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  • Writer's pictureJo Bert

JoSuppose - my story & a freeby (;

Hello, Freinds!

It’s been 11 days of lockdown and the voices in my head have started manifesting themselves in the living room! Yay company!

I hope you’re all keeping some semblance of sanity, and I hope that you’re all staying inside, healthy and happy! The sun is out for the first time in almost a week, so I think it’s going to be a great day!

Find this week’s free colouring-in page here!

(and a colour version below for reference if you want)

As I said last week, today I want to tell you about my story – where did I get the idea? how did all of this start? How have I had the motivation to keep going in these difficult, ever-changing times? As always, please feel free to comment on anything here or suggest something you’d like to hear about next.

JoSuppose started out in December 2018 as a small project to keep me in practice with illustration. I had just finished my first year of design college and I was on holiday with the family in the bush… I was pretty bored and wanted something to do with my new found skill (Digital Illustration) that would keep me busy and maintain all of the knowledge I had learnt that year... so I started illustrating as many different bird species as I could think of. I had recently read something about the Violet-Backed Starling which sounded amazing to me and then low and behold, one drive through the bush, I saw one! How convenient! “this must be the bird I start with” I thought. I had no idea what I was going to do with these illustrations except that I was going to do them! And so, I did one a day for about a month starting with the Starling, then a Grey Lourie, then a Secretary Bird and so on.

After about 10 birds I was losing interest until I did some work for my lovely aunt that involved smile illustrations that would be used on t-shirts and tote bags. “a great idea” I thought, I would do something similar with my illustrations! Soon tote bags became mouse pads which then moved on to a calendar design. it was cool, some friends and family would buy one every now and then but it wasn't enough. Then… College started again and JoSuppose took a back seat, (perfect timing because now I was getting frustrated with the lack of results)

Fast forward about 6 months and many life events – I hadn’t done anything new for JoSuppose in a while and there wasn’t any interest, but I was thinking about it again. I realized then that I was a very prolific painter and I had all of these weird colourful paintings just piling up in my room collecting dust. “Hmm”, I thought “I should probably turn JoSuppose into something that I am actively doing and having a hell of a lot of fun with rather than forcing myself to do these little illustrations that I’m definitely bored of at this point...” so I decided to turn my paintings into the new JoSuppose designs and wow this has taken me on a whole new journey in the short time since. This new direction sparked up my motivation and introduced me to the world of print-on-demand websites such as Redbubble or T-springs! Companies like these make selling art so easy (in theory). 

Once I’d changed direction with JoSuppose I realised that my branding was completely out of whack. Id created a logo which was great, but it was far too clean and precise for the new JoSuppose – Now JoSuppose was messy, undefinable, creative and definitely a lot stranger than before… and my branding needs to show this. In December 2019, as JoSuppose turned 1 year old, I released my new branding into the world, and everyone loved it!

Now I spend my days marketing, marketing, promoting, advertising, and marketing – just pushing and tugging at new methods to get JoSuppose out there into the world.. and it's picking up traction! I know that with time this brand will snowball and become great… I just need to keep going!

My mission for JoSuppose Is to cultivate creativity – not just in myself but in the young creatives around me. I want JoSuppose to be something that means letting go of inhibitions and just unleashing your inner messy 5-year-old. I want JoSuppose to be pure creative freedom, opportunity to grow as an artist and above all I want JoSuppose to always be unexpected. something completely new and strange and wonderful. JoSuppose.

I would love to hear about your stories and your missions! Please reply to this email with your brands – how you’ve grown them and your goals! With your permission, I will share them in my next e-mail!

My advice to you if you’re trying to start up your own brand/business/project: DO NOT GIVE UP! It can be a slow process and you might not see results very soon but whatever you do, do not give up! It’s alright to take a break but remember every little thing that you do will push you forward and make your tomorrow a little easier! Don’t let your anxieties tell you, you aren’t good enough for this! You are and only time will tell!

The best from JoSuppose this week:

I thought I’d change things up a bit with some of my digital designs for Redbubble (kiddy sizes also available)

Sunset Cacti – My favourite of the week

Athletic Cacti – you’ve overwatered your plants and now they’re running away!

Luminescent house plants – I think its time to wake up, your plants are glowing…

I’ve also started getting back into embroidery, these will all be available on Etsy very soon!

Zama – a work in progress

Bitten and Burnt – Mopani leaves from 2018

Goodbye for now! Stay indoors and stay creative! 


Jo Bert

Owner of JoSuppose

Artist | Designer | Mess-Maker


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