See Full Portfolio

To see a larger selection of Sean Kelly's illustrations and visual commentaries on politics, business and the arts, from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Businessweek and others, go to Sean Kelly Studio.

How To Develop Ideas and Solve Problems

The Creativity Seminar teaches individuals, teams and companies new ways to develop ideas and solve problems.

It offers techniques and tools that make the creative process easier and more productive. Creativity is a skill — which can be developed, practiced and improved.

Through these interactive presentations, Sean Kelly examines famous ideas and inventions by others, and shares examples from 25 years of his own creative work to show how to generate breakthrough solutions to challenging assignments.

Corporations, media companies, universities and arts organizations have benefited from these inspiring lectures and workshops that stimulate the imagination and spark innovation.

Go to blog for information on how to host The Creativity Seminar at your organization.

NY Times Metropolitan Diary

Illustrations by Sean Kelly for Metropolitan Diary, the popular weekly column which compiles readers' anecdotes about life in the city, published in the Monday Metro Section of The New York Times.

Homepage of Brown University

Featured on the homepage of the website of Brown University:

A detail from a full-page illustration in the recently published book, The Brown Reader: 50 Writers Remember Brown University.

"Divine Providence: A returning alumnus realizes that Brown really is heaven after all."

Thanks to Brown Reader editor Judy Sternlight and University Relations Executive Director Eve Ornstedt.

The New York Times

When Doctor and Patient Are Similar People (Science Times section)

American Bar Association Journal

Keep Your Legal Arguments Concise (May 2014)

Court Case (May 2014)

Seattle Business Magazine

A Tale of Two Cities | June 2014 cover. (Click to enlarge)

The Brown Reader:
50 Writers Remember College Hill

In celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Brown University, The Brown Reader is a collection of essays, comics, and poems by 50 alumni writers, poets, and artists reflecting on their time on College Hill.

Along with illustrator Sean Kelly, contributors include novelists Jeffrey Eugenides, Amity Gaige, Rick Moody, Edwidge Danticat, Donald Antrim, Marilynne Robinson and Meg Wolitzer, and playwrights Richard Foreman, Sarah Ruhl and Alfred Uhry.

The book, edited by Judy Sternlight and published by Simon and Shuster, is now available online and on bookstore shelves nationwide May 20.

More information:

Reviewed in The Providence Journal:

Magazine Feature | Sean Kelly: Born to Draw

My great thanks to Robin Phillips, Editor of Fairfield Magazine for the flattering feature in her beautiful and smart magazine.

Read the two-page article here.

With Gratitude

A very kind compliment from Eric Newton, the senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, who recently conducted a fascinating experiment in Flash Philanthropy and who has just released an inspiring, insightful, and beautifully designed digital book that's both a call for and an example of change in journalism and journalism education: "Searchlights and Sunglassses: Field Notes from the Digital Age of Journalism." Thank you, Eric.

Awarded USC Annenberg/Getty Fellowship

It's a honor and a thrill.

"SEAN KELLY has been named a fellow for the 2012 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship Program."

More information on the program here with links to bios of the fellows.


Freelancing isn't about being good at working as one lone journalist, it's about being great at working with hundreds of them.

The News Reels

How Modern Technology Disrupts Old Media:
What's the future of newspapers? Look to the past — and Hollywood.

The News Reels from Sean Kelly on Vimeo.

The Award for the Most Award Shows

Golden Globes, People's Choice, SAG, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys...
The Los Angeles Times

VIDEO: Where Do Online Companies Get Their Unusual Names?

The Web Is Serious Businesss from Sean Kelly on Vimeo.

Originally created for Seattle Business Magazine, February 2012

Think Inside the Box

Merry Christmas from Sean Kelly Studio!

Dining Section Cover

(Click to enlarge)

The New York Times
When baked is faked. Potluck and school-fundraiser participants often bring store bought items instead of being more creative in their kitchens.

Travel Section Cover

The Hartford Courant, December 4, 2011

The View from the Boardroom

The Miami Herald, November 13, 2011
(Click to enlarge)

The Eight

The Hartford Courant, October 23, 2011

50 Proof!

August 4, 2011
(Click to enlarge.)

