Kelly Anna, Artist and Print Designer has taken the creative world by storm with her bold and confident figurative works. At the core of her work stands a message of empowerment, implicit in style and explicit in her witty scrawl. Slogans like ‘Never Tame Your Game’ and ‘Survival of the Slickest’ give her work a playful and outspoken nature, which appeals to everyone from Nike to Beyoncé (that’s right, the queen Beyoncé herself has worn her prints!). Kelly Anna merges art, wellbeing and culture with energy and authenticity informed by her background as a dancer and gymnast. Here, she takes us through tracks that remind her of family, breaking for freedom and everything in-between.
This song reminds me of freedom! It was the moment I decided I wanted out on my first full-time job and to venture into the freelance world. Taking the leap can be really scary, but this song that it just lifts me up and makes me think that nothing can hold me back. This song got me through that terrible feeling of insecurity, to move forward, I had to take a few steps back. I paid the bills with a bar job, but it allowed me the time and freedom to build my portfolio from scratch. I owe this song a lot for getting me through that time!
This song is very personal to me. My whole family are Ballroom and Latin Dancers and growing up. We spent our childhood always going to dances. This was the track they played at the end of the evening which my brother and I would always do the waltz to. It’s one of our favourite tracks to dance to. I owe so much of my creative development to dancing; it’s where I learnt how to express myself with passion and confidence.
This is my go-to track when I need to get in “the zone”. Sometimes I struggle to find my creative rhythm, and I need to step away from my desk and walk around the city. This song is guaranteed to bring me back into a creative headspace when everything else fails.
When everything gets too much, and I need to chill, this is the track I go to. In my work, there are so many jobs with super fast turnarounds that it can get very overwhelming and impact your mind, body and soul. I believe experimentation is critical, we all need time to play, make mistakes, fail and resolve as this allows us to grow and develop as artists. This song always calms me down and helps me escape the stress, even if only for a few moments.
When I’m really in the zone, working on a big project, my brain can’t handle distractions, so I try and get into an almost hypnotic state where I’m able to block everything else out and immerse myself in work. To do this, I listen to one song per project I work on. This allows me to play the same track over and over for a few days. It may sound strange, but the process really works for me. This Burial track reminds me of my first collaboration with Nike. I had one week to make it happen, and I found this track on an old playlist and listened to it for the entire week.