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Monday, December 5, 2011

Featured artist: Jo from TeahouseTreehouse

Today I bring you talented Jo from TeahouseTreehouse, she recently opened her etsy shop in which she sells adorable children illustrations.  As an introductory offer she is making available coupon code INTRO10 to save 10 % any purchase until December 31. Don't delay read the interview and enjoy!

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.

I’m an artist, wife and mother of two little girls, ages three and one. We all live together in a little old house in Canberra, the capital city of Australia.
I work mainly with paint, collage and printmaking. I’ve always loved making art, but in recent years I have allowed study, work and family commitments to take over and I’ve struggled to remain as inspired and productive as I would like. However, I recently began illustrating homemade storybooks for my girls and making art works as gifts for friends and family, and now I feel that I have more ideas and motivation than I can fit into a lifetime! I’m taking on commissions for paintings again and have opened a new shop, Teahouse Treehouse, as a creative outlet for my children’s illustrations.

Little girl playing bells
2. What do you sell?

I sell reproductions of my art and illustrations, which are created for children, but I hope they appeal to grown-ups too. My works are suitable for both boys and girls and are mainly focused on the themes of play, family and home.
I’ve launched my shop with a series of works inspired by my daughter’s music class, but I will be adding more works soon.

3. Why handmade?

When we started a family, my husband and I wanted to continue to “live small”. By that I mean that we didn’t want to increase our carbon footprint more than necessary or live outside our means. Obviously we’ve had to accommodate our growing family (including two daughters, two dogs and two new home businesses), but we try not to get overwhelmed by the mass produced ‘solutions’ that are targeted at families.  Being able to make a beautiful art work for our baby’s room or sew a quilt for my daughter’s bed gives them unique treasures they’ll have forever and a family home that I hope will always inspire them, without needing to spend a lot of money.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?

I find inspiration in my surroundings, whatever they might be at the time. Currently I’m a fulltime mum (or mom, as you would say in the states), so my inspiration comes mainly from my children and home life. In particular, we really love reading storybooks together, which has had a huge influence on me.

Little boy playing trumpet

5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
I’m currently on parental leave from my job at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). It’s an exciting place to work as I’m surrounded by art and there is always something new happening. Previously I worked full-time (and quite a lot of overtime!), but in the New Year I will be returning to work part-time and hope to maintain a more family friendly pace.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?

At art school I was encouraged to think of myself as an artist, but at the time I felt that I needed to prove myself first. Since working at the NGA I’ve realized that being an artist is more a state of mind than about producing measurable outcomes.
I reached a point where I was finding it difficult to prioritize my art and that is when I realized that if I really wanted to turn things around then I needed to commit to being an artist and start referring to myself as one – I think it’s working...

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?

Many people – artists who inspire me, family who have encouraged me and other creative mums and dads who do what they love to do and make it work for their families.

Jo's studio

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
I would like to expand the shop to include all kinds of printed products for children and their families, such as greeting cards, nursery d├ęcor, toys and handmade books. But most of all, I would love to get into professional storybook illustrating.

9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?

I’ve been lucky enough to try most things on my wish list, but perhaps it’s time to create a new list? I would like to try living overseas one day, if I could ever convince the rest of the family!

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
In recent years I’ve been giving away my artworks as gifts and am only now starting to sell them again. I’d like to get my Etsy shop running smoothly before taking on any other ventures, but anything’s possible!

ways to contact you


  1. Jo's artwork is so sweet and charming! Her goals are very attainable with her talent! I could see her work in a children's illustration book.

    Those speeding tickets ended up being expensive for you guys! LOL ~Val

  2. Thank you Claudia for featuring my shop and I on your beautiful blog!

    And Thank you Miss Val's Creations for your lovely comments!

  3. Her illustrations are so cute and she's a fellow Aussie :)

    P.S. Oh I won something?! That's fantastic. SO sorry I took awhile to reply but yes my address is the same one :) Thank you so much.


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