Featured on Op-Ed page of LA Times

See full item in The Los Angeles Times.

See full-size illustration by Sean Kelly.
Thanks to extraordinary art director Wesley Bausmith.


The New York Times, Business Section, May 20, 2011


The New York Times, Business Section, April 24, 2011


The New York Times, Business Section, March 27, 2011

Nominated again for 2011 Award
from National Cartoonists Society

Sean Kelly has been nominated once again for the National Cartoonists Society award for Best Newspaper Illustrator.

His NCS bio is here.

Kelly is a four-time nominee. He won the award in 2007.
(See news articles)


She Lost Her Job, But Gained Respect

The Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed Page, March 13, 2011

How Climate Change Affects Businesses

The Hartford Courant, March 4, 2011

Questions for Jeopardy's Watson

February 17, 2011

This week, the age-old question of whether machines can ever replace humans was posed repeatedly -- in the form of an answer followed by a question. On "Jeopardy," IBM launched a well-publicized stunt in which their room-sized supercomputer Watson, despite some fumbling, beat two of the game's past champions.

But questions still remain as to future roles for a computer that provides questions for answers.

Stills and transcripts from a previously unreleased rehearsal reveal that, even before the show began, both "Jeopardy" and Watson had some questions for each other.

(Click here for larger version.)

© Copyright 2011

How Digitization SAVED The Comics

The Christian Science Monitor, April 23, 2010
(Click to enlarge)

© Copyright 2011

Downsizing McMansions Will Help the Economy

The Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed Page, November 21, 2010

Big Bad Banks

The Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2010

Lose Face

Your Online Presence Can Affect Your Reputation
The New York Times, Business Section, October 10, 2010


The Christian Science Monitor, July 5, 2010

Haiti's Heartbreak

The Miami Herald

Art Theft

(See larger version here.)
Illustration: Sean Kelly.
All images copyrighted. Not for reuse or reproduction.

Award of Excellence from
The Society For News Design

An illustration for The Los Angeles Times was chosen for by the judges in this year's SND Best in News Design competition. A repeat winner over many years, Sean Kelly also received a Portfolio Award from the Society for his body of work in 2008.

Updated Portolio and News


Award-winning illustration, visual journalism and political commentary seen on the arts, business, features and op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe

Honors from Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Society of Publication Designers

2012 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow

Named Best Newspaper Illustrator by the National Cartoonists Society in 2007

OTHER EDITORIAL CLIENTS INCLUDE: The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Businessweek, The Atlantic, New York, The Washingtonian, The Hartford Courant, Esquire, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Congressional Quarterly, Kiplinger's, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Billboard, Forbes, Consumer Reports, Barron's, Men's Health, U.S. News & World Report, Chronicle Books

CORPORATE CLIENTS INCLUDE: Aetna, American Express, AT&T, Cisco, Georgia-Pacific, Humana, IBM, Macy's, McGraw-Hill, NBC-Universal, Nickelodeon, Nielsen Media Research, Omnicom Group, Razorfish, Scholastic Inc., Time Warner, The Smithsonian Institution, Vera Wang, Viacom

SEAN KELLY was first published at age 2 when his face filled the cover of The New York Daily News, as a curious spectator at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He began earning money with his drawings at age 10, winning a national contest sponsored by Kellogg's which awarded him five dollars per week for a year. Today, as a professional, his income has grown.

Mr. Kelly graduated from Brown University and studied at Rhode Island School of Design and in London. While in college, he and his political cartoons were profiled in a wide range of national publications, from The Chronicle of Higher Education to USA Today, he won numerous top national awards for college cartoonists, and he was the first and only visual artist to win the Rolling Stone College Journalism Award. As a sophomore, he had his first drawing published in The New York Times.

Working on staff at The Miami Herald, he art directed the Sunday and daily Lively Arts section and his political illustrations and design filled the cover of the Viewpoint opinion section. Mr. Kelly then began freelancing in Washington, DC. He was based in New York City for a decade and currently lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Mr. Kelly is a frequent contributor to The New York Times where his visual commentaries appear on the Op-Ed Page. Mr. Kelly's graphic designs and illustrations have won awards from The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Graphis, Communication Arts, The Society of Publication Designers, Print's Regional Design Annual, The Los Angeles Society of Illustrators and The Society for News Design, which gave him a Portfolio Award.

