[ARTWORK] Kelly the Winged One – Hello There

This is one of my favourite illustrations! It actually started as a doodle – you can see it in the small gallery above, on the left-hand side. I had the idea in my head and I put it down on paper. I loved the idea SO much, I decided to redraw it specifically to make into a print.

I remember I was living with my mother at the time. She was living in a small apartment and had no room for setting up a workspace for me and my computer. Instead, she set me up in her workplace, since she’s a business owner and had extra space where she was renting. When I showed her the finished piece in comparison to the doodle, she took them from me and showed one of her employees.

My mom’s comment was that the doodle “looked like a kid drew it” (I was like “really? like…really?” and she was like “I’m over-exaggerating, but you get the point”) and it was amazing how the final piece came out.

Her employee’s response? “Well, yeah, that’s what happens between the sketch and the finished product.”

I did not have a chance to point out that the doodle is not what the final version is coloured from – I actually had redrawn the picture, as I said earlier to you guys and you can see above.

To be honest, I’m even impressed at how much of a difference there is between the original doodle and the drawing I made for the print. It looks like a framed them slightly different too – I think the reframing (i.e. how the picture flows) changed because I had an idea of what I wanted for the print. Namely, the way her hair flows is different. The polished sketch, I would argue, looks more pleasing to the eye, and helps to keep you in the flow of the picture.

I don’t remember if I meant to originally sell this print, but I did it anyway because Kelly the Winged One looks GORGEOUS here!! There are a few things I would change if I were to redraw it now because I realized when I was working on her character sheet that her dress doesn’t work the way I wanted it to, so the design is being tweaked. Ah well!

This is just another iteration of Kelly. If you’ve been following me for a long time, you’ve probably noticed she has many iterations: her original (a Pokémon fan character for the TV series), her “neutral” form when I was originally creating a separate version of her, her Dreamer form, and now this Winged form. And she has more. She’s not the only character of mine who has multiple iterations either. However, Kelly has more depth to her than the rest of them. Some of that has to do with how deep her roots go with me: when I FIRST designed her, way back in elementary school, she was me for about two years before I realized that she wasn’t and she became separate, but kept my name. I took inspiration from parts of myself: past versions, present versions, and even future versions. She’s all of it combined and rolled into one. She’s ever–present in the depths of my spirit.

As I said though, Kelly is not me though. I am TrainerKelly. I often portray myself in my Creator and Queen forms or the two of them fused together. I use these personas to dive deeper in my psyche. Kelly is there too, but she isn’t in my mind the same way my anime self is – she’s almost a goddess within my psyche. She’s a muse. She’s my subconscious. So, if you notice as I write stories featuring her that she (sometimes?) seems near-perfect, please forgive me – it’s my love for her coming through.

Going back to the picture, I love how the final version came out. There’s something about the colours that really shout “I’m on a beach” to me. The soft orbs of light look like sunlight glistening on the surface of the turquoise ocean. Kelly the Winged One’s expression is so calm. I feel like she’s turning to the viewer and gently greeting them with a “Hello There”. I kind of wish her eyes looked a bit better in retrospect, but overall, I LOVE this piece!

In fact, I love this piece so much, it’s currently available on my online shop on various products. If you love this piece too, definitely get some merchandise, take a picture, and tag me on Instagram @trainerkellysnetwork!

Year Completed: 2016
Tools Used: Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil, 0.5 mm Mechanical Pencil
Programs Used: Adobe Photoshop CS4, Clip Studio Paint

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