About the Artist

Kelly Telfer is a motorsports artist who has been in the motorsports industry for quite a while. Continue reading to see his recollection of his first race and his love of motorsports!

I attended my first car race at age four. My parents took my brother, sister, and I to Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, CA in 1959 (I still have that old race poster packed away!) in our 1952 MGTD. My dad volunteered as a SCRAMP corner worker.  Throughout my childhood, I got to watch the races on the outside of the old wooden fencing, sitting on the hill at Turn 4. Right next to the track!  Once, a Ferrari spun out just a few feet away from me. While my Dad and another corner worker push-started the car, the driver looked over at me and said “Slippery, eh?” Then he zoomed off! I enjoyed many races at Laguna Seca Raceway while growing up. My heroes were great drivers like Sterling Moss, Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Mark Donahue, and Rick Mears.

At one point, my parents had two sports cars, the 1952 MGTD, and my mom’s 1962 Austin Healey 3000. Yes, everywhere we went as a family, us three kids were piled into the tiny back seat of either the MG or the Healey. On one occasion, our family was camping at the Pinnacles National Park and we were asked to leave by the rangers. My Mom was spinning donuts in her Healey around a tree in the campground!

Maybe this is when I started drawing cars. I just know that from kindergarten on, most of my school papers had cars drawn all over them! My childhood has left a major imprint; a first-hand love of motorsports, cars, race drivers and the remarkably interesting personalities that have shaped my career as an artist.

My brother and I started racing VW’s at Fremont Raceway, Fremont, CA when I was 15 years old, then later Super Modifieds at San Jose Fairgrounds Speedway.  I designed and printed our race team shirts and soon, everybody else wanted me to design their shirts!  I started a T-shirt company, O.Tee Shirts, when I was 20 years old- based on my art and new-found race contacts. This turned into one of the largest T-shirt companies specializing in motorsports in the country. Over the next couple of decades, I created art and apparel for many top racers, tracks, and manufacturers; including Mears, Andretti, Petty, Earnhardt, Senna, Mansell, the Daytona 500, Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey Historics, Long Beach Grand Prix, Indy 500, Monaco F1, as well as Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, NASCAR, Indy Car and F1.

I am a third generation Californian (and third generation born in San Jose, CA) born with my foot on the gas. I have always had creative energy to spare and have never stopped drawing and painting, especially cars. My motorsports artwork is in the collections of race drivers, sponsors, and featured in national art shows and exhibits.

My artwork is featured at the legendary Petersen Automobile Museum in Los Angeles, California, The National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada and the LeMay - America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. Fine art prints are available in the Museum’s Stores and their websites.

I have been or I am currently the official artist for:

  • Porsche Club of America’s Annual Werks Reunion
  • Porsche Club of America’s Annual Porsche Parade
  • Porsche Club of America’s Annual Treffen at Sea
  • WeatherTech Raceway annual IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
  • WeatherTech Raceway annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
  • WWT/Gateway NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300
  • Amelia Concours d’Elegance’s annual event’s distinguished honorees 2019-2021
  • Hyundai Motorsports
  • Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar
  • Shell/Pennzoil
  • Recaro Seats
  • Mercedes Freude; Mercedes-Benz Car Club of America
  • Central Coast Poker Rally

I guess you could say I’m a car guy (that would be an understatement!)