"I'm drawn to people and creatures of South Africa, and the personalities that emerge from our ever-transforming environment and society. My drawings and paintings characterize quirky, expressive and unusual characteristics which illustrate narratives we all recognize and are familiar with. I use strong colours muted for atmospheric mood which describes the stories and journeys we take."
Joanna Cooke is an artist and illustrator living in Cape Town, who works and teaches art from her home studio in Kirstenhof. She has spent most of her adult life running a corporate training consultancy specialising in communication, leadership, and diversity training programmes. Music, art, writing and teaching have been her driving communication and expression mediums her whole life. She has written and performed both contemporary and classical music and believes everyone is creative and needs to nurture this creative spirit to achieve personal harmony and growth.
Jo writes and illustrates children’s picture books in traditional and digital media and she works in a large variety of mediums and styles. Her whimsical artistic style has made her prints, cards and original art popular for over a decade. Jo is drawn to nature and human nature, and the personalities that emerge from our ever-transforming environment and society. She has a strong affinity for animals and conservation, and her art reflects quirky, expressive and unusual characteristics that illustrate human narratives uniting us with the natural world. Her animal and human creations capture the sensitive frailties and humour we all see in the beings we interact with every day. Jo has participated in numerous exhibitions and has been a member of the South African Society for Artists since 2011. She exhibits regularly through SASA at Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town, pop-up exhibitions and from her home studio. She has two grown children and lives in Cape Town with her partner, a menagerie of cats and dogs, numerous Hadeda birds, squirrels and other garden creatures that provide inspiration for her artwork.