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Dan Kelby

Dan Kelby is a Lecturer on BA (Hons) Animation at Norwich University of the Arts. Dan is a graduate of the University and began his creative career working as a Graphic Designer. In 2014 he returned to his first love of animation and launched a freelance business providing character designs, concept art and illustration for the entertainment industry. Since then, he has worked for a variety of international clients from his home studio in Norwich. Dan is a multi-skilled artist whose teaching encourages the continued practice of artistic fundamentals. He has a particular love for life drawing and is continually inspired by the creativity of all the University’s students.

I have spent over 15 years working in the creative industries as a graphic designer, illustrator, character designer and concept artist, and have had the pleasure of seeing my work reach the eyes of many via publishing, advertising, television and even an animated movie. My clients include Disney TV Animation, Cartoon Network, Blink Industries, nWave Pictures, Lucasfilm Press and Passion Animation.

In my freelance career I cultivated a busy practice working remotely for clients in the United States, Europe, and the UK, which I hope will inspire students to consider pursuing remote-based working as a viable alternative to relocating for work post-graduation. After attending international animation conventions I truly believe that community is at the heart of our industry, and I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of the freelance world and ways that students can ‘break in’ to their chosen field.

Like many creatives I have always been “the arty one”; wiling away many hours as a child creating my own worlds through the medium of visual storytelling. As an adult, I am privileged to have been able to turn my artistic calling into my career, and it is my pleasure to return to my alma mater to pass on what I have learned to future generations of artists.


  • 2021 Created the online character design course Character Design: Develop Your Own Style for the learning platform Domestika.
  • 2020 Character Designer for Blink Industries on Dead End: Paranormal Park
  • 2020 Character Designer for Elliott Animation on YouTube series Lucas the Spider
  • 2021 Character Designer for Art & Graft on an advertisement for Magasin du Nord
  • 2019 Character Designer for nWave Picture on Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness
  • 2018 Character Designer for Disney TV Animation on a Heritage Development Project
  • 2018    Character Designer for Strange Beast on an advertisement for Barclaycard
  • 2017 Model Pack Designer for Cartoon Network on Apple & Onion
  • 2016 Illustrator on behalf of Pilot Studio on the book 5 Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back for Lucasfilm Press