Meet Jo Allen: LA Mama, Author, and Illustrator

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Jo Allen

“Make time for yourself and stay connected to your core identity.”

What do you do and what led you to this career?

I was a sustainability / ecology consultant and always did art on the side. With the birth of my first, I wanted a more flexible career. I started posting my art everyday on Instagram. That lead to an amazing opportunity with a publisher who combined my background in ecology with art to create beautiful coffee table coloring books on native California flora and fauna. It's now been over 3 years and I now work full-time bringing visions to life in ink, watercolor, graffiti, and gold. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that come my way every day!

What is the name and age of your little ones?

Alexa is 7 years old, and Sierra is 5 years old.

What has been your biggest career achievement thus far?

Leaning into mediums that called to me and that were a departure from my ink/watercolor work. I am now creating some badass, spiritual jewelry in gold and doing quite a bit of graffiti work!

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a mother?

Nurturing these little souls to be whoever they want to be! At this point I have a mini geologist/artist and a sporty paleontologist.

And what is the most challenging?

So much! Having to go in and out of a creative groove to make dinner, pick up kids, do homework, and balance all my roles. I have dreams of doing large pieces and sculpture, but those dreams will have to wait. I have to remind myself all the time that I am just doing my best.

What is your best advice for someone new to your industry?

Just keep the creative juices flowing. Practice tapping into your creativity everyday. That can mean doing an illustration, a doodle, watching an inspiring film, putting together some groovy outfits, going to a museum, or a hike.

What is your best advice for a new mother?

Make time for yourself and stay connected to your core identity!

What's next for you? Do you have an exciting projects coming up?

I am working on a couple book projects, experimenting, and expanding my jewelry line. I am so excited to work on new collaborations with kindred spirit brands.

Follow Jo at @dirty_eraser