Be sure to click on Joy's images to see them larger - there are wonderful subtle textures!Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
First of all, I want to thank Ann for inviting me to do this interview.
Like so many others, my first love was art. A coloring book and crayons were never far from my hands. Even though I had this early love for art, I can’t say that art loved me. At least not art teachers. So, by college, I shifted my focus and received a B.S. in Business. Upon graduation, I landed a job with Xerox Corporation. No longer having to worry about a career path, I slowly allowed art to come back into my life. I found myself volunteering for various art related projects. I was returning to my first love.
It wasn’t until marriage and a cross-country move that I got the opportunity to go to art school. I enrolled at the Art Institute of Atlanta, and totally loved it! I knew I was where I should be. I began to freelance in graphic design. Somewhere along the way, I began to study the art in calendars and on greeting cards and decided this was for me.
At that time, it was very hard to get into art licensing. The Artist’s Market book was about the only way to find contacts. I would make copies of my art, pack them up and send to the different companies listed in the book. And then wait….. and wait…. and wait. And sometimes, never hear back.
Little by little, the art licensing world started to open up and so did the internet. I think my first contract was with Ceaco for puzzles followed by scrapbooking, quilting fabrics, greeting cards, calendars, tableware, garden flags and all sorts of fun things.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Nature, movies, interesting color palettes, fashion…..
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
Even though I was traditionally trained, I have worked digitally for the past 8 years. However, I’m beginning to return to watercolor after taking a botanical illustration/watercolor class at Longwood Gardens. Now I can have the best of both worlds!
What are you working on now?
At this time I have several projects on the table including new art creation. The Atlanta International Gift show happens in January and my agents need fresh art to share with the manufacturers that have showrooms.
In between projects, I LOVE to work on my blog. I think you can learn so much more about someone on their blog than you can on a Facebook page (which I also have). It’s like visiting someone’s home, instead of a quick greeting on the street.
Anything else you want to tell everyone?
If you have dreams of licensing your art, you need to develop a thick skin. Be ready to make changes to your art that you don’t necessarily agree with. The manufacturer knows their customer and has learned that your chosen shade of red won’t sell.
Also, take advantage of information available online today. Blogs such as this one are such a gift to the aspiring licensing artist.
Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Definitely an early riser. My creative brain is fresh and at it’s best before daylight.
What is your favorite food?
I don’t think I have a favorite food, but I do have a favorite drink…. coffee!! I’m not sure if it’s the taste as much as it is the ritual. To me it says “morning… the start of a day filled with opportunity!”
I seldom use a coffee maker, but prefer hand crafted coffee using either a French Press or a poor-over (Chemex) style system.
You can find Joy / see more of her art:
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