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Joanna Henly

A multi-disciplinary Artist, Founder of ML Studio and Creative Consultant

Joanna Henly - She/Her 

A multi-disciplinary Artist, Founder of ML Studio and Creative Consultant


I’m Jo, formerly (within the art & design world), known as ‘Miss Led’.  I’m a multi-disciplinary artist, founder, of ML Studio and creative consultant

After 20 years of working and living in London, I now reside in the beautiful city of Lisbon. I would say I most definitely sit in the introvert-extrovert camp. Being an artist I spend a good deal of time alone; solitary confinement and spending days in my studio is my jam.  

Though I view creativity as a form of energy exchange, I’m passionate about the activation process where play and conversation happens. This I channel through collaborative working with small creative teams and consulting with clients and visual artists.

In addition to that, I’m supercharged when presenting to large audiences and creating large scale installations in live settings. Even if it involves me starting out shaking. 


My background is in Fine Art & Public Art engagement and exhibition. This, combined with 15 years of commissioned projects as an illustrator, muralist and installation and activation creative has brought me many exceptional partnerships with premium and luxury brands. These predominantly exist in the world of fashion, beauty and technology.

My role, in this capacity, is to bring something beautiful, innovative and playful to a story, a campaign, environment, an event or product.  Often focusing on female role models, themes of strength, identity, play and transformation are concepts that I continue to explore.

These are especially seen within my painting. I’ve been lucky to have my work showcased in galleries all over the world including venues such as Somerset House and The Saatchi Gallery. I can stretch studio painting sessions into days and get a real buzz out of that space.

Sharing ideas, being creativity agile on a studio set with other people can be a powerful starting place.  So I’ll work closely with my models or pull together small production teams for larger projects to unfold.

I began educating and inspiring others to produce art through facilitation workshops in the early 00’s. From refuge centres, hospitals and community centres, I worked hands-on with many different groups. This was a time when I was seriously blocked myself and unsure where I wanted to take my work and career.  It changed my life.

The experience really expanded my understanding of art, its importance within a human connection and in community.  Sharing with others a process, a new way of thinking or gifting them new materials and allowing them to experiment and produce something from nothing lights them up. Like a heartbeat this creative energy can travel through so many of us, impacting so much positivity and growth in people's lives.

This work has continued - alongside my design and art projects - with inspiration sessions for brands including Apple, Google and Wacom, from masterclasses for The Saatchi Gallery and The V&A, writing art books stocked at National and Tate Gallery, to delivering lectures, panel talks and more. 

Defiance and resilience is something that excites me a lot, I love to see the old guy that’s run his heart out to catch the bus that’s trailing off and wins - this always makes my day!

On a bigger scale for me, stepping towards a big personal vision where others have said, I shouldn’t, or it is advisable for me not to do so… is a test. I will also work my heart out, just to make sure I come out winning too. 

Sharing success stories is so important. I love to discuss how a breakthrough that built my career and has brought huge success began as something I had to fight for against others’ disbelief in me.

These stories and this resilience has also led me to my current project that I’m very passionate about. For the past two years, I’ve been writing and delivering creative mentoring programmes for visual artists. 

One of my superpowers is in seeing other people's strengths.  So I love to problem solve and find different ways to help artists step into their power zone and confidently work inflow. This has been such a transformative process. I’m so proud to have made these journeys with artists.

As a woman, I can appreciate personally and within experiences shared in my community how we can doubt ourselves and ideas so much more than men. How much harder we have to work for visibility and recognition. 

Some 70% of art and design students are young women, where only 10% of women hold senior positions in the design and art world. It’s mad.  My mission within this work is to support women artists and men - to work in their strengths, and leverage these in building strong entrepreneurial careers where they can move through their own and others limiting beliefs. 

Within my creative practise collaboration takes other forms. Next year I continue to expand my installation and mural work to produce further beguiling and magical spaces around the world.  With a love of enveloping others in an installed often hand-painted environment, I aim to direct them to play and interact with public and private spaces. Inviting their creativity to emerge.

Whether it be a client, an environment, a group, audience, cause, magazine or gallery. To problem solve and bring in new ideas, I’m going to continue finding and producing something that doesn’t quite exist yet.  



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