My name is Jo Wright and I'm a Manchester-based printmaker specialising in Lino print. As you've probably guessed, I'm a BIG animal lover and a trip to Canada set me on the start of my printmaking journey.
My background is in art and design. I studied at Manchester Polytechnic in the 80s and worked as a freelance illustrator for a number of years illustrating books for Puffin, Usborne, Collins and Oxford University Press. I also spent time at animation puppet makers Mackinnon and Saunders working on Tim Burton's classic film 'Mars Attacks!'
I met my ecologist partner in 1990 and caught the travelling bug. We spent lots of time looking for birds and other animals in near and far away places, and I started squirrelling away ideas from traditional tales and folklore. My interest in environmental interpretation inspired me to study for an MA in Heritage Studies at the University of Salford and I worked for a long time as a writer, designer and illustrator developing trails, exhibitions and other wildlife interpretation for clients including Blackpool Zoo, Chester Zoo, the National Trust and the Wildlife Trusts.
In 2011, we spent six glorious weeks with our young family in Canada. We drove from Montreal to the Rocky Mountains and back looking for animals (suffice to say the car hire company were in shock at the mileage we'd clocked up!) We saw so many amazing creatures including beluga whale, blue whale, beavers, bison, elk, great grey owl, lynx, moose and more than 30 black bears. One young bear caught my imagination and when I arrived back in UK, I set to carving my first linocut. The little bear featured on my logo is taken from this Lino print and is one of my most popular card designs.