Maylee Keo creates lively, colourful and playful illustrations, just like her! She is based out of Montréal.
I used to see little flyers everywhere that were so cool, and I would hoard a bunch of them. My high school teacher knew this, and they told me to study graphic design in college, which really helped me think of how to create things differently.
I worked as an intern at Ubisoft Montreal during the protests against rising student fees in 2012 (we won)!
We had to extend our college program for a few months, but once that was over, I had the chance to work in a motion design company.
I really have a bad habit of scrolling through my phone or directly logging into my computer (since I don’t always eat breakfast). But, if I have something to work on, I put on something to listen to and check out a bunch of things on Reddit and Instagram.
I think anyone can be inspiring as long as they’re true to their values and they fight for the things they believe in. To see anyone who identifies as a woman breaking barriers in a male-led field is super inspiring.
Also my mom.
Describe your design process.
I enjoy watching a bunch of things (I have a huge screen-time problem), and it helps me understand what things look like. This helps me draw things the way I remember them. I also try to inform myself of many things (politics, world news, etc.)—it is at times overwhelming, but it helps bring different perspectives to projects.
I really like sharing what I feel visually. I don’t always have the words to describe feelings, but visual metaphors really help. I’m also a sucker for nature and animals (and being surrounded by talented people helps, too)!
It’s so difficult to choose (and to admit), but I’m really proud of this video I made for La Place des Arts in Montreal (https://mayleekeo.com/Interlude). It’s 30+ screens where you can showcase a whole animation project, and being able to create something by myself was a really proud moment for me.
Be authentic, be kind, and don’t forget to take a break from time to time.
In one year, I’ve asked more than 120 people to contribute to three different creative collaborations. I just wanted to keep my community close during the pandemic.
Success is to attain your goals however big or small it is.
Dealing with casual sexism, racism, and the advice to “just brush it off,” as if everything is okay.
In high school, I spent a lot of time in art programs and was invested in social causes. With time, I saw the potential of just learning directly while working in the industry.
Something sustainable, like being a beekeeper or working in a farm… but I have really bad allergies.
I’m scared that what I do isn’t good enough and that I’ve already peaked, so it’s all over.
Constructive criticism really does help. So put your ego down.
Cutting ties with people who don’t have the same values as me.
Representation matters. Your voice matters.
Since 2016 I’ve been working from home, so probably the best thing at home is my bed or the couch.
I’m pretty honest, so if I really love your work, it’s because I really do.
The most important thing that can help define you in the Internet age is how you project your own personality onto all these screens. There’s no one else like you, so why be like everyone else?
Taking a day at a time.