• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

WCHS grad's art on TV

CELERY JONES, who was Carey Selby when she grew up in Versailles, took a Main Street coffee break when she visited her hometown last week while home for the holidays. CC, as her friends and family call her, has lived in Wales; London, England; Atlanta and Los Angeles since graduating from WCHS in 1995. Her art can be seen on HGTV and shows like "The Walking Dead" and "Atlanta." (Photo by John McGary)

When she grew up in Versailles, her name was Carey Selby. When she took part in the Atlanta Roller Derby, her stage name was C.C. Horror. After she got married, she became Carey Warburton. Then, on a whim, she adopted Celery Jones as her professional moniker. To her friends and family, she still goes by CC. Whatever you call her, you can see her work on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) and its website and on television shows like "Atlanta," where star Donald Glover so admired a velvet painting of hers that he hung it on a wall at home. "Really, I just like to make artwork all time," CC said last week in an interview at The Sun while she was home for the holidays. (Midway through the interview, she told the reporter, "This is pretty fun - and unexpected!") After graduating from Woodford County High School (WCHS) in 1995, her father, Greg, took a job managing a Christmas tree factory in Wales. Wife De, CC and younger brother Zach joined him there, and she studied animation at the University of Wales. She eventually realized animation was not what she wanted to do, so CC moved to London to work for a media-based charity until United Kingdom (U.K.) officials realized she only had a volunteer visa and politely kicked her out of the country. She left the U.K. to come back home and attend the other U.K., in Lexington, where she studied art and graphic design. "The rest is kinda history," she said with a laugh. "I kinda go where the wind takes me." CC worked in Stanford, Ky., before a southern wind took her to Atlanta, where she worked for a craft paint company called Plaid, then became an artist for Turner Studios. She began doing scenic art for the thriving film industry there - and after she saw posters for a Roller Derby league, began risking life, limb and teeth skating for the "Sake Tuya's" team. In 2006, she married Lexington native Griffin Warburton. They moved to Los Angeles in 2012. About that time, while she was taking a break from social media, she rejoined the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram worlds with her latest, and perhaps greatest, nickname: Celery Jones. Today, some of her paychecks are made out to Carey Warburton, others, to Celery Jones, L.L.C. She's come a long way, geographically and artistically, since her days at WCHS, where she was in the Art Club and band. She gives much of the credit for her career to her mother, who still works as an artist in Nicholasville. "She's kind of the reason I ever got into art. She really encouraged it when I was little, and would drive me nuts, because she would want to give me (traditional) drawing or painting lessons, but I would want to paint things like unicorns," CC said. She comes home "pretty regularly," with the assist of a buddy pass from a flight attendant friend. In 2015, she helped plan her class's 20th reunion as chair of the Decorations Committee. "I've always had rose-colored glasses for Versailles. It was a wonderful place to grow up. I would not have changed that. Had I children myself, I might have moved back here. I love it, I do," she said. Though CC's something of a world traveler, she still raves about L.A. "What I find most intriguing about Los Angeles is that it's kind of a utopia. There's so many people there that are really open to different things and are very optimistic. I know people think about, 'Oh, it's such a crush of people and the traffic's terrible,' and that's true. But you tend to live - this is something that is a bit different from smaller towns and even Lexington - because we have the ability to drive everywhere, we do, whereas in Los Angeles, you just kind of find the neighborhood or the subdivision that you really love, and you stay there," she said. "Especially for artists, it really is kind of a wonderful place, because there are so many different people that are just very open to whatever it is you're working on, and they want to collaborate ." she said. "It's a place where everybody accepts everyone for whatever they're doing. It's like, 'Oh, is that your thing? It's not my thing, but you do you,' you know, and I like that. That's neat." Today CC's work can be seen on HGTV shows like "Dream Home," "Urban Oasis" and "Smart Home," but she's also done commissioned art for shows such as "The Walking Dead" and "Atlanta." "They just call me whenever they need something specific . or something that's been written into the script, and I'll create whatever that is," she said. CC has her own website - celeryjones.com. When she's not drawing or painting, she skates, makes costumes, and, with Griffin, looks after two cats: Zuul (a "Ghostbusters" reference) and Amy Winehouse. "I'm basically an adult kid," she said.

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