Joanna Henly is the creative tour de force behind the Miss led studio - working on large scale murals, digital brand work and traditional illustrations. We caught up with Joanna to talk about her creative journey and the materials she uses. Find out what she loves about Liquitex paints and watch her take you through the beginning stages of creating your own illustrative ‘ Miss Led’ mural at home.
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat. Firstly, could you introduce yourself and your creative practice?
Hey there thank you, my name is Joanna Henly I’ve worked under the name of Miss Led for almost over a decade, before attempting :) to return to my real name on creating Miss Led Studio in 2018. My creative practice ranges from large scale mural pieces, digital and traditional illustration work and global brand activations and campaigns.
I’ve also offer creative mentoring within the creative community since 2019 which I’m very passionate about.
Your use of colour is simply wonderful, could we talk about your use of coloured grounds in your pieces – what is it you enjoy about working on top of oranges, reds or pinks and how does it affect your process?
Oh thank you, I’m very vocal about the fact that when I starting my practice many years ago I really struggled with colour. For me it’s something that’s really evolved through working with Liquitex paints on large scale mural pieces.
I chose my palette through the soft body and heavy body colour ranges and rarely mix. This has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and bring strong colours that pop and ignite my visual stories.
Let’s talk materials! What is it you love about Liquitex? What about its properties help you to create your work?
As mentioned on the mural tutorial, the fluidity and the quality of the opacities is something that really works for me. It really elevates my expression of line and creates a clean finish. There’s something that’s so beautiful even in its flatness as the almost satin finish is wonderful when it hits different light.
And what else do you use in your practice?
For this project I’m introducing a Liquitex medium which I’m really excited about. I want to try to challenge my tonal range with using a medium, before introducing any other colours. The one big reference of this project being traditional Portuguese tiles.
It’s a difficult time for us all at the moment, with lockdowns and being separated from those we love. How have you found the last year has impacted you creatively?
Yes, it really has been difficult for the creative community.
To keep motivated I’ve been creating the space to explore my creativity further, to use the time to ‘play’. Which as adults and often as artists (especially artists that are making a business with their art), struggle to find that time. I’ve presented virtual drawing and painting workshops, alongside creative mentoring. It has been a really positive injection this past year. Coming from a background of collaboration and creative exchange, it’s a natural trajectory. I see others develop their practice and engage in new ways of thinking and in turn I feel very charged by empowering others to grow.
And do you have any advice for those who might be struggling to stay motivated at the moment?
Yeah I do, we need to remember that even though things often feel like they are moving fast - we have to gain awareness of the huge amount of time we have now won - since having the restrictions to normal life in place. Appreciate that and view it like you are winning back time for your creativity. As precious time we won’t have like this again.
In a more practical sense I advise my students and my mentees to set aside time every day, even if it only 15 minutes to begin with, to just create something. Even if it’s just a stream of consciousness and intuitive drawing to start building momentum.
We can’t wait for the next few months of exciting projects planned. Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself and your work to our community!
You’re so welcome and thank you for inviting me to share this project with your audience.