As a native of St. Louis, Missouri, Kaelen Felix is a graduate of Memphis College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration (2018). When she was an undergraduate, she interned for Jabberblabber Earth Family Magazine, a monthly magazine with over 100,000 readers in the tri-state area. In October 2017, her illustration of their Jabberblabber character was featured on the front cover of the grandparent issue. That publication is an achievement for Kaelen as an undergraduate while looking back; she couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it. The experience allowed her to define her artistic skills and to pursue a career in publishing.
Ms. Felix began her career as an artist when she was two years old! Six months later, Kaelen discovered her calling is to pursue art in illustration for books. As a child, art came naturally to Kaelen. Her tenacious desire allowed Kaelen to use her artistic ability to create storytelling book scenes from her imagination. She would often pay attention to how the light was casting on dolls and toys. She would create still-life and draw from observation for hours. Kaelen's desire to spend a whole day on art made her heart complete as it showed her passion for capturing the light source and balancing the shadows became evident she could do it! Her favorite artist from the impression period, Vincent Van Gogh, inspired her whimsical style. The intricate details in her woodwork and water show her forte for a whimsy pattern.
Kaelen’s illustration career officially started in 2018. After completing undergrad, Kaelen collaborated with a remote author to illustrate a 32-page children's book, A Colorful Balloon Ride (2018). At 23, Kaelen became a published illustrator and then collaborated with another children's book author and created a 60-page book, Freddy the Foster Frog: Finds a Friendly Family (2020).
Currently, Kaelen is working on several collaborative projects, illustrating book 2 of the Freddy the Foster Frog series and acting as an illustrative editor for a soon to be published children's book. In December 2020, Kaelen became an award-winning Best Book Illustrator for Freddy the Foster Frog from the SABA (Sound Advice Book Awards) in England!
Kaelen recently interned for 360 Magazine (remotely), which is an edgy and fashion-forward company located in downtown Los Angeles, California. She illustrated topics such as celebrities, food, culture, and present news topics that coincide with political and other climate-changing current news. She thrived on creative and innovative illustrations that create a stylized and pop-art feel similar to Andy Warhol. Kaelen loves taking on any new challenge while she was an intern at 360 Magazine as she embraced their well-known publications, print magazine, and brand identity.
Kaelen has a wide range of experience from illustrating magazine work to illustrating and designing two children's books. Ms. Felix strongly believes collaboration is the key to creating a cohesive portfolio of work illustration or design. When illustrating the books, she always has a process of starting with reading the manuscript story, then it becomes a matter of how many illustrations need to be done in a timely or monthly manner. Finally, it comes down to a deadline and meeting that goal to be proficient in the business world. The process for all her commissioned pieces starts with brainstorming an idea from imagination and putting that idea on paper. She converses back and forth with clients to ensure their goals and visions are met! If she gets the final approval then, she applies the small thumbnail sketch onto the larger paper or digital platform.
Her inspiration as a kid also came from animals living in eco-friendly environments and creating characters with child-like style in my whimsical way. As far as the digital designs go, those vary in terms of how the style and vision come about from the client. Especially for 360 magazine, it's a matter of not overthinking the process and trusting her instincts to create a work the magazine’s audience would be attracted to.
Ms. Felix works in areas from traditional illustrative mediums to digital graphics and print production art materials. Her areas of expertise include production art, illustration, print production art, and graphic art/design; she has over a couple of years of experience in those fields as she continues to work on fine-tuning her craft. Ms. Felix hopes to continue her illustration work while learning more about graphic design, brand identity, and the print packaging experience in a creative field from five to ten years down the line. Someday, she too is hoping to publish her own children's book from her animal illustrations on her website! It's always been a long-term goal to become a published illustrator and designer, and the Memphis College of Art, coupled with 360 Magazine allows her to follow her dream since the day she knew it could happen.
For more information on her upcoming publications, illustration, designs, and more: check out her social media links below: