Hello! My name is Jean, owner and creative behind the stationery brand Ionna Marie Designs.
My journey began back in late 2016 when the business was essentially textile and craft based (hence my first logo attempt below). With a mixture of sewn and hand knitted home accents alongside illustrated card designs I had drawn on my background of art and textiles and decided to explore it all!
In need of focus and a clear statement in early 2019 I decided to pair everything back and focus on my art to develop my illustrative style, moving away from the abstract fashion sketches to a more figurative silhouette. These characterful images have slowly evolved and can now be purchased as prints and notebooks. 2020 has been a year of growth and discovery and felt that it was time to upgrade my business brand too, giving it a fresh look to match the fun and fresh merchandise on offer.
Growing up in a West Indian household in the 70s meant that there were always an abundance of pattern, and colour. My mother was trained as a seamstress and my father a talented draughtsman, so I am lucky to have inherited both of these abilities which have proved invaluable throughout my career.
My work reflects my black Caribbean and British heritage and is heavily influenced by art, fashion, design and nature, my passion and constant throughout my journey is my love of fashion illustration which I use to create very chic and unique afrocentric characters.
These elegantly illustrated black men, women and children bring a modern and needed injection of diversity to an industry that has lacked representation until recent times.
For someone who would describe themselves as being completely computer illiterate I have learned so much on this journey. Having grown up in an era when marker pens where pretty advanced things have come a long way!
As a child I would save pocket money to purchase sketchbooks and coloured pencils and search through my mothers Littlewood's catalogue for faces and silhouettes on which to hang the clothing designs I had created in my head.
Fast forward to the present day and I now use a tablet to create hand drawn digital artwork and search magazines and google for hair, face, body shape and design inspiration. Working on multiple layers to produce a final finished product that can be used across various mediums.
I had dreams of being a fashion designer and /or illustrator and all those years later I feel I'm finally getting there.