Born and raised in Dublin, graphic artist, Stephen Kelleher, upped sticks to journey across the pond shortly after graduating from the National College of Art & Design. For the last decade he has been living and working in the States and is currently residing in Brooklyn.

Stephen left Dublin in 2006 after he was discovered by Buck, what was then a foundling company but has since grown to one of the premier motion work studios in the world.

Buck saw my work and offered me a job! I credit long hours building my portfolio and centering my life around work as a 25 year old for that opportunity – perhaps not something that was healthy and holistic but sure, it helped me get recognized at that time.

 

Stephen Kelleher speaking at OFFSET Dublin 2016 by Bríd O'Donovan

Stephen Kelleher speaking at OFFSET Dublin 2016 by Bríd O’Donovan

After an exploration into screen-printing and street art in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Stephen was introduced to motion design in 2003. This area has maintained its position as the central area of his work along with a recent focus on self-portrait photography with all the areas lending to each other.

These disciplines have all in turn informed and influenced each other. The process of making work is always revelatory and there have been thousands of mini-breakthroughs that create a body of work or style rather than one or two finished projects that I could cite.

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Taking queues from thinkers such as Christopher Hitchens, Gore Vidal, Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan, Stephen has come to realize that the best design isn’t informed by design itself but from life. With his method of producing work being directly influenced by the energy levels on the day in question, he comments that being professional in the design industry means being objective about your work and solving problems in the best way possible.

While my influences may make me question the purpose of creating funny little pictures I still quite enjoy pushing shapes and colors around and playing in the sandbox of design as something of an escape from reality.

Stephen Kelleher speaking at OFFSET Dublin 2016 by Bríd O'Donovan

Stephen Kelleher speaking at OFFSET Dublin 2016 by Bríd O’Donovan

Currently working in what he calls a ‘transitionary period’, Stephen is focusing on photography, specifically self-portrait photography.

I am excited by the possibilities and think that as a process this is a seamless continuation for my desire to communicate. Definitely unknown territory and a steep learning curve which is where I’m happy to be.

Stephen blew us away with his opening talk at OFFSET Dublin this year and we can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us.