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Drawing the gorgeous Shiba Inu dog ‘Troy’

Hello, its been a while since I have had a chance to write about whats been going on, sorry about that. Well there has been quite a lot going on so I thought I would take some time out to show you a little sneaky peek of what I have been getting up to since my last post.

While selling my cards and prints at the Made-it Market craft fair in Cambridge back in March, I was very lucky to be commissioned to create a drawing of a beautiful Shiba Inu breed of dog called Troy. I must admit when I was told he was a white dog, I felt quite nervous about how I was possibly going to tackle this challenge, but with some fantastic photographs to work from it made my job that much easier.

This is my first commission for a dog portrait and I really enjoyed doing it, its great to be able to get to grips with something a little different and get back to drawing which is what I truly love to do. The picture was to be a Wedding gift for the owner of the dog which I thought was such a fabulous idea. It was also fantastic to hear so much about the dog’s character and obviously this chap is truly adored by everyone he meets and very well known amongst his local community. When you see his photo then it really is no surprise, what a handsome dog! I really do hope I have managed to capture these qualities within the picture.

So, I have taken photos of every step of the way in creating this illustration. I build my colours using layers of coloured pens and then add the finer details at the end with pencil or graphite. This is the same technique i use for all of my designs. I hope you enjoy looking through the different stages of the piece.

First step getting the shadows down
layering the colours to create depth
A closer look at the colours used as the base for the picture
Getting the outline and shape of this lovely dog using a fine pencil line
Using graphite and pencil to add the finer details

I added only dots for eyes at this stage as I was not entirely sure if my client wanted a realistic image or a more stylised picture. I figured it is much easier to add to a picture than to take away.

Adding a subtle background and some more shadows

At this stage I sent a proof to my client to get some feedback or any thoughts that they might have about the illustration so far. The feedback was really good and all they wanted was to have the eyes filled in and more of the orange blossom adding. The orange blossom was added to add some decoration the the picture and also add a japanese feel as the dog is a japanese breed and we thought it only fitting to add some representation of his origins within the picture.

Finished commission

I am pleased that the eyes were given more detail and the extra orange blossom seemed to fill the gap quite well.

The final framed 'Troy' commission

This is the final result framed at the fabulous Makers Gallery in Cambridge.

A lovely photo of a happy customer with her new picture!

If you would like a commission of a beloved pet creating perhaps for a birthday gift or christmas gift (good idea to order early) then please do just drop me a line, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment or share!



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British Craft Trade Fair…done!

Well sorry for not being much of a blogger of late, the truth is it has beed a very busy couple of months, with lots of exciting things happening!

We have just exhibited our lovely products at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate, which was so much fun. We met lots of lovely people and saw some amazing products and met the designers who created them, it was a very inspiring weekend and we learnt so much. The planning of the show has been bubbling away quietly for the past six months or so, and to our delight everything seemed to run exactly to plan.

On a personal note, I must take the time to thank my printers and framers in Cambridge for being so helpful, supportive and understanding throughout, and I would of struggled without you. Also a big shout out to my Brother who did a fantastic job of ferrying me around Yorkshire, putting up with me in his house and being a fantastic member of the Jo Clark Design sales team, so much so that many other stall holders were wishing they had him on their stall!

So here are a few photos from build up day of the show, I hope you enjoy!

Exhibition stand set up empty shell
A blank canvas…
Jo Clark Design banner display
Banners going up...
jo clark design prints being hung
Framed prints being hung...
jo clark design in the newcomers gallery
Newcomers gallery build up...
jo clark design stand taking shape
A few more pictures up, stand starting to take shape...
jo clark design at the british craft fair
velcro velcro velcro ...not a rip off at all, well worth every penny in this situation!
starting to add the shelves to the stand
Getting the final part of the display ready with some fancy card display shelves...and the all important velcro!
Adding the cards to the display
Nearly there, the cards go into their display shelves...

and for the final result…drum roll please…..


jo clark design finished display
Tadah! five and a half hours later the finished Jo Clark Design stand...its SHOWTIME!!

So that is how we built our very first trade fair display stand, I hope you enjoyed seeing the step by step account!

This is one of my new cards that inspired my stand design!

