Self-portrait in fine-liner with florals, January 2022.
Currently based in Norfolk, 'Joe Fear Illustration' first launched in 2019, after Joe was accepted into the Barbican's young creatives programme. This was the first time he felt like entering the art world was accessible to him, as he never had formal art training at higher education level and considers himself a self-taught artist.
Joe is a fine-liner artist specialising in detailed works on the themes of femininity, the body, symbolism and the natural world. You will find intricate florals a theme throughout his work. His two biggest design inspirations have different artistic sensibilities: the poet, designer and social activist William Morris and the decadence of Aubrey Beardsley's japanese woodcut-inspired illustrations from the aesthetic movement.
He loves graphic novels, especially independant comix and has authored two complete comics, Polygraph & Dear Anna. Both works incorporate the use of the collective, creating a mixed tapestry of voices and allowing others to narrate their own experiences. Polygraph (2016) is a short comic exploring ethical non-monogamy and the perils of sex-positive narratives. Dear Anna (2018) is a longer, patchwork memorial of Anna Dark, made for the Young Barbican Exhibition Common Ground, exploring the collective grieving process and temporary communities. Both are personal works with sensitive content. For a copy of Polygraph or Dear Anna (for friends of Anna) please email me. He exhibited further comic-inspired artworks at the exhibition 'Out in the Picture' in February 2022, an event organised by artist Rachel Collier-Wilson. The above self-portrait was shown at this event.
Joe specialises in LGBTQIA+ support work and inclusion consultancy, and some of his projects are informed by this. In 2019 Joe was awarded a funding grant from Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs, who in collaboration with the Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning team ran the Big Pitch Event 2019. This funded his project Pride in Progress, art workshops for LGBT+ youth groups, which ran throughout 2019-2020, but was put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information check out the 'Workshops' section.
When he isn't drawing, Joe is busy working full time as an LGBTQ+ trainer and consultant in the local community, studying for an additional workplace diploma, cooking up something fun in the kitchen, listening to podcasts, upcycling odd bits of furniture, cuddling his beloved earless cat Vincent (van gogh), or referring to himself in third person on the internet.