Featured Artist – Luke Kelly
What is a KustomBlog Featured Artist?
KustomBLOG was designed to not only help newcomers to Kustom Painting but to promote the incredible artwork of existing artists. The featured artist section of KustomBLOG is all about meeting these artists and getting to know them.
If you’d like to be featured on the site, please use the ‘Featured Artist’ Link above, watch the video and fill in the questionnaire. Once we receive your submission please allow 2-3 weeks for us to add you to the site. If we have any issues we’ll be in touch 🙂
Airbrush Artist – Luke Kelly
Kustom Painting Alias: Kelly Kustoms
Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/airbrushlukey/
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/kellykustoms.airbrushing
Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101247316821905382150
Pinterest link: https://www.pinterest.com/kustomBLOG/
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/kustomblog
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOnhhTan9VNydOJnu0DN9VQ
Favourite Food: Mexican
Favourite Movie: Star Wars, Anchorman, and heaps more. I love movies, my father is the biggest movie nut ever and he could tell you every detail about every movie in existence lol.
Favourite Artist: Chuck Close and Mike Lavallee. I love Chuck’s work for his incredible realism and using the airbrush as a mainstream ‘artist’ brush. I love Mike’s work because I see my own style in the way his designs his work.
Favourite Band/Music: I love music! Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Talent, Pearl Jam, Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard – Too many to list! If you want to strike up any kind of conversation with me, talk to me about music!
What you drive: Currently driving a Honda Euro (Yes, I know.. it’s no rat rod. But petrol is crazy expensive here in Australia) Ultimately my dream car is a Chev C10 but that’ll have to wait.
How old are you?: 25 – 45
How did you hear about KustomBLOG: I create the site after thinking about it for the last 5 years. It’s my passion, and I want to share that with everyone.
Primary Kustom Art Form: Airbrushing
Tell me how did you get into (Airbrushing/Kustom Painting/Pinstriping/Design etc)?? Did you discover it for yourself or did someone introduce you to it?
When I first met my wife many years ago we used to always spend time talking about drawing and art. I found a small airbrushed piece that she’d completed in school and I was instantly fascinated with the soft tones and realistic look the airbrush creates! About 6 months later she gave me first airbrush and I literally practiced day and night. Finding that small piece of artwork changed my life!
Have you always been an arty person or is something you’ve worked hard to develop? Was there a defining moment for you that you decided you’d make ______ your full-time career?
I pretty much grew up with a pen or pencil in my hands. Some of the earliest photos my Mum has of me is drawing scribbles or making random shapes on anything I could get my hands on. I think my parents knew from an early age I was destined to do something with art because they got me private lessons when I was very young which I continued with right through high school. I still keep in contact with my art teacher and I plan to put her profile on this site! So stay tuned!
For me, the defining moment was when I started university. I was lucky enough to meet another airbrush artist who really inspired me to pursue it as a career. I knew that as soon as I finished I wanted to start my own airbrushing business and help others by sharing the many things I had learned over the years.
I know personally I’ve had many ups and downs as a Kustom Painter and have struggled many times just to make ends meat. What has helped you to get where you are now?
To be honest, there’s been a number of things that has helped me get through the tough times and pursue my love of airbrushing and painting. The first was the fact that hate failing, and I never give up – I just find a new way to do things. When you find what you love in life, you have to make it work no matter what it takes. My wife has always been there to push me to keep working towards my goal and she is my inspiration.
Most artist’s have someone that they aspire to – is there someone you feel that has molded or helped shape your style?
It sounds strange, but I never had just ‘one’ artist who inspired me to paint. Although, I most admire Mike Lavallee’s style and incredible eye for detail. I see a lot of his unique flare reflect in the work I create and I absolutely love doing true fire!
As a Kustom Painter; what do you think is the best advice you can give to someone wanting to start a career in the industry?
I have sooo much advice for people getting started in the industry! In fact, I created this blog to help everyone in whatever way I can. Whether it’s choosing their first airbrush, picking the right pinstriping paint or just a simple book review. I hope the information you find here helps you to become a better artist and inspires you to pursue a career in whatever industry you’re a part of.
What for you is the best thing about being a Kustom Painter? What do you get out of it?
For me, it’s really two things. I love the feeling of creating something that someone is proud to ride, wear or give us a special gift. Being able to use my artistic abilities to paint someone’s dream paint job, or even something maybe someone’s loved one is so rewarding.
I also love the fact that I can help people to learn the skills to create incredible pieces of art. The airbrush is truly an amazing tool that is so versatile!
What skills have you picked up along the way on your journey? (teaching, prep work, speaking in front of people, confidence, self belief etc..)
I’m actually a very shy person by nature but airbrushing and kustom painting has taught me to have real confidence in myself. After I finished my fine art degree, I went back and did a diploma or education which gave me the qualification to be able to teach at a high school level. This really helped me to speak confidently in front of a classroom and although I still don’t love public speaking it’s another quiver in my bow.
What’s a highlight from your career you’d like to share?
There’s been lots of great experiences along the way but being involved in the Energy breakthrough is a real highlight. The Energy breakthrough program for those who aren’t familiar with it is a human powered race in custom made track trike’s. My wife’s school is heavily involved in the race which has hundreds of schools from all over Australia enter. I have custom painted the trike’s carbon fibre shell for several years and I love seeing the kid’s faces when they see the finished design. Check out the energy breakthrough here: http://www.racvenergybreakthrough.net
What products do you use? Why?
I use a wide variety of paints but mainly DNA custom paints, DuPont urethane’s, and Autoair depending on the project. I use Iwata Airbrushes, Harder Steenbeck and the new Badger Airbrush series. I’ll be reviewing several of these in the months to come.
And finally, how has Kustom Painting changed you as a person?
Pursuing my love for painting has totally shaped my life. It’s who I am. I am an artist, a teacher, a spray painter, a pinstriper, a (not very good) sign painter, and a jack of all trades. I love kustom painting and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!