Jo grew up in a lovely seaside village on the east coast of Scotland. Since she can remember, she has been drawing and has wonderful memories of encouragement from a teacher at school who caught her drawing instead of doing her fractions! She grew up loving E H Shepard; she never tires of his adorable sketches and feels a special connection to Pooh bear's ditzy outlook on life.
Since leaving Telford College where she gained an HND in Art & Design, Jo has freelanced for Edinburgh Council, The Forestry Commission, The Royal Botanical Gardens and various design agencies. She has dabbled in all types of illustration but decided to go where her heart is and focus on Children's Illustration. She enjoys creating characters and take great delight in adding humour to her work.
In 2004 she illustrated a Gaelic Alphabet book which was awarded 'The Best Childrens Book Of The Year" in the Gaelic Literacy Awards that year and is now used in schools throughout Scotland.
Jo has since gone on to illustrate two more children's picture books for the Edinburgh-based publisher, Floris Books. 'Hungry Hettie' (2011) and 'Hairy Hettie' (2012) are humourous, colourful stories about a playful Highland cow. Jo loved working on these projects, from creating the characters to designing each page layout with the ideas to go along with the stories.
Jo works in a variety of mediums and loves pastel, not only for the intensity of strong colour and textures that can be created, but she also takes great pleasure in the whole aspect of using her fingers as tools and getting her hands mucky!
Jo now lives with her partner, her three lurcher dogs and one very cheeky whippet just outside Edinburgh in the countryside, where they run a Dog Walking and Boarding business. She says "Life is never dull in her house, with musical chairs being a big part of daily life and every morning it's like Easter, but instead of hunting for eggs in the garden, it's a slipper hunt!"