Buttercups Card

Here are some shots of the literature we took with us, had to make sure we were fully prepared for the day, such as order forms and a product catalogue, oh and of course some essential mole and squirrel stickers to hand out to lovely people!finishing touches stationary

Product catalogue, press release, cute stickers and postcards

Order forms (with a little design help from my printer) notepads and business cards were essential too have at the show, so we could jot down all of those orders 🙂

photo of order form
Essentials for the show!

It has been a busy week since the show and we are now focusing on our next show in June 10-12th we will be exhibiting at the ‘Pulse’ trade show at Earls court and can’t wait!  If you are looking for new products for your shop or know of a nice shop, gallery or cafe that might like our products, do let us know and we will send then an invitation to visit us at stand B33.

Thats all for now folks, thanks for reading!


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Narrative Exhibition March 2012

I was lucky enough to have been able to exhibit some of my recent work along side some of the most talented artists in Cambridge.

The show was a big success and here are a couple of photos from my contribution to the show.

Jo Clark Exhibition display

Jo Clark Art exhibition

It was a really inspiring show and it was great to meet  illustrators artists designers and sound engineers who all contributed their work to the narrative exhibition.

Please take a look at some of these lovely artists they are well worth keeping an eye on!

Karen Jinks –
Mandy Knapp –
Andrew Roberts –
Aurora Cacciapuoti –
Garance Monfort –
Celia Bartlett –
Sara Masterson –
Philip Lowndes –
Philip Cornett –
Katharina Klug –
Tiina Burton –
Tony White –
Rebecca Scambler –
Rachel Thompson –
Martin Stephens –
Lauren Rowden –

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New Exhibition

This weeks card is Blooming Allium card to celebrate what is looking to be the start of spring!

Dont forget any orders over £10 will be sent a free art print up until the 17th March perfect to give to Mum or why not just keep it for yourself. Make sure you don’t miss out on any more offers and giveaways by signing up to my newsletter.

Blue flower spring card

I am really looking forward to exhibiting my work in Cambridge amongst lots of talented artists at the Williams Art Gallery.  With great thanks to the Cambridge Creative Network for organising such a fantastic opportunity to exhibit with a fabulous group of local artists.

Cambridge Creative Network Exhibition

The exhibition at Williams Art is a celebration of the work of the members of Cambridge Creative Network and will run from Friday 23rd March until Sunday 1st April.

On Friday 23rd March, we will be hosting a Preview Evening from 6.30-9pm, where we hope you will join us for a drink and soak up the atmosphere. And if you cant make that one, join us on the following Friday 30th March, 6.30-9pm. A great chance to meet some of the artists to talk about their working practice.

Works will be for sale, including etchings, ceramics, paintings, prints, jewellery, cards and textiles, and much more. With so many works on offer, we guarantee you will find something a little out of the ordinary.

Find us at Williams Art, Dales Brewery, Gwydir Street,just off Mill Road.

Do check out the cafe next door, Hot Numbers, for delicious coffee too!

More details can be found at

Participating artists:

Karen Jinks –
Mandy Knapp –
Andrew Roberts –
Aurora Cacciapuoti –
Garance Monfort –
Celia Bartlett –
Sara Masterson –
Philip Lowndes –
Philip Cornett –
Jo Clark –
Katharina Klug –
Tiina Burton –
Tony White –
Rebecca Scambler –
Rachel Thompson –
Martin Stephens –
Lauren Rowden –

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Spring is just around the corner

This weekends wondering was much different to last week, the snow is melted and the sun was shining. I went out looking for inspiration and I found it in the textures of the beautiful trees and some precious antique finds!

This weeks greetings card is this subtle and simple illustrated card Purple Stalks which captures the essence of the early signs of spring. Simple budding wild flower design with a touch of colour.

jo clark design purple stalk illustration

Some shots of some of the patterns and shapes that caught my eye, enjoy.

Shaddows on concrete photo jo clark design

Branches of buds and beauty jo clark design

fence jo clark

Blue Sky branch jo clark

Old book on birds

One of my favourite places to visit are the antiques shops on Gwydir Street, I go there in search of inspiration and this time I most definitely found it. Two fab books one on ‘Baby Birds’ complete with beautiful colour book plates from 1940’s and a poem on each bird as well a description of each of the birds their habitats and individual traits. I just love the way the pages have aged with tea colours spots and fluffed edges to pages, even the spine has gone but someone has taken the time to stick it back together.

