Joe Fear is currently based in Norwich, Norfolk. Joe Fear Illustration first launched in 2019, after Joe was accepted into the Barbican's young creatives programme. This was the first time Joe felt like entering the art world was accessible to him, as he never formally studied art past school and considers himself a self-taught artist.
Joe is predominantly a fine-liner artist who creates detailed works exploring the themes of femininity, the body, queerness and the natural world. Intricate floral work is a theme you will find throughout his work, as well as modern monochromatic versions of more traditional imagery such as patterns found in lithographic studies, textiles and the aesthetic movement. His style lends itself to a variety of commissioned work including tattoos and textiles.
Joe 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.
Joe is very involved in LGBTQIA+ community support work 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 is funding his project Pride in Progress, art workshops for LGBT+ youth groups, which is running throughout 2019-2020. For more information on this project, check out the 'Workshops' section.
When he isn't drawing, Joe is busy working as an LGBT+ trainer in the local community, 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.