A shot at international fame

How does a young, local artist get commissioned to do a series of artworks for the 50th

A sketch of Michael Jordan by Jeremy Kyle commissioned by the Chicago Bulls for their 50th season celebration. Photo supplied.

anniversary of the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA), that too sitting at his home studio in Eastern Beach?

For Jeremy Kyle, the 23-year-old commercial artist and graphic designer, it began with saying yes to opportunities.

Working on global campaigns with powerhouse brands like Under Armour, Dior, 2pac Brand and Chicago Bulls, the graphic designer with a following of  45,000 on Facebook, Instagram and Behance  says it all happened by chance.

“I was at a church meeting where we were told they needed a place to put up some people,” he says.

“When I offered him a place to crash, I had no idea that Emaneul Hay was a band member of the Esther Melody Band group.”

Seeing Jemery’s work of watercolour with splatters and intricate line work that denotes controlled chaos, Emanuel asked if  he could design a feature album for the band.

Saying yes, opened doors.

Now Weta tweets his work, people get his illustrations tattoeed and he is being commissioned by big players in the America to work on global campaigns.

“To celebrate their 50th season, the Chicago Bulls have asked me to create a campaign for them, articulating their five most iconic moments / players in a series of  historic artworks,” he says excitedly.

“They were all originally created using water colours and ink mixed media. Each artwork took me around 35 hours of work each,” says the young artist, a successful brand in himself.

Another series that has gone viral is the illustration of Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac and Makaveli. The American rapper sold over 75 million records worldwide.

The design that was created in collaboration with West Coast Activewear has the rapper angrily spitting at the camera as he heads out of court– an intuitive-emotive piece that hinges between semi realism and abstract .

“They approached me saying they wanted a powerful, iconic illustration that would be used on t-shirts and other merchandise,” he says.

“The design illustrates not only his music but also the attitude of the hip hop artist.”

The first edition illustration now hangs at the Shakur studio.

Under Armour, American sports clothing and accessories company is another brand that approached him to tell their story in 20-25 artworks.

“They wanted me to communicate  where they started and where they are now, competing with Nike.”

When Jeremy is not working on commercial projects, he is busy with  Kiwiana art, painting native birds in lucid water colours that appeals to the New Zealanders as well as the tourism market.

Most of all, he enjoys his new passion of speaking to students at design schools in New Zealand and Australia. “I love empowering people on how they can use the power of the internet to be their own boss and yet get international acclaim,” he enthuses.