JoJo Cusack - Artist and Illustrator


I have been drawing since I could pick up a pencil. I was always frustrated with the colouring books I was given as a child, as they already had pictures. I would draw in the margin, on the back page or any blank space I could find.

I am passionate about art and creativity in all its guises, which is why I live in Brighton with its stimulating environment. Over the years I have been involved in several design teams and partnerships. I love throwing ideas back and forth and thrive in the company of other artists. I take a lot of inspiration from nature, in particular plants and insects. However mostly I specialize in character design.

I grew up in London, where I studied fashion at technical college, learning pattern cutting before progressing to an art foundation course. I began experimenting with fine art sculpture and textiles, using a wide range of materials including organic matter - bone, human and animal hair, insects - plus latex and steel. Projects included hanging sculptures in sheet metal based on cocoons and insects, and  overlayed jackets on wheels, which can be worn or stand alone to be admired.

I studied Fashion at Brighton University where, inspired by guest lecturer Dai Reese, I continued to experiment with textiles and developed the commercial aspects of my work. Subsequently I helped to establish the alternative clothing company Spanki, where I worked as designer, pattern cutter and production manager. Here I worked with goth and punk street-style clothing, in ranges including printed t-shirts, adult clothing, and fetish wear including corsets, rubber wear, harnesses and restraints.

My private commissions have included portraits, caricatures, comic-book style wedding invitations, illustrations and personalised gifts, and I have designed and made a range of bespoke garments including a full-length black leather wedding dress with appliqued flames for a Las Vegas Harley Davidson themed wedding, and costumes for the Royal Opera House. I have undertaken a significant amount of costume work for Brighton and Hove City Council, including an Edwardian Santa costume, educational aids for school children learning about local history, and various replica historic and ethnic costumes, examples of which can be found on display at Brighton Museum. I also created a range of regency  costumes for the general public to wear for portraits at Brighton Pavillion.

During my time at Spanki, I was in charge of creating various T shirt print designs. I realized my true love has always been drawing and painting, so decided to focus my attention on illustrative art.  I have been freelancing, creating greeting cards, poster design, menu design, airbrushing photos, illustrating children's stories, concept art and sign writing.

Recent projects include personalised cartoon-style comic strips and a comic about Brighton life.