His work has been exhibited by The Museum of Cartooning and Comic Art, The Society of Illustrators, Parsons School of Design and New York's Town Hall Theater, and has been featured on The Huffington Post and the CBS News program Face The Nation.

From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Kelly's humorous images of life in New York City ran each week in The New York Times's popular column "Metropolitan Diary", a series for which he won numerous awards.

In 2003, he first presented his Creativity Seminar which teaches academics, journalists, corporate executives and students how to use a wide variety of creative thinking techniques and tools to develop ideas and solve problems.

Sean Kelly was named Best Newspaper Illustrator 2007 by the National Cartoonists Society at its annual Reuben Awards ceremony. He was also nominated for the award in 2006, 2009 and 2011. More information on his NCS award is here.

In 2012, Mr. Kelly was a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow.

He was honored to be included in the 2009 book All The Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't): Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page by the esteemed art director Jerelle Kraus.

Mr. Kelly has been a guest lecturer at Columbia Journalism School, Brown University, the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism, and at other schools including the University of Miami School of Communication. He also has presented at numerous corporate conventions and The Creativity in Business Conference in Washington, DC.

In addition, Mr. Kelly has been a featured speaker on creativity in journalism at media conferences, including at Columbia University, and he was selected to present a Spotlight Session at CMA13, the College Media Association's national convention in New York City. He has been a judge for the National Scholastic Press Association and both the Gold Circle and the Crown journalism awards at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Mr. Kelly has participated in recent conferences including: The Idea Conference (2010), Advertising Age, New York City; Creativity in Business Conference (2011), Washington, DC; Better World By Design (2009 & 2012), RISD, Providence RI; Creativity Conference (2013), TIME/Microsoft, Washington, DC; Business Perspectives For Creative Leaders (2013), Yale University; Crash Course on Creativity (2012), Stanford University (MOOC).





(203) 615-0118
Sean (at) SeanKellyStudio (dot com)

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Nominated Again in 2008 for Award
from National Cartoonists Society

For the third time in as many years, Sean Kelly has been nominated for the National Cartoonists Society award for Best Newspaper Illustrator.

His NCS bio is here.

The winner will be announced at the Society's annual convention and awards ceremony in Hollywood, California on May 23, 2009.

Kelly won the award last year.


National Cartoonists Society Names Sean Kelly Best Newspaper Illustrator 2007


Sean Kelly, of Fairfield, CT, received the 2007 Newspaper Illustration Award from The National Cartoonists Society at their awards ceremony in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, May 24th.

The National Cartoonists Society is the world's largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. This year's awards, in over a dozen divisions, were presented during the 62nd Annual Reuben Awards Weekend at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans.

"It's a great honor to win," said Kelly. "I feel fortunate to receive this prize from a group of very talented and funny artists from animated movies to editorial cartoons to comic strips."

Other awards presented Saturday include the 2007 Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, which went to Mad Magazine veteran Al Jaffee. The director of "The Simpsons Movie," David Silverman, won the Feature Animation Award.

Sean Kelly's illustrations appear frequently in The New York Times (in particular, on the Op-Ed page), The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Hartford Courant, as well as in numerous national magazines. A graduate of Brown University, Kelly studied at Rhode Island School of Design and began his career on staff at The Miami Herald. He also teaches seminars on creativity and visual thinking, most recently at The Columbia School of Journalism.

Kelly has also been honored in the past year by The Society For News Design, American Illustration, Communication Arts and The Society of Illustrators in New York, where a collection of his drawings was exhibited last spring. His weekly series of drawings for the popular "Metropolitan Diary" column in The New York Times has won awards from all the major illustration competitions.

This was the second time that Kelly was nominated for the award from the National Cartoonists Society, his first time to attend their convention and his first time to win.

Over 350 cartoonists, illustrators, animators and comic strip artists attended the National Cartoonist Society's Convention at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, LA

15 honorary plaques were presented, including the Reuben Award.