Joanna Graham (known as Little Jo) is a self taught artist from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

Jo has had a love for art and creativity since childhood, and started her artistic career in 2004 when she got a job in a Tattoo studio in the town. She worked there for several years as the receptionist and body piercer, and designed and drew up custom tattoo designs and cover ups. She decided in 2015 to leave and pursue her own artistic path after discovering a love of drawing portraits which lead to her taking commissions.

Jo’s passion for old keys, which are a signature feature of her original pieces, comes from her childhood memories of home and places she grew up in. The keys also serve as a powerful symbol for expressing her voice, authenticity, and thoughts and feelings around life experiences that have lead to a more positive outlook.

She continues to hold a passion for producing lifelike portraits which is a large basis of her commission works. She loves to tune in to her subjects in a bid to not only capture likeness but also character.

Jo is also heavily inspired by the historical market town she grew up in and the quirky old Victorian house in which she spent her earliest years. The history of her home felt magical and mysterious to her which sparked her imagination, and helped to create an important thread that runs through her artwork. Jo’s favourite medium to work in is Pencil. She also paints in Acrylic, Watercolour and utilises mixed media.

Positive mindset, good mental well-being, and following ones own truth is something Jo feels very passionate about. Through her artwork she hopes to offer others another perspective to help encourage a more positive understanding of our own emotions and feelings, and the importance of being true to ones self.

Jo has spoken about her artwork on Radio shows, The Midweek Morning Show with Adrian Copping on RWSfm, BBC Upload with Sophie Little on BBC Radio Suffolk and Norfolk, and Women Making Waves on Cambridge 105 Radio. She has also had featured interviews in the Cambridge Independent, Bury Free Press, East Anglian Daily Times newspapers, and Velvet Magazine.

Artist Statement

As an Artist, my mission is to promote positive mindset and mental well-being, and to help inspire people to believe in and unlock their own self worth, to fully embrace their true self.

By sharing my own truth through my artwork, I hope to help inspire people to liberate themselves of limiting beliefs, embrace their authenticity and follow their own truth, as it is my belief we all hold the key to unlocking our full potential and to become the best person we can be, without becoming stuck in fear or comfort zones that do not allow us to grow. We just need to learn to love and value our selves.

My Art and its message helps people by showing them that they themselves are the Key to unlocking their own magic. The purpose of my art is to symbolise that we all hold the key to unlocking our authentic self and lifes purpose through our loves and passions. I feel that Keys symbolise not only this, but choices and decisions we can make as to which doors we can unlock on our path to achieve personal growth and the life we truly desire.

My hope is that my work will help people to believe that they deserve to live a life they love, and that is what we are here actually for, instead of following a path that doesn’t fullfil them in order to serve the expectations of others or live in the mindset that keeps them stuck in their fears and comfort zone. To follow a path of happiness and fulfilment.