Dogs and Doodles: Jo Chambers: Pet Illustrator

Jo Chambers
Meet Jo Chambers--she is a posh pet illustrator from across the pond--Oxford, England to be exact on the map. This talented Brit is all over social media. Her Instagram page alone is flooded with followers who get a daily does of her pet portraits dressed in vintage clothing. 

Aside from her queen social media status, Chamber's is so successful, she is able to make a living off her Etsy Shop, under the name, Studio Legohead. This is where she sells her textile patterns, dog/cat portraits, and flower power prints. She also takes custom orders too. 

Chamber's pet doodles are different than you'd expect--she puts a fairy tale spin on her creations by making her subjects styled in vintage garments. This usually consist of a scarf, hat or flower collar embellishment making her finished sketches look like one-of-a-kind whimsical master pieces. 

The Yellow Spectacles has featured illustrators before, but never one who merely focuses on animals and flowers. Here is what Jo Chambers has to say about art, animals, success, and the future:

The Yellow Spectacles:Can you tell me a little why you draw pet portraits? What's the motivation behind it?

Jo Chambers: I started drawing canines and felines while having a creative block after finishing my MA in Textiles. I'd always been more floral based, but one day I saw a dog in a hat and loved the character it had. I began drawing and before I knew it I had a whole sketchbook full.These then translated into embroidery and I had an exhibition "Best In Show' which was embroidered dog portraits, sashes and trophies.

TYS: Tell me about owning/operating an Etsy Shop? 

JC: I love having an Etsy shop, it's what got my business to grow in the beginning. I had a range of greeting cards that's main subject was dogs in vintage clothing. I began e-mailing blogs and websites that I thought might like my work and it snowballed from there. I've had so many nice features that have led to sales and further work. I think it's always important to have nice photographs of your products, always reply to customers quickly and always be a nice person to work with.
@studiolegohead on Twiter

TYS: Are drawing pets and designing textiles your full-time gig?

JC: This is my main job, but I also teach at a university on the Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors. I studied a combined course of Art and Textiles at university, so I love being able to work in that environment. It's always full of surprises and so nice to see others doing what they enjoy.

"Being a freelance illustrator/textile artist it means you have to love what you do, as you are your own boss. Generating sales, commissions, creating new work etc. It never gets boring, and I really like that no day is the same" -Jo Chambers. 

TYS: Who are your primary clients?

JC: My main clients are dog lovers and flower lovers. Anyone that loves color and pattern and has a sense of humor. I don't like taking myself too serious and always want there to be an element of fun to my work. I think that is what draws people to it. That and they are bonkers about their four legged friends

TYS: Do you have a favorite portrait?

JC: I think my favorite portrait is still one of my early ones, Pooch In Pucci. It's the main image on my website and shows a dachshund wearing a Pucci headscarf. So it shows both my love of canines and pattern.

TYS: Are you planning anything new for your art and business?

JC: I will be releasing more fabrics and patterns based on my florals and canines as well as a few products, but I need to keep them under wraps for now.

TYS: Deep quesion: Dogs or Cats?

JC: Well, I love both, but I always used to be a cat person as there were more in my life growing up. But, I would so like to have a dog in my life now, the more I draw them, the more I love the characters and different shapes and sizes they come in. 

I think it is safe to say--dog or cat person--Chamber's designs are the cat's meow. #Woof