Love of art draws Kelly to career in graphic design

A love of art and an affinity for computers are two aspects of St. Marys native Chris Kelly's life that he was able to combine through a career as a commercial graphic artist. Kelly, who now resides in Greensburg with his wife Stacey, always wanted to pursue a career as an artist and is currently employed at an advertising agency called West Media Group. "My major responsibility is the design, development, and updating of websites, but I work on a lot of other projects as well, ranging from business cards and brochures to newsletters and books," Kelly said. For Kelly, graphic design is "an amazingly creative field" that he indicated he would recommend to others. "As long as work is coming in and you have good clients, it can be the best job in the world," Kelly said. "There are drawbacks like in every field, but once you have a product you designed in your hands, it is always worth it."The diverse nature of the projects he has been tasked with completing throughout his career have also allowed Kelly to meet a variety of interesting people. "You meet some really interesting people in this line of work. I've met politicians, broadcasters, deans of colleges, heads of industry, and I've even had sit-down conversations with English royalty," Kelly said. Still, the job is not without its challenges, and Kelly noted that it is sometimes difficult to make his projects fresh and different."It is really easy to reuse your ideas when there is a deadline or when a project is a little more boring than you would like," Kelly said. "Always try things that are different, even if they don't work - it's all part of the creative process."Chris is the son of Joyce and Mike Kelly of St. Marys and has two siblings, Dr. Amy Kellogg and Andy Kelly. According to Kelly, his parents and his teachers at Elk County Christian High School had the biggest impact on his career decision. "My parents always encouraged me with my art, and using it commercially evolved from there. Also, art teacher Pete Winklbauer cemented my love for art," Kelly said. After graduating from ECC, Kelly went on to attend both Saint Vincent College and Seton Hill University. "I went to Saint Vincent College for a year and transferred to Seton Hill University, where I majored in Graphic Design with a minor in Two-Dimensional Design. I graduated from Seton Hill in 2005," Kelly said. Though he and his wife reside in Greensburg, Kelly indicated that he does occasionally make it back to St. Marys, though not as much as he would like. "[I make it back] maybe twice a year, and I'm never in St. Marys as long as I would like once I do make it home," Kelly said. Samples of Kelly's work are viewable on his website