L. FELLOWS, illustrator

This vintage ad for Kelly-Springfield tires comes from the June 1920 Sunset magazine. The illustrator was Laurence Fellows. In his day Mr. Fellows work was apparently very well known.

L. Fellows_Kelly-Springfield_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

It took me a bit of digging, but I found the following information at a site called Dandyism.net written by Bill Thompson:
Fellows was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1885. He was trained in illustration at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and honed his trademark “continental” style studying in England and France. But the real story begins when he returned to the States in the early 1910s and burst on the scene as an eager and talented young artist.

Fellows found work contributing to satirical magazines like Life and Leslie’s, and his European-influenced style was fresh and new, reflecting the sleekness and stylization that led to Art Deco. His work was so fresh, in fact, that he found many of his better-known contemporaries, including John Held, Jr. and Ralph Barton, were adapting his stylistic elements for their own use.

Fellows’ style during this period was very mannered and graphic, with thin black outlines enclosing flat expanses of tone and compositions that emphasized graphic weight and balance over fussy illustrative detail. His bread and butter throughout the 1920s was his work for the Kelly-Springfield Tire company. He brought an idea to the Kelly advertising manager for a series of magazine ads featuring “smart cars and smart types of people.” It was the beginning of an assignment that lasted for nearly a decade. The ads are still smart and fashionable today (and becoming collectible, by the way). (SOURCE: Bill Thompson)
The complete article is worth reading and includes several illustrations by Fellows. You can also see two illustrations which are owned by Corbis at:

So now I need to keep my eyes peeled for more illustrations by Fellows in vintage magazines. I don't know that I've ever seen his work before, but I really like his style.


  1. That's beautiful. It does make me want to get pout the colored pencils and color it up. I would love to see some of his color illustrations.

  2. What a car! Beautifully illustrated

  3. Click on the various links in the post and you'll see his color work which is very different and stylish.

  4. What a pleasant surprise to find a reference to my article! You have found a great Kelly-Springfield illustration too! Fellows really was a talented artist, as well as an observer of humanity. If you're interested, there's a good collection of his illustrations at TheLondonLounge.net, a men's bespoke clothing forum.

  5. Bill,

    Glad you found this. And thanks for the link to TheLondondLounge.net