BROOKLYN, New York - An alumnus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, KellyAnne Hanrahan took her degree in painting, applied her nerdy propensity for computers and formed a career in illustration and graphic design for both print and the internet.
Beginning at the Chicago Sun Times in 1994 as a freelance designer and illustrator, KellyAnne learned the nitty-gritty of the printing world: paste-up, electronic file set-up and the dreaded press checks. Tasks during her stay at the Sun Times included producing (and occasionally illustrating) Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Schubert Theatre playbills and designing content for the official Chicago Tourist Guide. While working for the Sun Times, she began to build on her client list and portfolio with the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau - illustrating posters, tourist products, hotel guide covers and Chicago-theme calendars.
In 1995, the internet seemed the perfect career direction for a designer and illustrator. KellyAnne moved on to a full time position at Streams Online Media Development where she collected much knowledge about the emerging world wide web. Back then, graphics were the newest thing on web pages, everyone wrote their own HTML and any URL you could think of was available. KellyAnne got the incredibly timed opportunity to create websites, animations and custom graphics for clients like Ameritech, Citibank and Subway Sandwiches. She also got a chance to illustrate and design special projects like the official 1996 Democratic National Convention website. All during the dawn of the internet - which is also when koolass.com launched.
In 1997, she initiated her own design and illustration studio in Wicker Park, Chicago. Projects in those days included promotional print materials for Motorola, branding for Second City's Spark Creative, custom illustrations for Corus Bank and website designs for Bayer Advanced, Georgia Pacific and Microsoft.
By 1998, New York City was calling - and KellyAnne was itching to get off the streets where she was born and raised. With the help of a large project designing an employee training CD ROM for Anderson Consulting, she made the money to skip town from big lake to big ocean.
New York City, 1999 - Rudolph Giuliani was Mayor, Bill Clinton was president and the year 2000 was looming. KellyAnne hit the 20th century Brooklyn ground running with brand new clients like OurHouse.com, Coach, Children's Television Workshop and of course Kim Depole Design and Brooks Brothers, with whom she still proudly works today.
Just as the 21st Century settled upon us, New York City was changed forever. KellyAnne was still working with a wide variety of clients (such as BP/Arco, Sterling Publishing, adMISSION POSSIBLE!, and Purple Dot magazine) but her business was changing with New York. Perhaps echoing her earlier days of designing for Chicago theatre, her career has recently taken a turn towards Broadway and the entertainment world.
It started humble: designing cheap B-movie DVD covers for a company not ironically called VidTapes. But before she knew it, the New York Musical Theatre Festival was knocking on her door. Soon her illustrations were hanging down 42nd Street and flashing on the Panasonic screen in Times Square.
The Festival led to Jujamcyn Theaters - owner of five of the Broadway district playhouses - and began her love affair with designing for Broadway. Giving Jujamcyn a new look was followed by launching the Givenik and Broadway Phone brands. Soon she branched out to Broadway PR firms like Type A Marketing (Nice Work website), theatrical booking company AWA, and show-specific production for A Catered Affair and RENT.
Off-Broadway, her focus continues to be the entertainment world, with clients like Backstage newspaper, talent agency Jackson Group Entertainment, musical Prozak and the Platypus and Red Sand Media. She also works with entertaining individuals such as director Kel Haney, illustrator Bill Charmatz, Japanese paper artist Kyoko Ibe, director Elise Thoron, singer/songwriter Jill Sobule, contralto Karen Clark, The Galax Quartet, conductor Kynan Johns, composer Daniel Temkin, and pianist Qing Jiang.
In April of 2011, there were enough paintings of garbage in her series to launch a dedicated website: www.garbagepaintings.com. The garbage series was presented at RePop in Brooklyn March 1 - April 5, 2013.
As of August 2013, the collection of Garbage Paintings has evolved into a new series: Oil Paintings of Animals. The first exhibition of an animal painting was in May 2014 as part of a group exhibition at The Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
In the beginning of summer 2014, artist, feminist and philanthropist Sarah Peter contacted me about doing a print version of my Admirable Women Paper Dolls, and the book is being printed! Stay tuned for details, or check out the website.
From October 28 - November 2 (2014), my painting "Deer" was exhibited in the 28th annual Kyoto International Art Exhibition at the Kyoto Municipal Museum. Also in October, from the 19th until the 26th, my triptych "Anteaters" was exhibited at the Kyoto City International Community House Gallery.
From December 2 - December 31 (2014), my paintings "4H Club Sheep" and "Seal" were on view as part of a group show at Walter Wickiser Gallery in Manhattan, with an opening reception on December 11. Click here for details.
From July 10 - August 31 (2015), my paintings "Squirrel Monkey and Man", "Hunting 4", and "Dogs" were on view as part of a group show at Van Der Plas Gallery in Manhattan. In November (2015), I had 14 paintings on view as a part of a group show called "Entangled" at RePop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
In December 2016 "Tribes 1" was on view as part of the group show "Trees of Life and Evil Eyes" at Abrazo Interno Gallery in Manhattan. Also, "Competition 2" was on view as part of the group show "12th Annual Small Works Show" at 440 Gallery in Brooklyn. In October 2016, "Mating 9", "Shelter 6", and "Shelter 2" were on view as part of the group show "HOME: Function / Dysdunction / Make Believe" at The Hewitt Gllery of Fine Art, and "Playing" was exhibited in the 30th Annual Kyoto International Exhibition of Art and Design at the Kyoto Municipal Museum. Summer 2016, "Feeding 6", "Fighting 14", "Finding a Mate 8", "Interaction 6", and "Finding a Mate 6" were on display from August 12 - September 3 (2016) as a part of a group show called "Life Sized" at Anthony Philip Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
KellyAnne Hanrahan has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Print magazine, Mademoiselle, Platinum magazine and New City and celebrates twenty years in the business this year.