Miss Led is the moniker used by illustrator and artist Jo Henly, whose work ranges from packaging to portraiture, and from fashion illustration to wall murals. Raised in South Wales, she’s lived in the East End of London for the last 15 years. Her career has taken in a wide range of creative activities, from teaching Public Art HND and running workshops in London and Europe, through to launching her own fashion label.
Making art is what drives her, and she needs to have a pencil, pen or brush in her hand every day, and to be working on a new image – whether it ends up on a digital screen or on the side of a building. She’s particularly inspired by 90s street art, Jamie Hewlett’s Tank Girl, Pre-Raphaelite paintings, fashion photography and being surrounded by plant life.
Studying foundation at Trefforest, Jo went on to do a Visual Art degree at Portsmouth and then a Post Diploma in Public Art at Middlesex University in London.
Often, a figurative piece will start off with a photography session, taking pictures of friends in the right poses, for reference. With some sketching, Miss Led comes up with the composition then begins adding details that will bring a narrative element to the piece.
Usually things begin as pencil on paper, and these drawings are scanned in and manipulated in Photoshop. Recently, she acquired a Wacom Cintiq so sketching can now be done digitally – the sketches can then be worked on as vector or bitmap images.
Her larger scale work is often done on walls. The study is created in the studio on the drawing board, and using various techniques the line work is scaled up and transferred.
She is also found working in front of an audience, either creating large scale works or live portraiture for events and advertising campaigns.
Miss Led’s style is feminine and bold, featuring arresting portraiture and adventurous line work. Her fashion illustration is very line heavy with mixed textures and abstract colours. There is plenty of focus on details such as hair and pattern. Meanwhile, her wall murals are psychedelic, playful and colourful, with block colours.
Secret Wars 2007 - Global
Secret Wars 2008 - Europe
Best of Illustration 2011 - AOI