About The Artist:
Automotive artist Mike Kelly has been behind an artist’s paint brush for over 30 years. And for many of those years, he was designing and illustrating many of the cars and trucks on the road today. A veteran of Detroit’s transportation design and advertising community, Kelly has worked on styling concepts and renderings for most of the major automotive and truck OEMs.
A few years ago, though, Kelly decided to more fully concentrate on what he loves doing the most — creating vehicle “portraits” for classic car collectors, hot rod owners and other automotive aficionados and gearheads. Since then, he’s put together highly detailed paintings now hanging on the walls of many offices, boardrooms and family rooms around the U.S.
Born in 1955 in the Motor City, Kelly knew early on that when he grew up he’d be creating artwork based on cars and trucks and other “things that go.” He remembers as a kid sitting in front of the TV on Saturday morning, but instead of concentrating on Felix the Cat, he was sketching out the latest model of the Chevy Corvette or Mack truck. Never satisfied with his early art, Kelly always tried to take the next sketch to a higher level, or at least to the highest level a number-2 pencil and construction paper would allow.
After enjoying four years of art in high school, Kelly took his craft to the next level and studied art and industrial design at Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies (formerly the Society of Arts & Crafts / Center for Creative Studies), both in Detroit. After graduating from college, he signed on to a series of studio design and corporate positions, where he worked almost exclusively within the transportation industry.
Currently, he is providing commissioned painted portraits of classic cars and trucks (motorcycle and trains, too) and hopes to continue that forever, or at least until he is no longer able to hold a paint brush.
Classic Car, Hot Rod/Custom Car, Motorcycle, and Muscle Car (Illustration)