Inside Story: Kelly Thompson

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Thompson's feminine and delicate designs are created as pieces of art and media.

Thompson’s feminine and delicate designs are created as pieces of art and media. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Kiwi illustrator, Kelly Thompson, in her Melbourne home.

Kiwi illustrator, Kelly Thompson, in her Melbourne home. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Kelly Thompson and Billie the beagle at home in Collingwood, Melbourne.

Kelly Thompson and Billie the beagle at home in Collingwood, Melbourne. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Vintage rug: "This is an old, worn-down Turkish rug that has been re-dyed in bright orange. We purchased it like that from a great shop called Loom Rugs".

Vintage rug: “This is an old, worn-down Turkish rug that has been re-dyed in bright orange. We purchased it like that from a great shop called Loom Rugs”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Gold screen: "We got it at one of the David Bromley auctions for a steal at the end of last year and I just couldn't go past the gold".

Gold screen: “We got it at one of the David Bromley auctions for a steal at the end of last year and I just couldn’t go past the gold”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Windows: "I love light spaces so as soon as I saw the huge ceiling-height windows in our apartment, I was in!".

Windows: “I love light spaces so as soon as I saw the huge ceiling-height windows in our apartment, I was in!”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Lilli print: "Lilli was the first illustration I did that made me feel like I had really achieved something stylistically".

Lilli print: “Lilli was the first illustration I did that made me feel like I had really achieved something stylistically”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Matterhorn photograph: "I love how the old mountain is surrounded by wires and mess. And Christian and I met at the restaurant [Matterhorn, Wellington] so the photo has sentimental value".

Matterhorn photograph: “I love how the old mountain is surrounded by wires and mess. And Christian and I met at the restaurant [Matterhorn, Wellington] so the photo has sentimental value”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Sarah Orme nude: "This was a wedding gift from my friend Courtney. I just find it so emotive and I love the colours. I could stare at it for ages".

Sarah Orme nude: “This was a wedding gift from my friend Courtney. I just find it so emotive and I love the colours. I could stare at it for ages”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Caneback couch: "We found this couch and some chairs at a vintage store in Brisbane. We had it reupholstered and the wood repaired and I'm so happy we did. The back is my favourite feature".

Caneback couch: “We found this couch and some chairs at a vintage store in Brisbane. We had it reupholstered and the wood repaired and I’m so happy we did. The back is my favourite feature”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Elephant shower curtain: "This was purchased from Kleins Perfumery, a great little shop on Brunswick Street. It gave the bathroom much-need life and it makes me very happy".

Elephant shower curtain: “This was purchased from Kleins Perfumery, a great little shop on Brunswick Street. It gave the bathroom much-need life and it makes me very happy”. Image: Sean Fennessy

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All of Kelly's work takes place in her home office.

All of Kelly’s work takes place in her home office. Image: Sean Fennessy

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Kelly's home is filled with light from the ceiling-height windows."There is nothing more inspiring and nothing makes you happier than living in a light, bright space," she says.

Kelly’s home is filled with light from the ceiling-height windows.”There is nothing more inspiring and nothing makes you happier than living in a light, bright space,” she says. Image: Sean Fennessy

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The walls of Kelly Thompson’s apartment are beautifully adorned. Why? Because the Rotorua-born 30-year-old is a prolific illustrator (and sometime photographer) and plenty of her work ends up on display in her Melbourne, Australia, apartment. Thompson’s feminine and delicate designs are created as pieces of art and media. She’s worked for local magazines Fashion Quarterly and Remix, and for clients like CoverGirl and Nintendo. A recent commission saw her reinventing Ms. Destiny, the face of Penguin Books’ romance genre. All of the work takes place in the converted warehouse in Collingwood that Thompson shares with her husband Christian McCabe and Billie the beagle.

“It’s basically just one huge room with a wall of windows and a private bathroom,” says Thompson, who lived in Wellington for 10 years before moving to Melbourne 18 months ago. “We divide the space using wardrobes and bookshelves. My friends call it the jungle because every time they come over I have more plants! It can be a little messy.

“I love the convenience of my apartment,” adds Thompson, whose first book, Darkness of Noon, a collaboration with photographer Derek Henderson, came out in May. “I also love how easy and secure apartment living is – I’m regularly home alone but I always feel safe; you can leave your windows open at night, and the rubbish just goes down a hole – too easy!”

kellythompson.co.nz


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