I ran into Jo’s work while browsing Artfire, and had to find out more about her! Vintage, comics, collage, birds, monograms… all unique with a pop that leaves you wanting to snatch them all up. Here are some of my very favorites, you can find in Jo’s Artfire store, Peaceofpi Studio.
Time to hear from Jo herself! Thanks for taking the time to get up close with SBLC, Jo…
About your work:
Where are you located?
What do you create?
I create paintings and collage with three main areas of interest: Colorful abstract paintings with lots of texture and linear elements, bird themed art with a focus on blackbirds & crows, and collage and typography pieces created from recycled & reimagined comics.
When and why did you set up your online shop?
I opened a shop on Etsy (http://peaceofpi.etsy.com) in early 2008. The prospect of having my work available on a global scale directly from me to the customer was an exciting opportunity. I found a niche on Etsy and my shop specializes in custom comic typography & painted monograms.
In October 2010 I opened my Artfire shop (http://peaceofpi.artfire.com) which features my paintings, collages, and recycled comic art. Artfire is a newer kid on the handmade marketplace block with an impressive focus on helping shops effectively promote their creations all over the internet.
How do you promote your creations?
Admittedly, I’m not a big self-promoter and I’ve had to find a comfortable balance when it comes to creating vs. marketing. I have a blog (http://pistudio.blogspot.com/) that focuses on happenings in my studio and a pro account at flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/peaceofpi/) where several customers have found my work. I also tweet http://twitter.com/peaceofpi
In 2010 I launched my website (http://jomobimo.com) This can be a daunting step for artisans but when you’re ready it’s well worth the time and effort to create and own your personal artisan hub.
What inspires your work?
I feel a connection to the imperfect things in life, and this is an underlying theme in my work.
To me birds are endlessly inspiring because they symbolize the commonplace and the mysterious. They are also a powerful symbol of freedom from the materialism of consumerist culture.
My passion to create using vintage comics stems from both nostalgia and the good vs. evil themes. The idea of having extraordinary abilities, courage and endless adventure is exciting and it sparks real life creativity. Strong women and men acting with courage and strength inspires me about possibilities, what if””””””””s, and maybes.
What is your must have tool for creating?
I think it would have to be tie between matte medium (my favorite collage glue) and palette knives (my favorite tool for painting). Both of these tools are invaluable in the work I do. I actually think I might get a bit twitchy if I felt my glue supply was running low, and I’d start bending up my kitchen utensils if my palette knives disappeared!
Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?
Be yourself. Find your unique spin. Think about what defines success for you and constantly return to this definition. Figure out what you don’t know and find books, blogs & other resources to fill in your knowledge gaps. Set goals. Don’t compare yourself to others. Create what you enjoy creating. Be kind.
What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately?
I like biographies. Recent reads are Triumph by Carolyn Jessop (a follow up to her book Escape) & Up Till Now by William Shatner (which almost goes in tandem with this Trekkie fave Star Trek Memories).
I love a good movie. My recent faves are The King’s Speech & foreign film Run Lola Run.
Where was your last vacation?
I’m a fan of the staycation. I love where I live and being a tourist in my hometown is a riot.
What is your favorite pastime outside of creating?
Indoors I love cooking up a storm. Adapting a recipe is definitely a favorite pastime.
Outdoors hiking and dog walking are all-weather activities I enjoy.
Who is your favorite designer/artist?
I particularly like the work of Kurt Schwitters but I have to give a shout out to the simplicity and pathos of Charles Schulz. There I go again, jumping between art & comics!