Jo Cheung Interview

And now it's Jo's turn for me to introduce you to a very creative and inspirational young lady. Welcome to Red Road, Jo - and a great big thank you for taking the time to do this for me as I know you have a lot of projects on the go. So here's the questions:-

Describe yourself in five words ...

Daydreamer, coffee addict, happy, quirky, Northerner.
Where does your inspiration come from

Going to different places around London and definitely listening to a variety of music keeps me going when I'm working. My ideas come from experiences, snippets of conversations, cafes, friends, photos, found objects........generally life is full of moments which continue to enrich my work.

In your portfolio what are you most happy with

I'm so pleased with an ongoing series called Landscapes and Dreams. It's about a dream like and fantasy world inspired by my childhood trips to Hong Kong. Lots of stars, shapes and colours floating around the sky and hills as a backdrop to my illustrations. My early memories of our village in HK has always been this peaceful place far away from the hectic city life with fire flies and bats flying around at night. I'm planning on going back next year and spending more time there.

I've always preferred to make up an imaginary world than to draw real life as it is, having my own visual interpretation of life is a window to my world.
What’s your ideal working day

Get up nice and early and put the coffee on! Answer any emails and get going with my work. Sometimes I'll go round London for the day and do quick sketch book work, it's nice to have so many amazing places to go to especially for free as well. Having a break from my studio/living room means I can just chill out for a bit and enjoy a coffee somewhere! Plus the Internet is a bit of a big distraction, especially Facebook, so getting out of the house is a bonus!

I'm taking part in the Sketchbook Project 2011 and I'm trying to get that done before Christmas...not long to go! I'll finish around about 5 or if I feel like I can go on about 6ish. Oh and I make at least 2 trips to the post office each week which is fun.

Who influences you creatively

Julie Verhoeven. I remember when I was reading GAS Book ( about her back in my college days and was immediately drawn to the surreal nature and playfulness of her work. Her bold/graphic line drawings balanced by soft hues and splashes of colour with sporadic mark making techniques opened my eyes to another way of creating images. I'm pretty sure from then I knew I wanted to become an illustrator. And Deanne Cheuk who is also amazing. Loved her Mushroom Girls Virus work really really beautiful images of mushrooms and girls in an ethereal and magical world.
Deanne Cheuk
What’s your PLAN B

To continue to make more nice prints and paper products for my shop. I’d love to make more screen printed work and textile so I’m going to teach myself how to do it at home! Feeling pretty ambitious at the moment and I’ve always wanted to do it. And to get a dog!

Where would you most like to live

Well in an ideal world somewhere in Central London with a Victorian house and studio but I don’t think that’s going to happen...... So for now I’d like to move to Hong Kong and do some teaching for a while and continue with illustration on the side. Probably a bit of traveling around Japan and New York/ a trip around America.

Now’s the time to do something for myself, if you’re really motivated to go somewhere or do something exciting don’t let anything hold you back. Otherwise you’re going to regret it.
If you weren't an illustrator what would you be

Hard to say....... that’s never crossed my mind.

Any advice for Ziggy
Wrap up warm cos it’s getting colder!

Who should I interview next

Karin Söderquist. She’s so talented!

Karin Soderquist

Jo's Links



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