KellyHi, I’m Kelly!

As you can probably tell from my portfolio, I have a bit of an unconventional creative background in both traditional and digital media. Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked in a number of creative capacities for massive corporations, small businesses and as a freelance designer. Such a varied background has given me a wealth of experience to draw from when working on new projects.

My creative career started when I started my first business, Air-O-Dynamic Airbrushing, when I was just 15. Then, like most creative folks (or not…) I decided to get a degree in Botany and Plant Pathology with a specialization in Physiology and Molecular Biology, financed in part by airbrushing t-shirts at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio during the summer. After realizing a few months before graduation that life stuck in a lab wasn’t for me, I moved to sunny Florida and took a job with Walt Disney Horticulture.

For the next several years, I was one of three people charged with the design, creation and maintenance of all of the topiaries (those big bushes that look like Mickey Mouse and pals) on property. I partnered with Walt Disney Feature Animation, Disney Design Group and Walt Disney Imagineering to make sure that things were just right. Wanting to move into more artistic endeavors, I became a part-time Show Artist at the Magic of Disney Animation. There I was trained by animators and designers in the finer points of animation and Disney character art. I also changed up my full-time job, becoming the paint working foreman in the Character Head Shop, leading a team of 15-20 artists responsible for hand-painting character costumes.

Because I like to have a million projects going at once, I also was a seasonal Special Effects Makeup Artist for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights event for several years, produced a couple of award-winning plays for the Orlando Fringe Festival, and worked for the Osceola Center for the Arts and Theatre Winter Haven as a makeup artist and set designer. In 2005, I was lucky enough spend several months working at Ocean Park in Hong Kong as as Special Effects Makeup Artist for Halloween Bash. After returning from Hong Kong, I worked as an audio-animatronic figure finisher for KX International in Apopka, Florida (and later for LifeFormations in Bowling Green, Ohio), helping to create a wide variety of animatronic figures for theme parks, museums, restaurants like Rainforest Cafe and other attractions all over the world.

In 2006, after KX International closed, I returned to my roots in Northwest Ohio. Since none of my previous jobs existed outside of theme parks, I turned to my digital design skills. Being skilled with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, I became a prepress graphic designer for the Toledo Blade daily newspaper, followed by a couple of years as the Advertising Design Director for the weekly Toledo Free Press. I designed ads for a wide variety of clients including auto dealerships, grocery stores, appliance stores and more. In addition, I also created custom cover illustrations and custom artwork for major clients.

In 2008, my mother opened Puttin’ On The Glitz, a boutique in Perrysburg, Ohio. As the business grew, I eventually began working there full-time. Over the years, I have become the area’s premiere wedding invitation designer. By opening an Etsy storefront, I have built a major clientele of brides and grooms worldwide. My invitation designs have been featured in magazines and I have written guest blog posts for several wedding websites.

I’ve also kept up with my freelance work, designing marketing materials for several small businesses and non-profit organizations, an art car for Yark Alfa Romeo Fiat and makeup at special events all over Ohio including Masquerage for the AIDS Resource Center of Ohio, events for Imagination Station Toledo, performances for the Toledo Ballet and more.  I also volunteered as the marketing coordinator for the Glass City Rollers roller derby team and the marketing director for Toledo Pride.

What’s next?

You tell me!  I’m always looking for interesting new projects. Do you need graphic design work? Have some creative projects in mind that you need help with? I’d love to talk to you! Contact me here.

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