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A Day In The Life Of Jo Peel

Jo Peel is a painter, printmaker, animator, and filmmaker. Her art work is rooted in a poetic urban architecture, capturing intimate elements of the city landscape at moments which could be recent history or perhaps a post-apocalyptic future. Here, we spend a day in the life of Jo Peel, from climbing hills to look at the city, to beers in the sunshine.


MY ALARM GOES OFF…

I don’t actually set an alarm. I have a 4 year old daughter and she tends to wake me up most days. She comes into my room and crawls into bed… Then we go downstairs and make breakfast and coffee. 


HOW I STARTED LIFE AS AN ARTIST…

I can’t ever remember not making art. I used to doodle at school and I drew pictures every day. A friend and myself started a magazine in infant school. I always did the pictures and he was much more journalistic. He is now a cabaret artist. I never stopped drawing and thinking up creative ideas to make money, which eventually led me to where I am today able to make a living from my work.


MY TYPICAL DAY…

My typical day during lockdown is very different as I’m never usually in one place for long! At the moment I’m really enjoying spending time creating work with no specific outcomes and walking/cycling around the city, looking for inspiration. It’s not difficult to find, I’m overwhelmed with reference photographs. I could be locked down for another year and still not get everything done!


MY MOST MEMORABLE ARTISTIC MOMENT…

I think a real turning point for me was when I made the animation “Things Change” I self funded it and put everything I had into making it, but it turned out to be a great decision. It was so strange watching the viewing figures fly up every time I hit refresh and then dealing with a deluge of emails from people interested in my work. I was flown out to Italy for a film festival and had a direct message from Chanel inviting me to Paris. Since then things really have changed.


THE WORST PART OF BEING AN ARTIST…

I guess it would probably be that you never know what is in store. Even when you have work lined up, you never know what might fall through. I’ve managed to stay afloat for 10 years now, but I see it as a gift to be able to continue working and would never take it for granted. 


THE BEST PART OF BEING AN ARTIST…

It sounds so cheesy but it really is getting to do what you love every day. 


AFTER I CLOSE MY STUDIO DOOR AT THE END OF THE DAY…

In normal times… it’s hard to recall! Pre-lockdown I did enjoy working into the evening in the studio and then popping down to the pub over the road or checking out a private view in one of the galleries. But at the moment I’m enjoying a socially distanced walk with a few beers and some sunshine. Climbing hills and looking at views over the city.


IF I WASN’T AN ARTIST, I WOULD BE...

If I wasn’t able to make money from my work I’d still make it, so I guess I’d have to get something reasonably flexible so that I could work around it. I used to do a lot of bar and restaurant work so maybe that?



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