ABOUT JOANNA COOKE

  • Jo Cooke is an illustrator and artist living in Cape Town, South
    Africa with her partner, two dogs, six cats and numerous Hadedas, squirrels and other garden creatures. Her whimsical
    artistic style has made her prints, cards and original art popular for 8
    years, and she writes and illustrates children’s picture books in traditional and digital media.
    Jo is drawn to nature and human nature, and her animal and
    human characters capture the sensitive frailties and humour we all see
    in the beings we interact with everyday.
    www.joannacookeillustration.com

ARTIST STATEMENT

  • I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at 21 escaped from the “City of Gold” to beautiful Cape Town, where I raised and nurtured two children and a Corporate Training Consultancy. It took me 30 years to finally take my dreams more seriously (and myself less seriously) and start painting and drawing professionally. I work in every medium and my career has taught me how to be versatile, practical, deadline-driven and consumer-focused. 

    My childhood garden had wonderful rockeries in which I imagined I was either a caveman, an explorer or a vet, and I’d spend days in my secret glade, with books and my sketchbook, entering the fantasy world that I now invite children into with my illustrations. 

    I’ve been a part-time musician and singer and love walks in Cape Town’s natural splendors. My art is whimsical, romantic and colourful, indicative of my nature as a Romantic Pragmatist. I observe nature and human nature close-up, with my art and illustrations making lightly satirical commentary on the mystery and contradictions that we live with every day.