Kelly Malka’s art is a gorgeous, psychedelic dream — and we can’t get enough of it. The Los Angeles native has mastered a style of work that’s all her own, and it’s as sunny and wonderful as her hometown itself (not that we’re biased or anything). We love Kelly’s use of bold, graphic lines and perfectly mixed palettes of color. Her work is fun, unique, and filled with unexpected details — and that’s why she’s our Illustrator of the Week!
Find out more about Kelly and her art below, and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.
No pressure, but describe your art: I think my art is really funky and in a way, also very happy and joyful. Having grown up in sunny Los Angeles my whole life, my art has always been a kind of ode to constantly being surrounded by the sun, the beach, and good weather. Even though I wear black and white basically all the time (I very rarely wear color), my art is the total opposite of the vibe I give off. It’s filled with color and saturation. I like to make things that make people smile, so I hope my art does that!
What inspires you to make things: Other artists — not just visual, but mediums such as music and film really inspire. I’m constantly listening to music, and have always been really passionate and interested in the music industry. I’d love to be a part of it one day (in terms of design), and have had a little experience within it in the past — it’s so fun! You can really go crazy with music design, which is what I love about it. With film, I can watch a movie that’s beautifully directed and played by amazing actors and be on such a creative high. I’ll go home and start drawing for hours.
Your favorite thing(s) to draw: If you look at my art it’s pretty obvious. Sometimes I joke that I’m a total one note, but when it comes to illustrating, I love drawing girls with crazy hair and I also really love drawing super detailed flowers. I love drawing this one girl with thick bangs who’s kind of sassy, and putting her in different contextual situations for these little illustrations I do on my art Instagram (New Years, the 4th of July, Valentines day, Pride, etc.). I haven’t named her yet, but I definitely want to!
Medium of choice: Rotring and Micron pens.
The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: Not to sound like a cliché, but I’ve always known I wanted to be involved in the art world somehow. I’ve been drawing since I was 3 (I have a lot of crappy drawings in my garage to prove it), so I guess I don’t really have a “first” memory where I knew this would become something bigger.
Proudest achievement so far: I’ve felt proud of a lot of awesome projects I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, but even with these big projects I’ve been involved with, I’m just proud whenever people like my work. Not to sound corny, but honestly, if someone just says “I love that drawing” or “I saw your site, it was cool!,” it literally makes my day!
Music you listen to while you work: Ahh, this is a tough one, since my music choices change all the time — but at the moment I’m listening to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Purity Ring, Years & Years, and LANY. My all-time favorite artists though (as in I can listen to their albums on repeat and not get sick of them) are TV on the Radio, Phantogram, Gorillaz, and Kanye West.
Your most prized possession: My black Paige denim overalls. I bought them at Wasteland for $30, I checked their site to see how much they were after I bought them — $300! It was the best deal ever. And they’re so comfy. A lot of people hate on them but I love them so much. I think I prize them especially because they were such a ridiculous deal. All and all I don’t really prize any of my things — maybe my computer? Or bed? I’m going to go with overalls on this one.
Your personal hero: I have a lot of heroes for different reasons. I really really love Lena Dunham (like every other girl in the world); I just really admire her insane self-awareness and ability to be herself no matter what. She’s such a badass and those are qualities I would love to have more of. One of my favorite illustrators who I look up to is Jean Jullien, he’s incredibly witty and clever within his work and that’s something I strive to do within my art as well (stuff that makes you think and maybe giggle a bit!). Lastly, I really admire a lot of the people I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I’ve worked for some awesome companies (Halston, WBR, National Forest, and so on) and the way they create killer content constantly is beyond me.
The last thing to make you giggle: My friend ordering a “buttery nipple” at a bar for her birthday.
Current project(s): I just finished up creating an invitation for Rx Art’s Malibu Party this July, and I’m currently working a rebrand for Amazebowls Acai food truck, as well as other exciting branding stuff that I can’t talk about just yet! Stay tuned. In terms illustration, I’m always making random commission based work, I love working with new people so it’s always exciting to get to do dip my toes in new projects.
You can check out our past Illustrators of the Week here!