Mo Kelly


Mo Kelly is a renowned Irish painter, globally-lauded DJ, and a creative force of nature. 

Her art hangs in the homes of Irish Actor Gabriel Bryne and the former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern – to name just a few. Sienna Miller is also a big fan, describing Mo as "a rock 'n' roll Modigliani". 

Mo has played at after show parties for U2 and supported musicians like Groove Armada, Roger Sanchez and Paul Hartnoll of Orbital. She’s gigged at Full Moon parties in Thailand, held residencies in Dubai, hosted clubs in London, and played at music festivals in India. She's internationally-esteemed and highly sought after. 

Mo has worked hard to build an artistic life to be proud of. So naturally, we asked her how she finds balance in both her creative and personal life. In response, she gave us some insight on wellness, self-worth and confidence. 

Pay attention ...


Mo, do you believe your environment, and the people in it, contribute to your wellbeing? Of course. My husband is a musician/composer and therefore creative, so he gets it and is a great support to me. We live near the beach and various nature trails. Getting out into nature is vital. 

Being an artist can be quite isolating. Usually you're working alone day-to-day, so I find DJ-ing a great balance with its social aspect. 

How or where do you find your calm? I'm naturally quite laid back, so calm is my default. I try to think through and work through stress. I focus on the solution and that in itself is always calming. I try to remind myself that most problems are temporary and stress really achieves nothing – certainly with my personality type anyway. I'm not motivated by it like some people. 

What's one piece of advice you wish people would stop giving you? The misconception that being vegetarian (20+ years) is somehow bad for me or that I'm missing out. I'm kinda tired of going over it. 

But I find most "wellness" advice comes from a good place, so it doesn't really bother me if not suited to me. 

Do you struggle with confidence or self-worth? Yes, I think most creative people do. It can be difficult to separate self-worth from perceived failures in creative personal work and endeavours, but you just have to do it and carry on. The alternative is to stop creating. 

I see the struggle as part of the creative process, however I do separate the work from myself. I can have confidence in my work and my process, while not being necessarily confident in myself all of the time. I'm very content though, and I really really love what I do. It brings me great joy

What makes you overwhelmed or stressed out and what do you do to avoid it? Not being prepared stresses me out, or the thought of letting people down. So I always prepare. 

What's one habit you can't live without? I tend to miss set classes as work is always different times, so I work out to old online videos of Callanetics by Callan Pinckney. I find her mix of yoga/ballet/pilates just perfect. 

Years of DJ-ing and carrying heavy equipment has left me with a dodgy back, so her core strengthening regime really helps me. That, plus walking and swimming.

Also listening to music. Searching for and finding new music every week for work always has a positive effect on my wellbeing. 

Have you bought a product or service recently, less than $100, that has impacted your wellbeing positively? New music! And books. I'm a big reader and find it very relaxing. 

Follow Mo on Instagram.

Interviewed by Dee Behan
Introduction by word crafter Niamh Dennis

Read this interview in issue #3


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