Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Latham

Illustration of a girl asleep on a drawing

Tell us about yourself. What do you do?

I’m Kelly and I draw things! I am an illustrator for many different facets of the commercial art industry. My work includes surface design, comics, children’s books, merchandise, storyboarding, and other miscellaneous illustration needs.

Illustration of a girl and a very large book shelf

What led you to this profession or why did you choose it?

Storytelling is what led me to the career path of illustration. I wanted to be able to share stories visually through my work, and illustration was the best fit.

A cartoon of a girl painting

What does a typical day look like at your job?

I have recently transitioned into full-time freelancing as an independent illustrator and sequential artist, so every day looks different! Some days I work on merchandise for my online store, or I work on freelance illustration projects ranging from portraits to surface design, and other days I work on developing pitches for graphic novels and children’s books. But no matter what I do, I draw all day long.

workspace with watercolors and a painting of a sunflower

What is a favorite project you have worked on and why?

My favorite project I have worked on was my most recent comic anthology contribution, Breakfast Guard. I wrote a story about breakfast-themed magical girls; think Sailor Moon plus your favorite Sunday morning buffet. The girls use their super powers to save the day from a giant vending machine using cheese puff attacks to destroy the city!

Cartoon of a girl surrounded by cereal

What advice would you give your college self?

I would tell my college self to learn to be part of the artist community. Go to comic conventions, join forums or groups online, be part of the conversation! A lot of opportunities can come from who you know, so get to know people!

What makes you proud to be a KU Alumni?

I love the way the Jayhawk is so recognizable. I can be anywhere from Kansas to Georgia to Morocco and I will have people strike up conversations with me when they see my Jayhawk keychain or KU hat. It’s like being part of a big family wherever you go.

Learn more at Kelly Latham's Website.