Just look at me fairy! (Mackem accent).

Back in the day my work was described as twee and glib… if the shoe fits then wear it out.

“Me fairy!” by Jo Howell 2019

Sometimes it’s really good for the soul to make something so cheesy that you can’t help but smile. Loads of my work is like that. The things I make in my own time and for my own purposes are inevitably chintz. Surface level beauty and toilet humour. Inane doodles and grotesque colour combinations. I think secretly I am flouting some kind of secret boys club meeting that said everything you make has to mean something. I’m being more honest. I like making things. Like an obsessive compulsion s**t must get made.

Don’t get me wrong, I make things with meaning as well, but process is my happy place.

So, I mentioned in a previous blog that one of the things I really like about the photographic practise is it’s power to give authenticity to things that aren’t real. We grow up hearing insane adages like ‘the camera never lies’. (I haven’t heard anyone say this since the 90’s, but it kind of stuck in my head).

I’ve always been a geeky kid, whomever said that to young me was met with a tirade of questions that picked the nonsense apart. The camera is an inanimate object, any action it takes is ultimately programmed by a human. And, as soon as a human is involved then we loose objectivity to the subjective. We bring our bias into our observations.

Anywho, I digress.

I am a flighty artist who skips from theme to theme and then back again. As in art, as in life. If I do one thing for too long then I stagnate. But, that’s the joy of making things just for the crack. I can indulge my spontaneity.

I had some fun creating some rayographs in the yarden while it was sunny. Using real objects and light to create illustrative works.


  1. I like these fairies… don’t find them twee at all – and I have just had a rant about magic unicorn gin (don’t even get me started on that!) Chintz and cheese have a place in the world as much as anything with serious gravitas. If we were all being profound and meaningful all of the time life would be so tedious!

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