Nfld. & Labrador

Gimme a break: Kit Kat ad featuring Chance the Rapper drawn by local artist goes viral

A St. John's graphic designer is celebrating a new advertisement he worked on that features one of the biggest rappers in the world.

Mike Feehan storyboarded a new Kit Kat ad featuring the popular rapper

Gimme a Break!

7 years ago
Duration 2:05
Mike Feehan storyboarded a new Kit Kat ad featuring the popular rapper.

A St. John's artist is proving you don't have to be located in a big city to follow your dreams.

Mike Feehan says he's been able to share his art, connect with like-minded people and work on major advertisement campaigns all from his home in Newfoundland — and this week he's celebrating his biggest campaign yet. 

A commercial he worked on for Kit Kat featuring Chance the Rapper was shared on YouTube on Tuesday. 

The advertisement, which Feehan storyboarded, features the Chicago MC dressed up in full Halloween garb singing the iconic Kit Kat jingle.

It's an advertisement that's already struck a chord with fans of the rapper, who is best known for songs like Sunday Candy and collaborations with Kanye West.

Articles gushing over the ad have already been shared on websites like MTV and the AV Club and fans have been quick to chime in online.

"It's been pretty intense. Looking through the comments on YouTube, people are freaking out about it," said Feehan.

"My friends who are bigger Chance the Rapper fans than I am are confused and excited about it and just [wondering] like how did this happen?"

Filmed in Chicago

According to Feehan, he ended up working on the ad after Jono Hunter, a director he's previously worked with, asked him to do storyboards before filming began. 

Chance the Rapper stars in a new, Halloween-themed Kit Kat commercial. (CBC)

"The director has an idea of how they want an ad to look and it starts off in script form and they want a sense of how it's going to look visually," he said. 

"I do a comic strip so they get an idea of how it's going to look and how it's going to play out. They'll come back to me if they want changes. Eventually we settle on something and then that's what they use on set to make sure their shooting the right scenes in the right way. "

When Feehan saw the finished project, he said it felt pretty surreal.

"It's strange to see something that I read as words, then become a drawing, and then something that I drew is suddenly an actual thing that's happening," he said.

"It's a pretty wild experience."

Designed in Newfoundland 

While the project was filmed in Chicago, Feehan contributed remotely from his home in St. John's.

"It's really cool that I get to do this kind of work from anywhere, because I really like doing this and I don't necessarily want to move to a big city," he said.

Through his presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, he's been able to meet people in the industry and build connections.

Although he frequently works on projects that are based all over North America, Feehan says he's able to work remotely from his home studio in St. John's. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

He's built a beautiful office at his home in the city, with wide windows offering a clear view of the narrows on the St. John's waterfront.

"It's just really neat to be able to stay here in St John's and be able to communicate with places like Chicago and Toronto and London and do this kind of work but still stay home," he said. 

Hard work pays off

For artists in St John's wondering how they can get their work noticed outside of the province, Feehan has one big piece of advice: post your artwork online

Mike Feehan says sharing his artwork online (as seen in this screenshot from his personal website) has been key to helping him find work outside the province. (Mike Feehan)

"I've been active on the internet with my artwork since maybe the year 2000 and no one noticed anything until this year really," he said.

"This year, things have been taking off. Just drawing the right things at the right time, getting noticed by the right people. it starts this snowball effect where people start recognizing your work and then you get offered jobs."

For his next move, he's hoping to develop a comic book series and work with a major publisher.

"I have a couple of projects in development with some established writers," he said.

"We're working on pitches which we're sending out to publishers now."

As he begins to look ahead to his next move, Feehan said it's great to achieve some measure of success right here in Newfoundland. 

"It's a pretty cool thing being able to be at home but have your work seen by people all over the world."


Andrew Sampson is a journalist with CBC in Halifax.