Melanie Kilby Artist

about me

Melanie Kilby ARTIST

I balance my art practice between commissioned and personal work, illustration, selective graphic design projects and teaching drawing workshops.


In 2017 my sensible career in Graphic Design took a detour and I opened a little indoor plant, art and homewares store in Brisbane called Botanika by Kismet.


During that time I indulged in my love of gardening, had a hell of a lot of chats and worked hard on my 'side project' of drawing pet portraits. I completed a massive 53 portraits in the first year and reignited the love of drawing that I'd lost since finishing an Illustration degree so many years earlier.


Since then I've completed over 150 portraits and Botanika has  closed it's doors, but I credit it for helping me develop the courage to focus on my art career full time.


I'm always open to commissions, so get in touch if you have a specific project you'd like to discuss. Email field at the bottom of the page.

Studio photo courtesy of Peter McMahon 2020.

my career in short...

BVA Illustration Griffith University Queensland College of Art. Graduated 1998.

BA Graphic Design University of the Sunshine Coast. Graduated 2003.

I have over 15 years experience working as a Graphic Designer/Illustrator in Brisbane and London for a range of clients in retail, travel and advertising to name a few.


2020 – Finalist Lethbridge 20,000 Small Scale Art Award

2020 – Finalist Stanthorpe Art Prize

2018 – Finalist Lethbridge 10,000 Small Scale Art Award

2017 – Finalist Lethbridge 10,000 Small Scale Art Award


ENTWINED. September 2019 at The Studio Brisbane, Latrobe Terrace, Paddington.

As photographed by Peter McMahon

I had the honour of being chosen as the subject of Peter McMahon's year-long photography project.


We compiled the final cut into the photo book below.



Destiny; fate. Synonyms: fate, destiny, fortune, providence.

"It's kismet!" Jerry Seinfeld (Season 9, Ep 2)

in the media

get in touch

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Pet and People Portraits

Starting as a side project, my pet portraiture has kinda taken off and makes an excellent (and thoughtful) gift for loved ones. My portraits have been described as "beautifully detailed and wonderfully emotive". 

Whether it's large or small scale, traditional or digital, I'll work with you to bring your ideas to life. Get in touch for a chat about your requirements.

Art prints, original art and merch, you can find it here.

Order pet portraits & book workshop tickets here too!