My name is Jo Hards, self representing artist and certified EBSQ member. Currently based in Cheshire, I grew up in Yorkshire, in the North of England, where I was raised in a family of artists and musicians. Mostly self taught, I briefly attended art school in my teens. However, I felt that life outside of education had more to teach me at that time. From an early age, I was never happier than when I was lost in my own fantasy world, which I loved to express through music and art.
My work is influenced by myths and fairy-tales, nature and environmental issues, Gothic and alternative culture, and Sixties subculture. I have enjoyed working in various media over the years, including acrylics, graphite, coloured pencil, pastels and ink. I now paint mostly in acrylics, although other media sometimes feature in my artwork. In 2011, I also began making Gothic themed, cloth art dolls. Having been vegan since 2010, the documentary ‘Earthlings‘ convinced me that giving up meat and dairy products was not enough. I wanted to show that beautiful, handmade, Gothic art dolls could be created without exploiting animals. I began making vegan friendly Gothic dolls for friends and family, then, over time, friends of friends started to ask where they could get my dolls, and the website was born.
Today, my Strange Little Girls are loved by collectors all over the world. The original, rather dark, button eyed, rag dolls have been joined by more feminine and ethereal art dolls with hand drawn features, including bohemian and faery dolls. Colourful fairy and fantasy paintings are also available. Fine art originals and cloth art dolls can be found in my online store at www.strange-little-girls.co.uk