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Q&A with Jannie Ho

Illustrator specializing in the children's market

My name is Jannie Ho and I'm an illustrator specializing in the children's market. I earned a BFA in illustration at Parsons in New York. Afterwards, I worked as a designer at Nickelodeon and Scholastic, then eventually an associate art director at TIME Magazine for kids. I decided to leave in 2007 to illustrate full-time. Since then I've created art for many children's books, toys, apps  and many products, mostly for kids. I'm also known as Chicken Girl here and there.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I've always liked to draw and create things at a young many many artists out there. I didn't know a career in illustration existed until I was in art school. I originally went for fashion design- which was the only career I knew existed at that time related to art. Eventually becoming an illustrator was an obvious path for me. I've always created art that are a bit more fun and innocent, so going into the children's market was an easy choice.

What tools do you use to organize your work?

I don't have a fancy system to organize my work. But I use Adobe Illustrator for almost everything I need to do- create art, invoices, and design work. And yes- I'm a mac user all the way!

What is your ideal work environment?

Currently I'm in a temporary space in the corner of my bedroom. So I would love a separate space just for my studio with lots of natural light. It would have to be a home studio or if I dream a little bigger, a little cottage just outside the house! And lots of surface space to have multiple projects going on. I've always enjoyed working alone, but I do need a little bit of background noise- so I listen to podcasts while I work. I usually like to listen to something non-art related. Comedian podcasts are usually my go-to.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

I create mostly work for children so my inspiration now comes from my preschooler. It is a little cliche but I definitely get a better sense of what is needed and/or currently missing in the children's market. I also enjoy looking at trends and keeping up with what is being produced out there. It was not always the case but I've now embrace trends and will decide on my own whether I will incorporate it into my work or not. As for color palettes, I love for inspiration.

Who are the creative people you admire most?

Lately its been people who I've come to meet personally; the ones I know who work hard and able to produce so much while balancing so many other things in their lives.