Tracy McGuiness-Kelly is an award winning British born artist whose work has captured the attention of some of the largest, media, entertainment, publishing and charitable organisations in the world.
Best known as the author and illustrator of BAD Cat, a series of beautifully illustrated stories about a naughty black moggy whose quirky looks and madcap antics get him into trouble, Tracy McGuinness-Kelly’s work has captured the heart of America.
Tracy began her impressive career in Kansas City Missouri, where she worked for one of the world’s most famous greeting card companies, Hallmark. Her award winning designs, including, gift-wrap, greeting cards and other surface design products, as well as posters, stationery, gift bags, packaging and three dimensional toys, appeared in 'Design Excellence' annuals such as 'Communication Arts' and 'Print' magazine in America.
After leaving Hallmark, Tracy moved to Brooklyn, New York to work as a freelance illustrator. Her impressive list of clients, including, Starbucks, Nickelodeon T.V, American Girl, Crate and Barrel, Unicef, Great Arrow, Time Warner, Galison Books, Chronicle Books, Porter Novelli, Fast Company, TIME Asia, Christian Science Monitor and Little Brown Publishing, eventually led to her first publishing deal.
"I was at a licensing show in Brooklyn with a huge Bad Cat doll when my soon-to-be-editor Cindy Eagan, saw me and told me she'd like to turn him into a book. I based it on Brooklyn where we used to live and the city is called the Big Stinky. The book is about Bad Cat's antics. He gets into all sorts of trouble because of his actions.”
Her first children's book entitled 'BAD CAT' was published in June 2003 in the U.S, Japan and S. Korea and is listed in the United States Library of Congress. Tracy’s second book of the 'BAD CAT' series, ‘BAD CAT Puts on his Top Hat’ was published by Little Brown Publishing, New York in 2004.
“The way I perceive my work is striving to tap into my childhood subconscious, trying to remember those feelings, thoughts and dreams, whilst simultaneously utilizing my adult artistic experience and editing skills".
Using “scribbles and splodges”, that have been created with her 3 year old son, and placing them together with her drawings and collected items, “little bits of packaging like the printers line of dots from the end flaps of a cereal box a sweet wrapper or tiny news paper clippings”, she digitally manipulates and collages them together on the computer. ”Using a G3 Apple Mac and working in Photoshop 7.0 I scan work created by myself outside of the computer, such as abstract collages, drawings, painted textures, digital photographs” she says. Once she is satisfied with the overall appearance, composition and characters, Tracy then prints each image onto 100% cotton canvas or a heavy watercolour paper using pigment based archival inks, where she re works the images again by hand until it is finished.
McGuinness-Kelly is currently working on a series of animated characters called the 'Pogglewiffs. Her work is held in private collections across America and Europe. Londonart.co.uk is currently exhibiting fifteen original one off works on paper which have been created between the period of 1999 and 2008.
To view Tracy’s work, general exhibition pages and to look at her biography please click here