Artist feature - Jo Cheung Jan 11 2016

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Our first artist feature this week, is the brilliant Jo Cheung! We love her beautiful choice of colours and her lovely boutique

style which makes her work perfect for greeting card designs and art for products and prints. To see more of Jo's stunning artwork, click on her name or visit her online portfolio on Advocate's website.

"I was born in Doncaster in 1987 (try and work out my age…!) and have and will always be a Yorkshire lass! I grew up in Doncaster and spent much of my life there until 9 years ago when I moved to London to study illustration at the University of Westminster. Since graduating, I now live in London. 

I was always watching Japanese animated films and series when I was younger so from that it had shaped my way of seeing the world through beautiful animated visuals. I studied foundation art and design at college and at that time I wasn’t sure which path to take. However, my friend told me that she was planning on studying illustration so naturally I looked it up. It was then that illustration was something that I could easily relate to in terms of communicating ideas through my own visual language. I took up every opportunity to experiment with different mediums, ways of making images, looked up other illustrators, and making my own work unique.

I went on to do a BA in Illustration at the University of Westminster. From there, my interest and style of work had gradually shifted from collage to more digital mixed media artwork. I taught myself how to use Adobe Photoshop (at college also) and gradually became more confident with it. 

Much of my artwork explores the theme around the relationship between humans and the natural world. I enjoy creating these imaginary worlds where animals and the natural world co-exist, untouched, and undamaged by human impact. Animals are constant motifs within my work and I find that they have a much deeper impact when compared to using humans as the subject. There’s something that we can easily relate to when it comes to animals used in art. For me, I use art as a means of communicating how I would like to see the world.

My work predominately starts with hand drawn images and collages, and then it is digitally rendered in Adobe Photoshop. I feel that the two methods I use go hand in hand with one another. That it’s a lot of hard work but definitely pays off when you’re passionate about what you do! I will be part of a group exhibition at A-side B-side Gallery (Hackney Downs Studios) with other artists and illustrators called ‘House of Tigers’- a tiger-themed exhibition in support of the charity Save Wild Tigers.

As much as I enjoy living in London, I much prefer being out in the open surrounded by nature. There’s something quite sad and isolating living in a big city; it’s so transient in the sense that people come and go so often relationships are often quite fleeting. I tend to listen to Radio Four when I’m working, as there’s always an interesting selection of shows to listen to. I love Desert Island Discs! "