Scrap book of tea cards

lovely scrapbook full of tea cards

Then we spotted the second book, a stunning scrap book.  It is full of beautiful ‘Brooke Bond tea cards’ all different subjects and about forty pages full of cards, thats a lot of tea! Lovingly collected over many years and carefully stuck into the pages of this book, I can’t wait to sit down with a cuppa sometime soon and turn the tactile fragile faded old pages, which you can’t do with an ebook! I may have to start my own a scrapbook!

british bulldog drawing

There is a lovely page with a collection of dog breeds, I felt inspired and just had to draw this chap!

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter you can read the latest news here for all the latest offers for Mother’s Day at

See you soon!


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Cosy night in!

Happy Valentines day! It’s looking likely to be a chilly Valentines day and a good excuse to stay in this evening and have a romantic cosy night in.

One of my newest cards ‘pigeons in love’ hope you like these cheeky little guys.

jo clark illustrated card pigeons

 I love how the snow completely transforms the places you see everyday, so I had to take a few snaps of the sights around Cambridge, all a few minutes walk from my front door, I’m so lucky to live in such a beautiful inspiring place.

foot prints in snow jo clark

snowy park cambridge jo clark

tennis court foliage plant

train tracks cambridge

snow dots and patterns

cambridge plant tennis courts

lovely sunset

So how do you take photos or draw outside and keep your hands warm? Well you need some of these amazingly cute Baby Owls gloves. I am totally smitten with my new mittens…(sorry)!

Take a look at Olivia Kovacs beautifully designed and handmade creations there are lots of gorgeous animal designs to choose from.

owl gloves

cat in the snow jo clark

A very unhappy Daisy this week, don’t be fooled by that cute face…she is so upset about the cold snow and really did not want to go outside. I think she blames me for the weather, so sorry Daisy.  If only she had some mittens then she would of been just fine.

daisy jo's cat

…ahh thats a very happy Daisy snuggled up next to my Valentine…I can see its going to be tricky getting to the best spot on the sofa!

Teapot and mugs


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Snowdrop Season


How time flies when your doing your tax returns, ah I’m glad thats over.

I had a lovely visit from Ella Walker of the Cambridge evening news, who interviewed me for a feature on their website. I must admit I was so nervous but Ella did such a fantastic job of putting me at ease, and wrote a lovely article even makes me sound like I knew exactly what I was talking about ..hehe, I’m not sure I do, I just like drawing things. You can read the article here

As the weather continues to get colder this week, makes it impossible to imaging flowering plants emerging in the gardens. Well already snowdrops have been spotted poking through the ground at Anglesey Abby  So the obvious choice of card this week is my brand new ‘Snowdrops’ card. this design also features in the Floral 2012 Calendar.

jo clark design snowdrops greetings card image

Its been a very busy few weeks and lots of things are happening, all at once! I’ve just received my copy of the gorgeous little book by Charlotte Rivers called ‘I Love Stationery’ which is (as you might of guessed) filled with beautiful examples of stunning stationery and a little bit about the artists and makers too.

Book feature jo clark design


This lovely book is packed with inspirational and contemporary examples of bespoke stationary and appeals to a wide and varied audience from designers to craft fans and collectors. Read professional advice directly from the artists on techniques, tips and breaking into the stationery industry.

I heart Stationery pages

The left page features the work of Anna Fewster from Brighton who works with letter press techniques and produces beautiful crisp prints book plates and invitations. Anna’s work has a real art deco feel and I love the flat block colours throughout her work.

On the right page shows the work of printmaker Katherine Watson who resides in Washington DC. Katherine’s work has a lovely tactile feel enhanced by carefully chosen papers for her woodblock prints.

 Hello Mole

I managed to put together a Animal Calendar after I had several requests to make one. The 2012 Calendar features many of my little animal characters baby rhino, field mice, little fox and a few brand new ones. A little late but hey its here! If you would like to buy one of these please drop me a line and I will make one just for you!

jo clark feature house beautiful

Even more exciting news…(by the way this has been an exceptional week for being in things, I’m sorry to go on about it, but I am very excited) my Seed Spheres print has been featured in the March issue of  ‘House Beautiful Magazine’ its is very tiny but its there. I’m so very flattered to have my work shot in the same room as the beautiful St. Jude’s fabric covered furniture, I am a big fan and truly made up about it! Thank you ‘House Beautiful Magazine’.

jo clark cambridge

This is a photo I took walk through beautiful Cambridge, its getting cold the river Cam is trying to freeze over. A lovely bright day but bitterly cold and I couldn’t wait to get back indoors.

goodbye students

Its a farewell to the two english language students who have been staying with me for the past few weeks, they both have long journeys returning to the sunshine in Brazil and Taiwan. They had to suffer through my vegetarian cooking for long enough. Good luck guys!

