Below you will find an interview with magician, artist and comic writer Tommie Kelly. Tommie is one of the administrators of the Chaos Magick Group (CMG) on Facebook. Tommie is the creator of “The Great Work” comic series (highly recommended) and is a very talented artist and creative.
If interested in his work, you can buy his comics and his art here.
Q: How and when did you become a magician?
A: I’m not too sure, that’s a hard question to answer. It seems more like a process than an actual event. I have been interested in Occult topics since I was an early teen, so it has always been around in some form or another. But, for me, Magician seems more about practicing Magic and Occultist seems more about learning, so I would say I have been a Magician since my Mid-twenties when I started studying Aromatheraphy, Reiki and other Holistic Therapies. Up until that point I was just reading books and learning stuff.
That said, I did do a lot of the practices that Stuart Wilde talked about in his books when I was a teenager – such as Turbo Thought and his take on the Law of Atrraction. So… I dunno. Labels are weird anyways, not a huge fan of them.
Q: What is your relationship with the tarot?
A: I was a member of BOTA for a while and learned most of what I know about Tarot from there and the other works of Paul Foster Case. I got very deeply into the symbolism of the Tarot for a good while but ultimately found with the BOTA teachings that it felt like every single squiggle of the drawing was shoehorned into some great Occult meaning, which I just don’t think is there. PFC connected EVERYTHING to EVERYTHING, so much so, for me at least, that it felt ridiculous, almost funny. That’s why I quit BOTA, it was far too convoluted for me.
That said, some people I know find amazing value out of PFC’s and BOTA, so I am not in any way discounting it as a path people should follow – it’s just a path I don’t want to follow – YMMV!
Today, I don’t work often with the Tarot, not in the way I used to anyway. I spent some time learning the Runes, and working with a Pendulum recently but as I’m not big on divination, or more correctly –I’m not particularly good at divination – I tend to see Tarot and the Runes as more like archetypal energies that can be invoked and used, rather than fortune telling.
Q: How long have you been making art?
A: Over 10 years now. I used to draw when I was a teenager and did quite well in my final Art exams at school but a combination of a terrible Art teacher and a passion for music in my late teen/ Twenties put Art on the back burner. I was all about Music, the guitar and being in a band for a long while. But, when I finally got totally burned out with the whole music scene I went back to art and started drawing, and writing, drawing and publishing comics. I have been doing it since.
Q: What is your favorite band?
A: Depends on when you ask me, but Biffy Clyro, The Beatles and Jane’s Addiction would be the music I have listened to most in my life. Mostly however I just listen to classical music these days. I find it hard to write to music that has lyrics as I find the words distracting. Currently listening to Erik Satie.
I probably listen to more Audiobooks and Podcasts than I do music these days.
Q: When can we expect to see volume 3 of “The Great Work”.
A: I probably wouldn’t expect it, to be honest. There are lots of reasons for this, but here’s two:
One – it’s nearly 2 years since I started work on it and more than 18 months since the second Volume and an awful lot has changed in my life and outlook since then. The Great Work was a reaction to how I was feeling after completing THEM and not knowing what to do next. I had a few mis-starts on some comics projects and I was starting to feel under pressure to just get something done. It felt like I was wasting time and I probably rushed into The Great Work before I should have.
I was also going through a particularly low point emotionally at the time and it is very much reflected in what that story was ultimately going to be about. I’m not sure I want to visit that place again so soon, at least not until a considerable time has passed.
Two – it wasn’t very popular. It didn’t really sell that well and there has been precious little interest in the Third Volume over the past 18 months save for a couple of people, like your good self, asking about it.
So, while I’ll not say NEVER, I see it more like a TV show that never got the reaction or viewers it needed to stay on the air. People always come back with “Just do it for yourself” but for me, after publishing 5 or 6 Comic series at this point ,doing it just for yourself just isn’t enough motivation for me. Spending months and months or even years on something just to complete it for my own vanity seems like a somewhat waste of time.
Q: Up to this point in time, what has your most profound magical experience been?
A: The thing with Magick is that most of the time the experiences are so subjective that the big profound experiences sound dull and uninteresting to other people. So I have a large list of small things that have happened that convince me but in no way would convince anyone else, especially not a skeptic.
While Magick has been more successful of late, there is a large amount of my time where it seems like nothing about it is real or effective. I wrote about it here.
Although, I should follow that link with this link which details how things have changed recently.
What I am absolutely certain of is that Doubt kills magick! Even when Magick is successful your brain will Normalise the events and make them seem unmagical. It is important to always acknowledge the magical outcome that you enchanted even if it now seems to have occurred from a mundane reason. You asked for it, you got it – that’s magick! Besides as Anton said:
“Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.”
Q: You recently created a print of St. Cyprian for purchase on your blog, do you work with him often?
A: That Art piece was part of an initial offering to him, I have only just begun to work with him. He seems like an interesting Character and it is unfortunate that a lot of Occultists dismiss him because of his Christian elements. So that image is now on the altar and he gets daily offerings and prayers. Early days and all that.
If people are interested they can get more information about the St. Cyprian print here.
Q: What other spirits/entities do you work with on a regular basis?
A: HUGE fan of Ganesha and he gets his own separate Altar. He is the supreme Remover of Obstacles and a Road Opener par excellence. I have yet to hear anyone say a bad word about him and any who do work with him seem to come away with a huge fondness for the Elephant Headed God.
He seems to really like Magicians too, which is great.
Q: What is your dream job/carer?
A: Well, the one I am doing is the dream job. I get to stay at home and draw for a living, what more could I ask?
I am hoping in the future that my website http://www.adventuresinwoowoo.com becomes a bit more popular as I really enjoy writing for it. It will also be home for my more Occult themed art form this point on and I’ll probably stick my music up there too.
I have been doing lots of work behind the scene on the website to get it more streamlined and easier to navigate for the reader. I think it should end up being a decent experience for people. At the very least, it allows me to rant to the ether on topics that interest me!
Q: Do you offer your artistic skills for freelance work?
A: Absolutely – it’s literally my day job!
I do a lot of Portraits, Avatars, profile images for people. I’ve done a lot of book covers, comic covers, Tour posters, Album covers – all that sort of good stuff. I have also worked on a few computer games, but a lot of my work never gets seen because it is used for Movie pitches or TV show/cartoon pitches or with the portrait stuff people just don’t want their portraits put on the web for all to see.
You can see a lot of that stuff on my websites though:
I’d love to do more comics for clients but doing comics is expensive and unfortunately a lot of creators are just not in the position to pay for it. More’s the pity.
GET THE COMICS HERE:
For art enquiries
Hello AT tommiekelly DOT com