A Day In The Life Of Jo Fernihough

Where are you?

Hi, I live in a tiny village in the Cambridge countryside.

With my two lovely children, Ethan who is 15 and practically 6ft and Flora who still my ‘baby’ but is actually 12 and two scatty dogs a Jack Russell called Mac who is very serious but we often pop fake ears and a ballet skirt on him just to make him loosen up and have fun, (possibly why he likes to run away) and Dotty who is a cocker spaniel (but in my head she is actually a living teddy bear.)


 How did you get into illustration?

My whole family seems to have been ‘arty’ my father was a graphic designer and my mother was an illustrator.

My childhood was spent watching her paint, collage, draw and sew.

I would often make her a “cup of tea,” I had made out of her paint water (I was only small!) … she was very good at pretending.

Before I was born she was designing dresses for Pan’s People and Dusty Springfield, she worked with Laura Ashley and illustrated greeting cards for Gordon Frazer and did a couple of children’s books.

My step brother is a director and runs his own film company now but originally he specialized in Sculpture at Chelsea so when I was a teenager we would pop to see his exhibitions.

So with all that and my lack of mathematical application off I went to Bourneville college of Art in Birmingham to do my foundation, which was where my parents first met and then on to Central St. Martin’s for five years doing my degree and post grad diploma and I was lucky enough to be working and have my first agent before I left.

What Inspires you?

Gosh! Beauty and nature.

I am inspired by the artists I admire to the music I listen to.

There is so much inspiration around today it’s almost a sensory overload.

I find that being on my MA at Cambridge School of Art a great source of

inspiration, being with fellow artists again is wonderful.


My main inspiration comes when I am walking the dogs my head clears and the ideas seem to percolate.


How do you work? Techniques etc?

I would like to say I swish my brush and out comes the line I wanted to produce.

In reality I map out in pencil the guide lines and then work into the image with ink and watercolour perhaps several times adding and subtracting lines.

Some images I create in pieces. I will paint the lines again and again until I have the one I like then scan it and work the image up, I also use Photoshop to tweak and add final extra’s to the image and more than likely get rid of an ink splodge or two.



I am always looking for new ways to work, I am very in love with spray paint at the moment and I am always try to seek a way to use it. I love the contrast between the two techniques it seems to add a different dimension to the image.

Which piece of work are you most proud of?

It has to be two of my first paintings I did inspired by models wearing Galliano, one model has a huge knitted hat on and the other one has big hair, I love the extremes of Couture! I just painted them for fun and it carried on from there.



Why did you join Bright and how have they helped you?

Just before Christmas 2011 I responded to a retweet looking for fashion illustrators, I emailed a few images off and thought nothing of it, not realising it was for The Bright Agency, but two days later I received an email full of bubbly excitement from Emma about my work and that was it! I love the enthusiasm that Bright has its infectious!

Bright have helped in many ways, under Emma and Hannah’s experienced guidance it has helped me to see how I can push my work and see different ways in which it can be applied.

I can’t say enough brilliant things about Bright, they are a totally refreshing agency and I am really happy to be one of their artists.



In a dream role, what would you ideally be working on?

Well a line of greetings cards would be lovely or packaging for a beauty product, super! I would be very excited to do book illustrations for the Y.A market as I am addicted to the genre and can often be found reading my daughters books (with or without her permission).

What are you up to with Bright at the moment?

At the moment some of my images are being presented as canvas prints to a department store which is very exciting.

What are your plans for the future?

Besides creating a whole new range of fashion illustrations as most of the existing ones are soon to be under contract, I plan to finish my MA in children’s illustration which ends early 2013 and hopefully, fingers crossed everyone will like my work. I have exciting plans for my final project which involves lots of work so my immediate future is seeking a log cabin far, far away where no one can ask if dinner is ready yet!

Check out Jo’s Artwork on the Bright Art Licensing Website: