Hello, I’m Kellie.
I design creative solutions with culture 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.

She always keeps in mind, "why" when working on her projects. Kellie is confident enough to motivate her peers and humble enough to empower them to find their own solution. Kellie's creativity and leadership shows no bounds.

Kelsey Wilkerson
Motion Graphic Artist / Video Team Lead at Optym

 
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My Story

I knew I wanted to be a designer when I discovered Stephane Carricondo’s and Akira Toriyama’sart. 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.

 

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 drawing and writing 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 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:

  • Building a strong, long-lasting community

  • Establishing business plans

  • Finding creative solutions

  • Print production process

  • Public speaking

  • Bollywood Dance

 

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 8 years. My work in print and video 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.

 

In 2014 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! Now I'm looking for my next life challenge.

Professional History

  • 8+ years experience in a creative leadership roleDesign Team Leader with 8 years of experience in art direction, illustration, brand identity, print, and digital media.

  • Developed and edited a cross-cultural print 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 building.

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.

2010 - First place winner - Zoom d'Or

Event "Madagascar in Pessac City" 10th magazine making MADAGASCAR place of honor. Issuer Mayor of Pessac City.

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.

2017 - Best of Show overall
 Local ADDY American Advertising Awards

The team won a whopping nine awards overall, including Best in Show for Overall Design.

Gold Awards:

  • Optym Onboarding Videos

  • Optym World Social Media Campaign

  • Optym Logo Animation

  • Optym Avatars

  • About Optym Videos

  • Optym ISO Security Posters

  • Optym Logo Animation.


Silver Awards:

  • Optym Brand Book.

2017 - Illustration Series
Gold - Local ADDY Award

Honored for the Optym Avatars Illustration Series. 
Honor issuer American Advertising Federation Gainesville.

2017 - Poster Campaign Gold Local American Advertising Awards (ADDY)

Honored for the Optym ISO Security Posters Series. Honor issuer American Advertising Federation Gainesville.

2017- Optym's Designer Spotlight

Featured in the July Optym Designer Spotlight!

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:


Gold Awards:


Silver Awards:

  • 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.