I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at 21 escaped from the “City of Gold” to beautiful Cape Town, where I raised and nurtured two children and a Corporate Training Consultancy. It took me 30 years to finally take my dreams more seriously (and myself less seriously) and start painting and drawing professionally. I illustrate children’s books in every medium and my career has taught me how to be versatile, practical, deadline-driven and consumer-focused.

My childhood garden had wonderful rockeries in which I imagined I was either a caveman, an explorer or a vet, and I’d spend days in my secret glade, with books and my sketchbook, entering the fantasy world that I now invite children into with my illustrations.

I’ve been a part-time musician and singer and love walks in Cape Town’s natural splendors. My art is whimsical, romantic and colourful, indicative of my nature as a Romantic Pragmatist. I observe nature and human nature close-up, with my art and illustrations making lightly satirical commentary on the mystery and contradictions that we live with every day.

If you want to see my more serious art, visit www.joannacookeart.com

Children’s Book Illustration Commissions welcomed.