Photographer Joni Johnson-Godsy
Joni Johnson-Godsy grew up in Ashland, Ohio. Her love of animals started from her first memories as a child and was a passion that grew stronger over time. In her youth she spent countless hours exploring the creeks and woods near her family’s home learning about nature. She developed a passionate connection to the wild world, which keeps her centered to this day.
Joni attended Ohio State University and went on to art school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she graduated with honors. What she wanted to do more than anything was illustrate animals. Upon graduation she secured a position with Hallmark at Hallmark Cards, where animal illustrations are commonly used, in Kansas City.
While working as an illustrator at Hallmark, Joni drew and painted in her spare time. Her love of dogs was the focus of her work in the 1990’s attracting the attention of the American Kennel Club who hired Joni to illustrate articles for their magazine, the AKC Gazette. Joni has created illustrations for Hallmark Cards for twenty years, having her work published and sold on Hallmark product in North America and Europe. Four years ago she decided that it was time to dedicate more time to her passion for art and nature. She is currently a part time employee at Hallmark, dividing her time between two very different artistic disciplines.
In 2004, Joni was accepted into the Society of Animal Artists (SAA) and has exhibited her work at the NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show, Art of the Animal Kingdom in Bennington, Vermont and the SAA exhibition “Art and The Animal” U.S.A. tour. She has been featured in articles on Wildlife Art and Sporting Classics magazines. Her painting entitled “Sunstruck” will be on the cover of Fur-Fish-Game magazine’s 80th anniversary cover in September 2005.