Self-portrait in fine-liner with florals, January 2022. 

Joe is a fine-liner artist specialising in detailed works on the themes of femininity, the body, symbolism and the natural world. Intricate florals are a theme throughout my work. My 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. 

Based in Norfolk, 'Joe Fear Illustration' launched in 2019, after I was accepted into the Barbican's young creatives programme. This was the first time I felt like entering the art world was accessible to me, as I never had  formal art training at a higher education institution. 

I love graphic novels, especially independant comix. I have 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. I 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. 

Outside of art, I work in sexual health and LGBTQ+ consultancy. Some of my projects are informed by this. In 2019 I 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 my project Pride in Progress, art workshops for queer youth groups, which ran throughout 2019-2020, but was put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information check out the 'Workshops' section.  

Artists muse poses for a candid portrait