Artist & Craftsman Supply is proud to be a 100% employee-owned company! Our stores are run by passionate artists, crafters, and creatives who are committed to supporting you on your artistic journey. Everyone has the ability to create art, and our knowledgeable staff are here to help you find the perfect materials to bring your vision to life.
At Artist & Craftsman Supply Seattle, we're lucky to have Jo Estey on our team. With decades of experience as an illustrator, Jo is a highly skilled watercolorist whose playful art style is instantly recognizable. His watercolor paintings frequently feature whimsical creatures and quirky kittens engaged in playful activities or posing for a portrait! When you're ready to explore the world of watercolors, Jo will be happy to show you the ropes! Our knowledgeable team is keen to help you express your creativity in multiple mediums and find the ideal art materials for your practice. Keep reading to discover more about Jo and their work!
Who are you, and what do you do?
Jo: I'm an artist and illustrator and I draw inspiration from the worlds of science fiction and horror, the beauty of our natural world, and the undeniable charm of little black kittens! I am inspired by these things and create surreal characters set in natural and unnatural settings. I live in Seattle and have been creating art for over 30 years. I have an Associate of Sciences degree in design and illustration that helped me develop fundamental practices I still use today. Also, I recently rescued two black cat sisters, Lulu and Phranc!
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Jo: I admire many artists throughout history who draw from darker themes, but Remedios Varo, Aubrey Beardsley, and Edward Gorey have influenced me the most.
Who are your favorite artists local to you?
Jo: I've been lucky to call Seattle my home for the past 30 years, and the local artists here really inspire me. A few of my favorites include: Angelita Martinez, Jordan Goshe, Rhodora Jacobs, Braden Duncan, Katrina Haffner, and Seth Goodkind.
What are your favorite art materials to create with?
Jo: I work primarily in watercolor and ink but have dabbled in many mediums over the years. Daniel Smith Watercolors are my favorite paint brand because I love their PrimaTek color line made from stunning natural pigments. My most frequently used colors from Daniel Smith are Moonglow, Lunar Blue, Serpentine, Rose of Ultramarine, Quinacridone Coral, Amethyst, McCracken Black, Cobalt Teal, and Bronzite. I use a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for inking my work after laying down the color because it's waterproof, and I like the variation in line width I can achieve. For substrates, I enjoy working with cold-press Fluid 100 Watercolor Blocks, Shizen Watercolor Paper, and Ampersand Claybord.
Jo's favorite Daniel Smith Watercolors left to right: Rose of Ultramarine, Quinacridone Coral, Bronzite Genuine, Serpentine Genuine, Cobalt Teal Blue, Lunar Blue, Amethyst Genuine, Moonglow, and McCracken Black
Do you listen to anything while you work?
Jo: One of the things I have been really enjoying listening to lately is the amusingly named Spotify playlist, "Joanna Newsom is not on Spotify."
What is the best advice you've ever been given?
Jo: Everyone should do art if they enjoy it. The best advice a teacher ever gave me was practice makes better. Also, let the watercolor do some of the work for you, don't try to force an outcome.
Are you a Jo Estey fan? See more of his work on social media, or purchase fine art prints via INPRNT below!