Kerry Joy Connor Interview


Kerry is he creator behind Paper Joy, based in East Yorkshire. Working from her home studio and fitting time around her 3 year old Kerry creates bright and colourful artwork with a kindness / happiness vibe.

Tell us a fun fact about you I am a twin! No we're not telepathic but that would sound much more fun.

How did you get into illustration? I was always creative but for some reason choose to do a degree in fashion & textile management, I then realised it wasn't the career for me. Whilst in London I did an illustration and design course, which is where I found my love for creating again. From there I did work for other companies, designing toys, products etc.

Who or what inspires you the most? I always say Max (my 3 year old) is my muse. I've really driven by the thought of living something good behind for him, so if I can make the world a little tiny bit better with my artwork then it's all for him.

What does a typical day look like for you? There is no typical day. I start at 7am ish and from there I try to tick off my to do list. Firstly I'll get my online orders done (sometimes Max is at pre-school and sometimes he's not), I'll sometimes have client work to get stuck into like creating a brand identity or doing an illustration to go on a toy for example. I might give up trying to work with a toddler around and then come back to my desk at 7pm to work late and then by 10pm I'm usually done.

What do you do when you have a creative block? My work is mostly computer based so I'll usually throw it out the window (joking!). I walk away from the screen and start to draw instead. Or one thing I've started to do recently is I force myself to notice things around me that I otherwise never notice, like watching rain or listening to the sounds around me. Then that helps me refocus.


Top three clients you've worked with? I can't pick a top three because I've been so lucky to work with some wonderful small businesses who are part of my community. Every time I've worked with a small business it's been a dream, they pay you on time (honestly!) and I've given them a little seed to help grow their business with a logo or a product design.

What tools (digital or not!) do you use to create your work? I work in Adobe Illustrator on my mac. I sketch out ideas in my notebook and refine them digitally. I'd love to say something cool like I use a chisel and a hammer to create my work!

What's your favourite resource for inspiration? If you live with a 3 year old like me then inspiration can come from anywhere. They're always looking at things from new angles so a toddler mindset is my best inspiration.

Do you have any tips for artists thinking of doing freelance? Be proactive, make a portfolio and always get clients to sign a contract when you're starting out because I've had one or two people disappear.

What would your dream project be? I'd like to do one big collaboration with other artists. Maybe a book full of kindness inspired artwork from all kinds of different people? Can someone make that happen please.

How can fans keep up-to-date with your work? Instagram


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