Hello, I’m Kellie.
I design creative solutions with diversity and inclusion in mind. Originally from France, I’m now in the USA with two superpowers: I can gather and motivate people and stop ice cream from melting.
I knew I wanted to be a designer when I discovered Stephane Carricondo’s and Akira Toriyama’s art. It ignited my love for drawing, storytelling and vibrant colors. After my brother brought home a computer with Adobe software, I began exploring and it hasn't stopped since.
Born in Cameroon, growing up in a small village in the south of France, with an American mother and French-Cameroonian father, diversity was in my blood. This same diversity has remained at the forefront of my life and work. I learned early on to always be busy and to express myself by creating artwork or short stories. This led me to pursue studies in Fine Arts in Bordeaux, where I built a strong foundation in analyzing and understanding the traditions and history of art.
One morning, I had a wacky idea that changed my existence: create a physical intercultural magazine to promote diversity awareness and fight intolerance. Being dyslexic and without any knowledge of print edition or project management, was a big challenge. Three months later, I joined a creative design school and started building a multi-disciplinary team of 50+ amazing creative volunteers with different backgrounds who pitched in to bring to life a magazine, a podcast, a Bollywood dance group, workshops, and cultural events. I learned a lot from that experience, including:
Finding creative solutions
Building a strong, long-lasting community
Establishing business plans
Print production process
Going out of my comfort zone
Building on that experience, I completed a Master of Animation and Multimedia in 2010 while producing 2D short films and guiding, impactful branding of an in-house creative team, in France and in the USA, for 10 years. My work has won several distinctions over the years, in both countries. Through these adventures, I’ve grown and maintained a graphic universe that is simultaneously bold, colorful, and vibrant - a mixture of the diverse cultures that cradled and inspired me.
I moved to the USA with four objectives in mind: develop my career, meet my American family, learn to drive, and improve my English. I nailed that! My next life challenge is to share my passion and my experience with design and diversity to empower designers. I'm working in the Washinton DC area for an international development company that aims to shape a more livable world: DAI.
10 years experience in a creative leadership role design Team Leader with 14 years of experience in art direction, illustration, brand identity, print, and digital media.
Developed and edited a cross-cultural magazine to highlight the richness of diversity.
Built a multi-disciplinary team of 50+ creative volunteers with different backgrounds.
Illustrated full wall-sized vinyls for 30,000 sq. foot buildings.
Rebrand and design a stronger brand identity for all the companies I worked for.
HONORS & AWARDS
My work in print and video has won several distinctions over the years, both in France and the USA.
2007 - AJC & Projet Jeunes Gironde
Shortly after its creation, Esprit Métis was awarded the « Bordeaux AJC prize » and was recognized by the municipality. Following the growing success of the free magazine, the organization became the laureate of « Projet Jeunes Gironde ».
2009 - First place winner
National competition “Envie d’agir”
First prize winner of the competition “Envie d’agir” issued by French Minister of Youth and Sport. Chosen out of 150 national candidates selected from 3000 local projects in the Citizenship and Solidarity section.
2013- Bordeaux Magazine cover
The City Diversity Council of Bordeaux published a portfolio of testimonies and reflections on the diversity from different personalities. They ask me to participate to it by editing to publish on my vision of diversity in Bordeaux. Constant Forme-Becherat took this portrait of me and used it for the cover of the City mag and for a three-week exhibit.
In this photo, I sign the word "together" / "union" in French sign language.
2015 - Poster Campaign
Gold Local American Advertising Awards (ADDY)
The Optym core values posters won gold awards in the category Poster Campaign at the local American Advertising Awards 2015 (ADDY).
Honor issuer Advertising Federation of Gainesville.
2018 - American Advertising Awards (ADDY)
Optym's Marketing hard work and creativity were recognized at the 2018 American Advertising Awards (ADDY) Gala, presented by the American Advertising Federation of Gainesville. The team won awards in five categories, including:
Optym Company Homepage
Optym Around the World (the graphics throughout Building A of our US office)
Amadeus SKY Suite by Optym IATA Booth Design
Optym Convergence Conference 2017 Branding
2018 - The Employee Handbook
Gold Local American Advertising Awards (ADDY)
The Employee Handbook recently won a Gold Local American Advertising Awards (ADDY) 2018. Some great Optimers worked on this project with passion, a fun attitude and a lots of caffeine. To give our handbook a fun twist, we have incorporated a video game theme.