About Jo Earl Art
Hi there, I’m Jo! My husband Freddy and I set up joearl.co.uk in August 2020 - we make a pretty good team. I do all the painting, and Freddy looks after the website. We both work on the logistics, everything from building custom boxes to booking the couriers and dropping the artworks off to be dispatched.
I’ve been painting with oils since 2004, earning a Fine Art degree from Bucks New University. Having experimented with numerous subjects, I fell in love with landscapes and seascapes mainly due to their magnificent skies: their colours, unpredictability, and vastness.
Oil paints take longer to dry but are ideal for building up layers. The complexity of landscapes and seascapes lends themselves perfectly to oil paints, allowing me to bring the subject's depth, complexity and emotion.
When I am painting, I become so enthralled in the composition that it is an excellent way to self-reflect and release stress. However, it can be stress-inducing when I’m not happy with a particular aspect of a painting.
Becoming a part-time artist
In March 2017, we moved to our first home in Buckinghamshire. Once we settled in, we looked up how to sell art online. After a few months of research and several online applications, in May 2018, I got accepted as an artist on Artfinder.com.
At first, we were impatiently awaiting our first order. After a few weeks, I started to think this would not happen. But then, on 14th July 2018, it happened. My first order! For the next few months, I steadily started selling more.
By 2020 we understood there would be seasonality, like many other online goods. There would be periods where we might not sell any pieces in a month, but then there would be weeks with 3 or 4 sales.
At this point, we had experience with all aspects of online selling, from marketing to customs documentation and even a handful of returns due to courier damage (we now have a shortlist of who we use). So we thought we could do everything ourselves. So we did.
When the global pandemic hit, Freddy decided to build the first version of the website on WordPress (he asked me to write that, I still don’t know what it exactly means). Following a few short weeks, we launched joearl.co.uk.
When we launched the website's first version, we would pass the savings from Artfinder's commission onto our customers.
Becoming a full-time artist
In April 2021, Freddy and I moved into our second home, where I finally had my own space to paint, which wasn’t our dining table! I even managed to have a small exhibition there. Everything was going well. I got into a groove between home improvements and my full-time job as a sales assistant, and art sales were going steadily.
In September 2021, I was faced with a dilemma. The company I had worked for for 17 years was restructuring their contracts. I was worried that I would have to change jobs and not have enough time to dedicate to continuing my passion.
Following weeks of debating what to do with my family, I decided to go for it. I decided to go full-time with my painting career!
I started to paint more and post more regularly on Instagram. Thanks to the tremendous support from my loved ones and the online community, it has gone so well.
There is still a lot of work to do, but we have just released the second iteration of the website on Shopify and are looking to expand one step at a time.