create! I never know what kind of exciting ideas I’ll find myself working on next. I love that creative entrepreneurship is so dynamic like that. I get to bring these abstract, unique ideas to life whether it’s a brand, product or art. It’s incredibly rewarding.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been making art my whole life, so it’s naturally evolved a lot. I started out as more of a hobbyist, I loved painting portraits and drawing in my free time. Once I began to pursue my graphic design career, the two disciplines became more intertwined, really influencing each other. I taught myself other skills and disciplines like lettering and illustration. I went through a period where I was discouraged that I didn’t necessarily fit into one certain type of creative. Eventually, I realized how transferable creativity is, to any medium or skill, and set out to learn as much as possible. I’ve transformed into my own little creative studio where I refuse to limit myself to one discipline or medium. I still paint and draw and make art, but I also design strategic brands and utilize design as a business tool for brands. I’m getting into textiles and printmaking and so many things I never even considered. Creativity is multi-faceted, and the people who I work with definitely realize and appreciate that. On a different note, this past year I learned how much power and responsibility artists have. People like to look at art. They’re drawn to it. That’s a big opportunity for artists to use their voice to educate, amplify important issues or speak out against injustice. Art can definitely make people see things differently.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I usually stay at home because of the pandemic. I miss Roosevelt Row, I think that’s a really cool area of the Valley. Angel’s Trumpet House is one of my favorites downtown. I used to love getting work done at Sip and having a coffee or beer. Changing Hands Bookstore is a super cool place, I love the bar there too. I’ve recently gotten take out from Tocaya Organica, it’s some of the best vegan Mexican food I’ve ever had!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Fiancé, Adam is incredibly supportive in everything that I do. He encourages, or at the very least entertains, my crazy thoughts and ideas. We are both creatives and keep each other inspired and motivated — I couldn’t do it without him!