Meet Joanna Hawley


by Kelly Anne Bonner If we’re sure about one thing, it’s this—Joanna Hawley is not one to be pigeon-holed. Professionally, she’s been a product designer for Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and Blissliving Home. Then, her creative outlet for all non-work related design, Jojotastic, grew from just a side project into a full-fledged website. From there, she’s been able to contribute to household names such as Oh Joy! and Design for Mankind. Oh, and in the process, she’s managed to garner over four million followers on Pinterest. With such an impressive array of projects, we were intrigued to find out just how the designer/blogger (and self-proclaimed cat lady) finds time for, well, just about everything. In fact, if not for her blog, her claim to fame might just be living the model creative life—finding time to pursue passions while maintaining a career (and having that passion sort of turn into one!). In our exclusive exchange with Joanna Hawley here, read on to find out the serendipitous way she got into blogging, the blogs she reads in her spare time, and just why it’s called Jojotastic.

All photos courtesy of Joanna Hawley via Jojotastic and

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Where did you come up with the name Jojotastic? The name comes from a really weird place... It was my AOL screen name when I was a teenager! I used it all through college and, when it was time to name my blog, I felt like it was the perfect name.
How did you get into blogging? I had recently been laid off, so I reached out to Joy Cho of Oh Joy! and asked if I could write for her...and she said yes!
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Where do you get the inspiration for your posts? Anywhere — Pinterest, magazines, wandering through San Francisco. I keep a notebook where I quickly jot down ideas for posts, so I am always referring back to that. How would you describe your aesthetic? My aesthetic has always been clean and modern, but lately it's veering a bit more bohemian and global. I've been adding in touches from my travels and I think it's making my aesthetic look more evolved and mature.
You’re a blogger, but also a product designer who’s worked for Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and Blissliving Home. What’s the difference between the creative process for designing for a large corporate brand versus designing for yourself on the blog? (Or would you say there is one?) I always think of my design hand as one side of my brain and the blog as another. My design aesthetic veers naturally in the direction of companies I've worked for, whereas I am personally drawn to another aesthetic totally... that's why Jojotastic exists! Do you prefer one over the other? I find that both sides of my brain complement each other and I truly believe that always having my eyes open for Jojotastic makes me a better designer. Above: Some of her work for Anthropologie. 
What is your design philosophy and how did you come up with it? Oh, wow... I'm not sure if I even really have one besides surrounding myself with things that I love. My philosophy is eternally evolving.  
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Has the internet/technology changed the way you approach design? How? I still create artwork by hand and maintain many, many sketchbooks. But when it's time to take my work to another level, I always turn to Photoshop. You're just able to do so much more! Above: A moodboard created by Joanna, username Jojotastic
As a blogger, what blogs do you read?  I really love Design Crush, The City Sage, and Clementine Daily. What would be your dream collaboration as a blogger OR designer? (Or both!) I'm a huge fan of Free People and have been dying to do lifestyle shoots with them.  
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What advice would you offer to someone just starting out as a blogger? As a product designer? (Is the advice different?)   I'd suggest staying true to your aesthetic as much as possible because that's what makes you stand out from the crowd. Always be open to feedback and collaborations, but at the end of the day, make sure you are proud of every single thing you're creating.

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