Jo Clark design framed print birds

 Finally I’m now pleased to offer framed prints for sale in my online shop, and this is a photo of my little Daisy wanting to be in on the photo shoot of my framed pine tree birds print.

Bye for now, stay warm and remember to feed the birds!


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Totally nuts!

Hello …yep I’ve done it, squeezed in another little bloggy post before the summer!

I’ll be featuring a new card every week on my blog which I hope you will all enjoy, as I have some new designs I can’t wait to show you!

First card hot of the press is Squirrels Card available to order now!

jo clark design animals card

So, I think squirrels are lovely, and wouldn’t it be nice to see both greys and reds getting on just fine and sharing their acorns and living happily ever after.

Well thats whats happening here on my new card, two very content little guys just getting along.

There is a matching squirrels mug too…makes a great little Birthday gift for any squirrels fans.

Squirrel Feeder

Forget Yogi bear, dinner is served to this lucky squirrel with his very own picnic bench! He’s a pretty happy chap, although I’m not sure if he’s been stood up as there is an empty space there…

Get you very own picnic bench  squirrel feeder on Etsy.


How cute is this little guy!!

If you find you have a little bit of time on your hands, you can find out how to make a ‘Nutty Squirrel’ costume like this here on this fab blog. I don’t think there are instructions for grown-up’s costume unfortunately, but hey I’m sure it could be adapted with a little imagination somehow!

Jo Clark Squirrels Illustration

Bye for now, have a great week from me and the squirrels!


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New Years Resolution… to be a better blogger

A very Happy New Year to everyone, I hope that 2012 will be a year filled with fun times, good health, happiness and success!

My blog has been seriously neglected over the past few months and I’m really sorry about that, so I am starting the new year as I hope to go on…by becoming a regular blogger.

Thanks to everyone that came to visit me and supported me at any of the craft fairs that I exhibited at over the last three months around the UK. Its always so lovely to meet my customers face to face and I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas.

Jo clark design market stall

So this year is going to be a very exciting one for Jo Clark Design with lots of big things happening in the coming months, so much so I’ve made myself a calendar to keep track of things! You can get hold of one of these from my shop if you need one too. This was a very popular item at craft fairs over Christmas, and  I hope it is brightening up the start of the new year for all of you who bought one.

jo clark design illustrated calendar

I’m looking forward to exhibiting at the British Craft Trade Fair in April, and again in June at Pulse Trade fair London which is all very exciting, I’ve actually been dreaming about setting up my stand already.

designer cushion jo clark design

I’ve been working on new designs, products and ideas for the new year, and I can’t wait to launch them. This is one of my popular card designs digitally printed onto lovely cotton fabric and beautifully made into a soft cushion ideal for the living room or to decorate the bed with, you can get hold of these now!

Its been a very busy year with not a lot of time for new drawings or ideas, but I plan to keep on drawing and showing you my latest ideas right here, so I hope you will like them.

jo clark gold fish

This is a little fish doodle for Kate who has just transferred her lovely fish into a bigger better tank, but we are all a little worried about the little crabby guy.  Look…he’s just fine see, my gold fish of tanks gone by are looking after him now.

jo clark fox illustration

I was so flattered to be asked to do a commissioned piece of my little Fox character, he does always get a lot of attention on my stall.

This piece is made with collaged papers pen and pencil…and I loved getting my scissors out for this one. It was great to get back to collaging, its been a while since I used this in my work, but I can’t wait to do some more.

jo clark pidgeons drawing

Ah pigeons in love!

Watch out for these guys…they look like trouble to me, they will be making an appearance very soon.

jo clark squirrels mug

Speaking of trouble makers…here is one of my new products with some cheeky little squirrels on, the red ones and a grey, but they are all living in harmony here with enough nuts to go round and keep everyone happy. Just don’t forget where you’ve stashed them chaps!

These were a very popular gift this Christmas, did you get one of them? These will be back in stock very soon and a matching squirrels card coming too!

jo clark cat

So thats my first epic blog post of 2012…I hope you’re not asleep yet! meeeooooow yawn… like the very lazy Daisy cat!