JK's Bike - Kiwiana artist Jason Kelly's Signature Explained

JK Bike Signature
Recently we asked the creator of some of the most popular new prints in the kiwiana art collection at New Zealand Fine Prints about his unusual signature. For Jason Kelly signs his humorous and quirky kiwiana style artworks not with his name but with one of two symbols. As the magnified pictures of his "signature" that accompany this article show JK's signature comprises a symbol that is his initials combined with a bicycle.

So before finding out why this artist used a symbol instead of a signature we first had to find out why a bicycle was so important to JK...

Jason wrote to NZ Art Print News:

"Re: My Bike. I have always ridden a bike from a nippa and had a bit of a love affair with them, always rode to school, first kid to wear a helmet back in the early eighties, it was some Italian hard shelled thing which looked like a cross between a peanut and a German helmet, I was severley grilled by my peers at school, them calling me peanut! Didn't bother me too much though. The love of bikes continued into Triathlon and now days having a small collection of oldies and a love of doing them up including English bikes, such as a BSA & Triumph"

Jason Kelly's "Flaming Bike" logo
We then asked Jason when he first started using the symbol/logo. He told us "The JK Bike is like a brand I suppose, it was modeled on an old Bicycle advertisement, I was never that happy signing my work as it didn't quite do it for me asthetically, so the Bike was born and I now stamp all my Art with it ( Art only) [Jason also works as a professional signwriter]. I always sign my work on the back along with the date and replaced the indelible ink stamp with the signature early on round 2000, there are some early works floating round though that missed the stamp.

The images are my artwork stamp and the "It's Hot" Bike, a bit of a piss take really, but I love flames, must be a bogan in me somewhere!"

We are delighted to report that Jason has just had the JK bike tattooed on his right painting arm four times going from my wrist small to my bicep large with the "It's Hot Flames" style logo coming out of the back wheel. Jason tells us that this was to show his "dedication to the love of what I do, my brand and my love of bikes."

Talk by Christchurch Art Critic Dennis Dutton

This is a superbly illustrated lecture from Christchurch art theorist Dennis Dutton, author of "The Art Instinct" in collaboration with animator Andrew Par.  In this talk Dutton discusses the role of beauty in art from a Darwinian perspective.

NZ Gift wholesaler Image Vault announces retail expansion plan

Widespread rumours that Christchurch publisher of NZ art gifts and decor products Image Vault are going to launch their own online store to sell directly to retail customers have been confirmed today by production manager Hamish Bayly.  In an email sent to New Zealand Fine Prints Bayly stated "all our products will be available for sale on line". He went on to say that "it will offer an on line option for people who wish to view and purchase from our complete range".

Image Vault, publisher of prints by some of NZ's top selling contemporary landscape painters like Diana Adams, Grahame Sydney and kiwiana art specialist Jason Kelly, has grown quickly to be one of the leading brands in the NZ gift market.   Launched by siblings Nathan and Jane Secker out of their Christchurch based family business Windsor Gallery (now sold) Image Vault sells a highly successful range of art cards, prints, canvas prints as well as decals and lampshades through a large network of retail stockists throughout New Zealand (including www.prints.co.nz).

This is a controversial departure from the business model followed by overseas art publishers such as Bruce McGaw or Rosensteils - or local design driven success stories like Icebreaker - who specialise in the publishing/manufacturing side and rely on a carefully cultivated network of retailers to get their products out to customers.  Do readers of NZ Art Print News think Image Vault competing directly with their loyal retail sales channel is good business or a bad idea? Leave your comment below.

Xmas Gifts - NZ Post Delivery Dates

It is the time of year that we get many print buyers asking us about the mailing date cut-offs for prints being sent as gifts to addresses outside of NZ by Airmail.  Each year we keep our shipping page updated with the latest information coming up to Xmas (although Airmail may not longer guarantee delivery after certain dates we have other options like international courier).  Official mailing dates from NZ Post are as follows:

  • International Airmail outside of Australia and the Pacific 30 November
  • International Airmail to Australia and the Pacific 6 December
In practice because most people send their gifts within the guidelines set by NZ Post we find that gifts shipped a few days after these official dates are still delivered by Xmas day due to lower volumes of mail. 

NZ Delivery: This year Xmas gift delivery throughout New Zealand for our standard shipping charge is guaranteed for all orders being shipped right up to the 21st of December - and we can deliver by courier after this date as well.  NZ Prints also deliver gift vouchers by mail right up until nearly Xmas eve - and email gift vouchers are still being bought on Xmas day itself.  If you have any questions about Xmas delivery please call us on 0800 800 278.