A conversation with Artist Jo McKinney

About Jo as an Artist

Jo McKinney

Name & Business Name?

My name and business name is Jo McKinney. I’m a British Contemporary Animal Artist and Designer of country inspired homeware.


North Essex

How did I get the idea for my business?

My grandfather was an Artist and taught me the basic of drawing at a young age so it’s something I’ve always been good at. In 2015, having not picked up a pencil and paper since I left school some 15 years previous, I started drawing to destress; I sketched some friends horses and the next thing I new people started asking if I’d take commissions. I soon realised after a quick instagram search that Pet Portrait Artist was a thing and so it went from there. 

The favourite part of my business?

Honestly, it varies. Obviously I love drawing and painting but sometimes I actually really enjoy the business side, making things happen, exploring new opportunities and even doing the numbers! 

My favourite product?

Usually my latest creation… haha! But seriously, probably oil paintings, they are a labour of love and I get an immense amount of satisfaction when someone loves one of them enough to want to buy it.

Something you don’t know about me?

There’s probably a lot as I’m quite a private person and social media feels very alien to me, however… I love country music and although I can’t sing for the life of me, I can play several instruments including guitar, piano, flute and drums.

The biggest thing I have learnt in business?

Go ahead and just do it, don’t over think it. Overthinking tends to kill things off and if you don’t do it, someone else will.

About Jo

One thing I could not live without?

Imagination. I know it’s not a material thing but it’s the thing that inspires me, keeps me going and is a little haven for when things are tough.

Favourite event of the year?

I have a huge love of Blenheim House trials, I actually live nearer to Burghley but Blenheim brings with it this amazing feel of the start of autumn which is my absolute favourite time of year. Very sad none of these events have been able to go ahead this year, hopefully it’ll make next year even more special.

Shout out to my favourite brand?

At the moment it’s Welligogs! This weather has got me living in my Welligogs coats.

Favourite animal?

That’s a tough one and I can’t choose between them, so horses and dogs.

If I could be an animal for a day?

I think it would be a bird, you could fly around visiting all kinds of places that it takes forever to get to on foot.

Where you can find me:

Website: www.jomckinney.com

Insta: @jomckinneyartist

Facebook: @jomckinneyart

LinkedIn: Jo McKinney

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