Artist in Focus: Bykerlass and the Modern Icons
The Modern Icons cards are a collaboration between Cath Tate Cards and Geordie illustrator Jo Burrows, who runs her own company specialising in regional cards and gifts called Wot Ma Like.
Jo was brought up in Byker Newcastle. From an early age she had huge creative flair and her dolls were the best dressed in Byker! She trained as a textile designer and went on to work for several big high street stores as a designer before working with design agents to sell her work worldwide. Jo has always been very proud of her North East heritage and has used the design name BYKERLASS for many years.
The Modern Icons range came from a series of celebrity illustrations Jo originally put on her Instagram account. She got an instant reaction to the illustrations and starting putting them on wooden keyrings to sell to shops. Shops began requesting particular icons and this resulted in quite a library of characters from literary figures to iconic pop stars. Cath Tate Cards heard about these fantastic keyrings and approached Jo about transforming them into a witty card range.
Each famous face is hand drawn in Jo’s unmissable illustrative style and bears an uncanny resemblance to the ‘icon’ they represent. Jo’s brilliant illustrative style and sense of humour is what drew Cath Tate Cards to her, which made for a perfect pairing!