Join columnist Vicky Ellison every month as she meets with inspiring women from the worlds of wellness, business, fashion and art to bring you a snapshot of their story and advice to take into your day.
Artist Kelly Anna is known for her bold prints, and covetable client list featuring Beyonce and Nike among others. The captivating South Londoner’s print work exudes confidence, something she attributes to her family.
Both her inspiration and toughest critic, her father passed on his artistic skills through a combination of support and criticism. His direction that one should ‘never hesitate’, or be ‘shy about your mark making’ comes through in her approach to life as much as art.
Kelly Anna’s blend of fortitude and humility is infectious. ‘You’ve got to be fearless’ she asserts, believing that we should all be a ‘bit vulnerable’ but not ‘shy away, or you’ll get nowhere’.
Conscious of the role that strong women like her mother have played in her life, she promotes surrounding yourself with ‘confident, incredible people’ who challenge and inspire. ‘You think, wait they’re doing it, I’m going to do it’ too, she enthuses.
‘We’re thrown into this world and it’s how we play with it’ that matters.'
Despite her self-assured demeanour she admits to feeling a ‘twist’ in her stomach if a pitch is rejected; the tough side of her industry not often discussed.
Her advice for dealing with rejection? Avoid self-blame. ‘We’re thrown into this world’ and ‘it’s how we play with it’ that matters, she asserts, discussing her respect for anyone committing time to something they love.
Her dedication to a healthy mindset is evident, believing that ‘mental attitude is key to being your best.’
‘People underestimate how exhausting it is to be creative’ she says. Crediting her family background in dance for putting fitness in her ‘DNA’, she prioritises exercise as a way to recharge.
Challenging herself to try ‘new, weird things’ helps Kelly Anna stay motivated. Joining a book club is her latest venture, ‘you never know what it can spark’ she gushes. ‘Looking at new things and pushing myself’ is key, ‘if you have an itch for something, do it.’
If there’s one lesson to take away from this vivacious artist, it’s to remember that ‘life is supposed to be fun’.