To create her weird and wobbly 3D characters, Joanne Joo puts herself in their shoes

Finding beauty in the everyday, the Bangkok-based illustrator is attracted to “extremely simple stories that carry bright insights or rich emotions”.

27 March 2023


When forming her wonderfully weird 3D scenes, the illustrator Joanne Joo will often find herself entering the headspace of the characters she creates, “anything from an old man to a wild cat sitting atop someone’s roof”. This is because Joanne gives her characters more credit than most other illustrators might do: “I often believe the figures in my work know better about what’s going on than I do,” the illustrator laughs. Resulting from this approach are weird, wobbly and blocky figures devoid of any neck that appear made from clay rather than digitally crafted. And what Joanne’s figures may lack in neck, they make up for in bountiful personality and character.

Initially, Joanne was drawn to using digital brushes with “heavy textures and details”. But, after delving into the world of 3D modelling, this was the moment that really “transformed” her practice. “Now, I still paint the same way as before, with the 3D models becoming my new canvas," Joanne says. “I truly love seeing how smoothly they blend into each other.” If you’re wanting to see Joanne’s work at its best, take a moment with her rendition of crowds in front of the Mona Lisa, a wonderful miss-match of selfie sticks turning a recognisable (albeit frustrating) scene into something truly charming.


Joanne Joo: Traffic in Bangkok (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2022)


Joanne Joo: 2023’s Full Package (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)


Joanne Joo: A good morning (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)


Joanne Joo: The Crowd (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)


Joanne Joo: French Diet (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2022)


Joanne Joo: Heors’ Journey for WePresent by WeTransfer (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)


Joanne Joo: Mr. Bob (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)


Joanne Joo: Sento for The Tokyoiter (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)


Joanne Joo: The Pink Dinosaur (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2022)


Joanne Joo: Summer Floating (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2022)

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Joanne Joo: The Mona Lisa (Copyright © Joanne Joo, 2023)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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