First-Person with Illustrator and Gobi March 2024 Volunteer Manager Jo Scott

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My first love was Snoopy, and I would spend hours drawing cartoons and making greeting cards for my friends and family. When I grew up, I decided I wanted to become a greeting card designer. I studied at York College of Art when the road to illustration was not as clearly mapped as today, where everything you need to know is now available on YouTube!

Jo Scott

I spent many years working in a ‘proper’ job in London, where I was always the person who drew a caricature of a colleague or birthday cards. It was when I painted my mother-in-law's dog as a present and other people started to ask me to paint theirs that my life as a pet portrait artist and illustrator started.

I illustrated a range of greeting cards in 2014, launched my design business in 2015, and left the corporate world behind. This enabled me and my husband to travel more and work from locations across the world.

Today, I provide illustration work for Moonpig and Thortful, and my work is licensed by many UK businesses. I also undertake private illustration work and pet portrait commissions, some by past RacingThePlanet participants! I’ve won awards for my work, including best new product design at the Spring Fair, Scotland, and a National Calendar Award for the best charitable calendar illustration.

A couple of years after I started my own business, my husband Dean started taking part in some of the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathons: the Namib Race twice, the Atacama Crossing three times, and the Gobi March. He will take part in the Gobi March again next June. I will join too, as the Volunteer Manager. I’m a strong believer in the law of attraction, and these races attract a wide range of like minded people who all have amazing stories to tell, and who like to hang out in remote parts of the world experiencing the outdoors.

Jo Scott's Gobi March 2023 Illustration

As we’ve travelled and taken part in more races, my work seems to have been influenced. I’ve been commissioned to make maps of London and Gloucester in the UK. Two campsites in Portugal fell in love with my work and asked me to map their businesses. I think being asked to map the Gobi March and the other races for RacingThePlanet really brings all my favourite things together, hopefully resulting in maps that really capture the experience and memories of each race.

Find out more about Jo Scott here.