Interview with Underground Artist Kelly Campanile

These days the term underground art is used to describe a subculture of art, like graffiti art or comic strip art. Since the late 1990s the internet has become a forum for underground art thanks to its ability to communicate with a wide audience for free and without the support of an art establishment. 

Kelly’s style of art is pop surrealism and is characterized by her use of unconventional subject matter and its incorporation of elements from popular culture, such as comics, advertising, and kitsch. She shows a humorous or irreverent tone and uses bright, bold colors and exaggerated, cartoonish forms. Kelly is an Official 2023 Daytona Bike Week “Art On Deck” artist.

On Being an Artist

Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself”My name is Kelly, I am a Philadelphia based underground artist. I tattoo at Eddie’s in Chinatown and I also take art commissions,”  explained Kelly.

Underground Artist Kelly Campanile

Spotlight Interview: Artist Kelly Campanile

When did you decide to pursue art as a career?”I was drawing at a young age, I didn’t get into tattooing until about 3 years ago. Before that I had odd jobs to pay the bills along with my art commissions, selling paintings and doing art shows,” explained Kelly.

How do you see your relationship with computers? Is it a collaborator or simply a tool?”I’m not big on using computers. I will use my laptop as a tool once in a while for logos or T-shirt designs but that’s it,” stated Kelly.

What training did you have?”Self taught,” explained Kelly.

What has been the high point of your career so far?”Tattooing more of my own designs,” said Kelly.

General Questions

Who is your favorite artist?Shawn Dickinson,” explained Kelly.

What does Big Daddy Roth mean to you?”Keep it weird,” explained Kelly.

What are you aiming for?”Aiming for more exposure,” explained Kelly.

Underground Artist Kelly Campanile

Spotlight Interview: Artist Kelly Campanile

You and Art

How does your tattoo art impact your art?”I always thought from the beginning I was supposed to follow a formula for tattooing and in a lot of ways that helped me slow down and look at where the shading goes and how color blending works. Before having more of a structured outlook, I kinda just went for it and hoped for the best… lol,” mused Kelly.

What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?”I just hope people think it’s cool, I mean sometimes I’m surprised when people genuinely like what I’m up to,” said Kelly.

From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?”I would say at least 8 to 10 hours maybe longer depending on the size,” said Kelly.

What music do you like to listen to when you work?”Black metal, country but not lame country or mainstream black metal,” stated Kelly.

What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?”I’ve kinda been just hanging loose because of the holidays and trying to get some flash sheets together,” explained Kelly.

What direction are you heading in now?”I’m not sure but I know I want to do more motorcycle/ low brow type stuff and learn more about that world,” said Kelly.

Spotlight Interview: Artist Kelly Campanile

Spotlight Interview: Artist Kelly Campanile

Being Inspired by Art

Who (living or dead) inspires you, and why?Greg Irons because he was a badass and incredibly talented,” said Kelly.

What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?”Badass biker punk rock kinda stuff,” stated Kelly.

What is your favorite work that you’ve produced so far and why?”The piece I did of the two demons in the woods drinking and playing banjo. Because it was something that came together with less of a thought process,” explained Kelly.

An Artist’s Advice

For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?”I will always tell someone to keep it original, honor those artists you admire but don’t completely rip them off. There’s a lot to be said about that these days,” stated Kelly.

Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?”Haha maybe I need tips. I would say put yourself out there on social media as much as possible,” said Kelly.

Check out Kelly Campanile’s Art:

Lisa Kosarko Sotero’s Art Instagram Artist Kelly Campanile – @ownwurld

More Flying Piston Benefit Details:

Flying Piston Benefit Sturgis AuctionAbout The Flying Piston: The 2022 Sturgis edition of the  Flying Piston Benefit is produced by Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News & Jeff Najar of Green Forest Brand.  Our work raises funds for non-profits and individuals in the motorcycle community, vets, and kindergartners. For more information, please contact marilynstemp(at)gmail.com, 828-205-8482. To get involved with the Piston, click here. Enjoy the 2023 Daytona Bike Week and we hope the relief from winter is just what the Doctor ordered.

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Art provided by Atomic Bob and Kelly Campanile, and Gratisography.