01 April 2013

Interview with Joy Hand Painted Silk for aMuse on RVTV

I was recently interviewed by Wendy Temple and filmed by producer David Bruce, for aMuse scheduled to air in May on RVTV.

Who were you before becoming a silk artist; what did you do?

I’ve been a mother most of my life, I had my first son at 18, I have three handsome intelligent sons ranging from 16-32 yrs old. They are the loves of my life, I am so proud of them. I also have a wonderful grandson too! I was formerly employed by Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centres at the corporate headquarters. I climbed the corporate ladder from telemarketing to accounts payable administrator and finally became secretary to the VP of marketing. I also have a substantial background in food service as a cook and a server. I worked at Ciao Main in Ashland for many years during the 90’s
My three sons, Sean, Colin & Ryan
What prompted your pursuit of art?

I moved to Southern Oregon in 1989 to get out of the “rat race” My eldest son was a “latch key” kid, I was concerned that the hours between school letting out and mom getting home might put him at risk, so we moved to the Applegate Valley. At that time I was able to be a full-time stay at home mother and pursue my art along with gardening and homesteading.

How did you find your way to silks?

My BFF Rosie Daley was a textile artist (mainly airbrushing on cotton clothing), but one summer she did some hand painted silks. I was mesmerized by the sheen and amazing luminescence of the colors on silk. I practically begged her to visit her studio and observe, and she steadfastly refused my requests. Finally, when I was moving to Oregon, she revealed her supply sources to me and wished me good luck. The rest is history! 
BFF Rosie

What inspires your work?

I am inspired to create beauty as a contribution to the world. Bringing pleasure from the eye to the heart is my mission. Painting silk brings me great pleasure, I believe the texture and color of the silk fashion accessories I create bring joy to the wearer as well as those who see them. I am inspired by nature and the changing seasons as well as both current trends and enduring and classic fashions. Fashion magazines, blogs and to a lesser extent The Pantone Report which is a fixture in many aspects of the design industry. 

Do you have a preconceived visual plan, or do you let things flow as you work? 

For the most part, I have to plan my studio time based on a production schedule that is driven by orders from individual clients and retail establishments like boutiques and museum gift stores. I am thrilled to have our work locally in Nimbus and boutique in Jackson, Mississippi, circa. that features only things Made in the USA. The Santa Fe Opera gift store is one of my great accounts. When I get “caught up” on my production schedule I really enjoy being purely creative, trying new color combinations and doing shibori style dyeing. It’s a historic Japanese  resist technique. When I work with kids I am reminded by their lack of guile. How revitalizing it is to just go with the flow. 
showroom at circa. urban artisan living 
What challenges have you faced along the way? 

Sometimes I joke about being a lifetime single mother. Single parenting is a full time job in and of itself. The economic downturn in 2009 coincided with my decision to enter the wholesale trade. The expense of trade show fees, normally over $1000, creating collateral materials such as my catalog and linesheet, and getting my website up to snuff for the shows was very expensive. The fact the economy wasn’t growing posed a tremendous challenge. It took longer for me to get a return on investment. But I have no regrets, it’s a big world out there, and the expansion, in a difficult time has been very worthwhile!

What would you say to struggling artists, those who have the talent but not the marketing mind?

Think outside the box! Last year I designed our Earthsong scarflette for Earth Day. I packaged it in biodegradable packaging that I made from actual corn husks. It was just like a tamale wrapper! Be innovative, whether about the materials you use to create your work, or ways to accomplish it given limitations in your circumstances or in creating a niche and a story about your work. Just keep going and don’t let anyone burst your bubble. I believe we are defined by our dreams as much as we are defined by our critics or public.
Earthsong Scarflette
Which of the charities that you support speaks most to you? Why?

My motto is “We give what we can when we can.” One of my favorite charities is breast cancer research. I contribute via cancer.org with each pink scarf we sell. I support local charities such as Living Opportunities and the Jackson County Childrens Advocacy Center. I help our creative counterparts in Africa via Kiva.org. I have a particular fondness for our local charities that help kids and adults find a better way of life, because everyone deserves a chance to improve their circumstances. I believe that art inspires to do so. 

www.Joysilk.com - Virtual showroom featuring the Natura Collection and our two best selling styles the ruana and the satin trimmed shawl. 
www.joysilk.blogspot.com - Planet Joy, where beauty rules a lifestyle blog featuring everything we love and what we are up to in the studio
www.joyflower.etsy.com - Virtual boutique featuring myriad styles of silk scarves, shawls, our limited edition jewelry collection and more. 
www.facebook.com - Our fan page on our favorite social media platform.