Born in Australia, Jo Anne Hook dreamed of becoming an illustrator of children’s books. At a young age, she began by sketching horses and then developed her painting techniques, consistently winning prizes at local art shows. She studied drawing, graphic design, printmaking, pottery, and photography at Shepparton College and Swinburne College, Melbourne. Her first exhibition was held in 1974 at the age of 22. She studied printmaking for a time at Prahan Technical College. Later she traveled to Europe to exhibit her work in various galleries and worked as a freelance illustrator for national publications such as Women’s Weekly, Reader’s Digest, and Women’s Day. In 1980, her poster commissioned by the Sydney Royal Easter Show won a prestigious award.
Jo Anne sometimes works with colored inks, but usually her work is done with a combination of acrylics and gouache, creating a glowing, vibrant, almost three-dimensional effect. As an accomplished graphic artist, she has continued to create interpretations of her imagery in various original graphic media, and personally supervises the creation of every lithograph or serigraph she makes. More recently, as she has won more awards, Jo Anne has begun receiving commissions from international hotels, Australian Airlines, and IBM Japan. Due to the demanding techniques she employs in her paintings, Jo Anne is only able to create about 50 paintings per year, keeping the demand for her works in all media very high.