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Meet the Artist: Illustrator Kelsey Dake | The_ONES

Meet the Artist:
Kelsey Dake

Phoenix, Arizona

Favorite thing to draw:
“Animals. No doubt.”

Sneaker of choice:
Converse All Star High Tops forever and ever.”

True story:
She met her future hubs when he slid into her DMs. (More below.)

Be friends: @kelseydake

See more of her work: @The_ONES


As a kid, when doing a group project for school, visual artist Kelsey Dake always had to make the poster because she could “draw good.” Umpteen posters later, Dake hit art school, and was hit by the revelation that one way to draw for a living was by being an illustrator, and that “being an illustrator doesn’t only mean you draw pictures for children’s books,” she says. And thus a badass career was born.

If you’ve read it, she’s probably illustrated for it: The New York Times, GQ, McSweeney’s, Variety, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, and so the list goes. But it's not only top publications that recognize her talent: She was named an ADC Young Gun (an influential Who's Who list of under-30 creatives) in 2015.

Her distinct illustrations—graphic colorbombs with as much attitude as your 14-year-old cousin—all start the same way: “good ole fashioned paper,” she says. She sketches in pencil first, followed by brush and ink. Then scans the piece onto her computer where she cleans everything up and adds color. Animation calls for that to be done many many times over, before she’s able to pull all the images together in After Effects.

Dake lives "in the desert" and is current renovating a house with her husband, who she met thanks to a Tweet. One of her Tweets, ironically, about how she hated dating. He DMed her saying he hated it too. And lured by the gateway drug of DMing, the two started Instant messaging, which segued to texts, to phone calls, to video calls, and to an in-person meeting a month later. Flash forward, they just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, and she’s 20 weeks pregnant. “Twitter,” she laughs. “It is capable of good.”



“I’m a jeans and T-shirt gal, so a solid pair of sneaks pulls together the whole look. While your outfit may be ‘meh,’ some cool shoes can elevate it a bit, sorta like a good jean jacket.”

  • Kelsey Dake


Peep our Insta for more illustrated goodness, outfit inspo, and behind-the-scenes action.

Kelsey's ONES

A diehard Converse fan, she also loves how the right pair of Vans can make an outfit.


Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars: “My lifelong fave, especially in white (I remember my first pair were denim high tops with Taz on them).”

Vans Classic Slip-Ons: “My mom hated them so when I got my first job, that’s when I finally got a pair. I’ve had many since (checkered are the best).”

Vans SK8-His in navy: “Just got my first pair and I’ve been wearing them non-stop. They look good with everything and high socks. I’m actually wearing them right now.”

Vans Authentic Core Classics in red: “They look gooooood with jeans.”



Head to our Instagram for some rad behind-the-scenes and styling tips.
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