Illustrator, adventurer, cute enthusiast and mom... that's me! Here you'll find all my creative projects and travels collected for easy browsing.
I was born and raised in Pensacola, FL until I moved to Atlanta, GA in 1994. While living in Atlanta I finished public school, went to college, met my husband, started a family and went on countless adventures. In March 2018, my little family packed up and moved to start a new chapter in New England.
I'm currently a stay at home mom, but my previous professional life was as an illustrator. My background is in commercial illustration and design, and I earned a BA in Illustration and Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. My style is inspired by my interest in children’s literature, animation, vintage design and all things whimsical and cute. When I'm not drawing, I enjoy running, photography, adventures with my husband and chasing my daughter, Autumn, and chihuahua, Pixie, around the house.
Fun facts about me
Myers-Briggs personality type: ENFJ
Passions: Travel, Illustration, being outdoors, and café culture
Favorite Colors: Red and Aqua (but I really adore all colors!)
Fan of: Studio Ghibli, Star Wars, Sailor Moon, Animal Crossing and Disney
Hobbies: Shell collecting, making costumes and crafts, studying Japanese language and working on my website
Favorite Sports: Running and paddle boarding
Favorite Season: Fall and Halloween
Favorite Movies: Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, All of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Amelie, Lilo and Stitch, and Ponyo
About the cute pursuit
Originally, "The Life Pursuit" was a paper art journal I used to express myself during 2004-2008. Each page was jam packed with Polaroids, lyrics, personal diary entries and drawings all trying to capture my college years and emotions of the moment. Occasionally, I scanned pages to share with friends online (often with text blurred out) but stopped in 2006 when I graduated college. In January of 2008, I decided to move to the internet with my documentation of adventures, art and happiness and I created this site. After a year of running my blog version of "The Life Pursuit" my interests changed and my posts began to focus more on accomplishing my dream of being a freelance illustrator. I spent the next two years writing posts about making goals, discovering yourself through art journaling and visual lists, all while sharing my own progress towards my personal dream. In February 2010, I finally accomplished the first step of that personal dream... I left my job as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for Ernst & Young and began my new career as a freelance illustrator. As time went on and my life changed, so did my site. What was san-smith.com and "The Life Pursuit, has now become sankelly.com and "The Cute Pursuit". Even though my blog is no longer about the progress towards my career as a freelance illustrator, I still continue to document my latest art and adventures - and hopefully by sharing I can encourage others to also follow their own life pursuits of happiness!
Cut out and Keep’s Super Hero Sunday interview – December 2016
50 Women in comics you should know – January 2015
Big Nerd of the Month: San Smith on Big Nerd Ranch – April 2014
Interview with Ric Rac Heart Attack’s blog – May 2012
Drawn and featured on Ghosts Waltz – January 2012
Email interview highlight on Kate Holmes’s PhD Blog – January 2012
Drawn and featured on HannahBird’s blog – May 2011
Art on the What I wore today blog – April 2011
Meet “Bunnies & Bows” artist: San Smith – April 2011
Podcast interview with Acrylicana.com – April 2011
Listed in CommonCreativ magazine’s “Top 50 Most Creative Atlantans” issue – March/April 2011
Drawn and featured on the Penny Candy Studios blog – March 2011
Interview with Imaginary Fiction’s blog – January 2011
Interview with Creative Loafing newspaper – November 2010
Photographed for the Persona Series by Jason Travis – October 2010
Featured on Hawaii Kawaii’s blog – October 2010
Featured on Electric Alice’s shop blog – October 2010
Art on the What I wore today blog – February 2010