The Blogger Series | The Darling Tree

The Blogger Series | The Darling Tree

In magazine land, nothing makes us happier than beautiful images! That’s why we wanted to get to know talented artist, Jo Klima founder of The Darling Tree for part 7 of the Brisbane blogger series.

By Jane Schon | 23rd July 2015

Jo Klima “lives and breathes creativity”. She’s a Brisbane artist, blogger, businesswoman and self-described “pattern junkie, boss goddess and wanderer”.

Jo started off in the design industry in 2004 and spent four years working for studios who catered to “big-time” clients, building up her skills and experience before spreading her wings and flying solo with The Darling Tree in 2008.

She now lives an entrepreneurial lifestyle, designing her days as she pleases. She also shares her decade’s worth of design biz knowledge with other creatives through her course, Flowing + Thriving.

We’re obsessed with her stunningly spiritual artwork (which she shares through her instagram @thedarlingtree, her website The Darling Tree and her blog Map To Herself. And we’re SERIOUSLY jealous of her travel calendar.

So we decided we wanted to know more about Jo:

Name 7 things you can’t live without…

Avocados, paint, travelling, my laptop, gorgeous friends, my partner and my dog.

Some of Jo's paintings | The Blogger Series

Some of Jo's paintings

What inspires you?

My deepest influences are nature and the universe, geometry and symbolism, Aztec and Moroccan motifs, as well as feminine, organic themes, and beautiful textures. I get to travel the world for inspiration, for fun, and to meet new creative masterminds to collaborate with, and I’ll spend weekend retreats immersed in long, deeply quiet stretches of time with just my paints and some good music.

Which is your favourite design you’ve created and why?

A piece called ‘A Place Yet to Explore’. The artwork embodies what I saw and felt in what became one of my favourite places on our trip to NZ,; Lake Tekapo. The pure turquoise water is so luminous it appeared both magical and mystical. Snow-capped mountains lined the horizon even in the midst of summer, and as a place known for its dark and clear sky, stars and galaxies lit up the night.

And your favourite collaboration?

Definitely the ongoing collaboration as The Cosmic Collective with two other amazing women, Sarah Wilder and KV. Last year we created the 2015 Moon Energy Calendar with full and new moon readings, original artworks inspired by the energy of each month. We wanted to dive a bit deeper and just launched a new digital magazine (soon to be print too) called High Vibe, it’s a quarterly guidebook which offers intuitive insights, astrological guidance, connective and conscious art. It’s available at We’ll be working on next year’s calendar really soon too!

What is your workspace like?

I have a gorgeous little studio located in the historic Metro Arts building in the CBD. It’s filled with lots of natural light and all beautiful things that inspire me and things I’ve created. It’s where I can go to lose myself in projects and the creative process. I also love having other artists and creatives visit to co-work, play with paint and share ideas.

Jo's painting work station

Jo's painting work station

Any plans to start a clothing or homewares line featuring your designs?

Occasionally I may create products to sell directly or wholesale, creating more leggings and designs for yoga mats has always been something I’ve wanted to do. However, my goal is to connect with other brands and collaborate on new products together or licensing art and pattern designs to be used on various product collections in fashion, homewares, fabric, decorating walls and lots more!

Tell us about Maps to Herself, what are your plans for the new platform?

Maps to Herself was created as a place where I could create and share parts of my creative self which was separate from my main work and client projects, and in that time, many new opportunities and creative collaborations have come across my path which would not have happened had I not begun to explore different parts of my creative and spiritual self. It was the catalyst for important shifts in my business from a primarily graphic and web design business working with many clients, to an art and pattern studio where I have lots of freedom to come up with new and fun creative ideas and offerings to work on.

Do you have set days to post to your blog or do you only write when the mood strikes?

I mostly post on my blog when a good topic comes to mind or I have an artwork that I want to share and talk about what it was inspired by or what was going on in my life when I was making it. As I’ve been preoccupied with client work since I launched it, I haven’t blogged as often as I’ve wanted to, but now that I’ve created more space and time for art and writing I would love to post every week or two.

Tell us about your design course, Flowing + Thriving. What do you hope to achieve for your students/what can your students hope to gain?

Flowing + Thriving is a course for designers who want to reignite their passion, get the best clients, make more money and create a thriving business. It’s a transparent look into my own design business, my story, and everything I’ve learned over many years to build a business, which aligns with my values and passion. I understand the issues and challenges that designers can have working and building their own business because I’ve worked through them myself, and I want to help them discover how their own design business could work better for them, to realise their value and potential, and to do work that truly lights them up.

Favourite place you’ve travelled to? And next place you hope to go?

I absolutely adore Bali and I’d love to spend a couple of months there next year. I am off to Japan this month and NYC in December. Morocco and India are on my wish list for 2016 also; the amazing architecture, design and colours are a huge source of inspiration for me - it’s so stunning.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I don’t really have a set idea of where I’ll be in my life five years from now. I love to remain open to the opportunities and paths that present themselves day-by-day, month-to-month. I may live somewhere overseas or still be loving life in Brisbane while still planning lots of travel overseas. I’m sure that art and design will always be the strongest element in the work I do and that could manifest in so many different and exciting ways!

Any words you live by?

Only I can create the life that I want for myself, no one else can do it for me.

Short and sweet…

- My favourite cafe in town is…. Miss Bliss, West End.

- I collect… Crystals

- When I need to unwind you’ll find me…. getting a treatment at Kindred Toxin Free Face + Body

- I can never go past a sale at… Eckersleys

- I always take out-of-towners to… Byron Bay

Hot or Not:

- Seventies style revival? Not

- Tattoos? Hot

- Copper? Hot

- Cowhide rugs? Not

- Channing Tatum? Hot


View mag here >

Article by Jane Schon

Jane is a former Journalist of Style Magazines. She is addicted to theatre, travelling to far off places and developing her personal style (AKA shopping). Jane adores good food (and even better coffee) and is a self-confessed sleep enthusiast.


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