Kelly-Marie Roberts is a freelance illustrator and winner of our #Lifehacks Graphic Design Competition w/ NME

'Spotlight' is a series of blogs showcasing amazing young adults that we've worked with, and celebrating their talents and achievements.

Q: Tell us about your practice and style for the competition

A: I’m an Illustrator so that’s the direction I wanted to take the designs in. I tend to use bright colours and linear, hand-drawn elements in all of my work and I try to do as much as I can by hand before I start doing any digital stuff. I love to draw lots of different things but my favourite thing to draw is people. #Lifehacks is a really people focused event so I thought it would be a great way to showcase that.

Q: How was your competition experience?

A: It was fun; a bit nerve-wracking at first but I was really excited to get started once Simon from NME gave us the brief and told us that they were really open about what they wanted and trusted us to come up with strong ideas.

When we were pitching our work, I was pretty nervous as I’ve never really pitched before, but I just tried to keep it simple and mainly let the work speak for itself.

It was really great to see everyone else's work because it was so interesting to see how everybody took the brief into a very different direction.

Q: How did you develop your winning idea?

A: When developing my ideas I wanted to make something really vibrant and bold that would stand out against the rest of the [NME] magazine (which is already pretty colourful) whilst still feeling like part of it, but also thinking about what would stand out on social media posts too.

I pitched NME two different designs that worked well together and could be used within the same campaign. One was using a bright pink brick wall with doodles and posters all over it, and the other was also pink, with different people's hands around the outside, looking like they were writing and swapping cards etc. I thought that adding a human element to the design would be a nice way to show how fun and busy it would be, but also to reference the inclusivity of the #LifeHacks event and how all different types of young creatives are encouraged to attend.

Q: How did you feel about winning?

A: When I was told I had won I was really shocked! All of the other designs were at a really high standard and were so diverse that I really didn’t know what would happen. I went into the NME office a few days later and got started on getting my designs ready for print and for use on social media! It was really great for me to see the magazine's design process and I’m really grateful I got the chance to be involved.

Kelly's winning designs:

Kelly's personal artwork and merch can be found here.