Joy French is a talented local artist who has seen success with many facets of the art world including painting, sculpting, prints and fashion just to name a few. G&T recently got to catch up with her and discuss what makes her tick.
Joy grew up on a family property located in the small country town Dayboro, located on the outskirts of Brisbane. An experience she attributes to having a huge influence on who she became and the path she chose. "Ever since I can remember the people of the community knew I loved art and supported that. I was only thirteen or so when I sold my first piece of art to a local. From then on the people of the town and my family kept encouraging me to do more. Very lucky girl, this was also where I started a Bronze art apprenticeship to learn the fundamentals of sculpture before I even left school," she explained.
Some people are born to be artists and Joy feels she is no different, stating “I have been more artistically inclined in nature ever since I was a child." Whether it was drawing, scribbling, painting, moulding or playing out roles with imaginary figures friends, her imagination always ran wild. Joy's art would all be self-taught through a lot of dedication, passion and pure love for what she does. Over the years, painting came and went for Joy, but then came back with a vengeance in 2005 when she lost her mother to cancer, and from then on she has painted almost everyday. "I paint because I love it, still if something sells it’s always a bonus" she added.
While gathering insight from many artists who she has watched and observed skills and techniques from, Joy's greatest inspiration comes from everyday people in her life. She explains, "People that I meet, work with or just randoms, listening to their stories and observing. Our emotions, our pains, the things that make us tick, in a nut shell the things that we as a collective whole can all relate to or not relate to."
This mind set is reflected in the subject matter she chooses for her works. "Someone or something may ignite an image or story in my mind that I will then put to canvas or it may even be something that is a reflection of what’s going on in my life. Most subject mater is from the environment I live in. On a day to day basis you will see this comes through in my work unless it is a commissioned piece" Joy told G&T.
Unlike other artists that focus on one area of practice, Joy successfully manages to manipulate and break into different mediums such as fashion. While her focus and passion has always been with art, painting, sculpting and prints, she said the fashion design side of things just happened. "It was very unintentional. I decided to do a run of my art on to t-shirt designs that I had come up with [and] when they all kept selling out I decided to push the creative line of fashion design further and come up with other collections which the stores were happy to take on board to my delight.. With the fashion there are many photo shoots etc which lead to photography so I feel these days many mediums in art manage to morph themselves into another and the more you are open to trying new mediums the better" she stated.
When it comes to Joy’s success she states "art is art, it resonates with some and not with others. My theory is, it's just getting yourself out there dedicating the time to your chosen passion and never stopping. There are more than enough people to like what you do, it's just getting it out there – let it be seen. As the old saying goes success comes from within. And not putting self-value in other people's hands."
Joy's advice to young artists looking to succeed is to persevere and be prepared to have some knock backs. She also feels confidence in yourself no matter what others say about you and your work and being non-judgmental of yourself also play a vital role in breaking into the profession.
Future plans for Joy will see her opening a new art gallery/space in Byron Bay which will be open to all emerging artists and established artists. The art space is set to merge with her partner and their business “THREEWORLDS”. The principle is that it will combine live art and music fusions to create an atmosphere where minded individuals can vibe.
Check out the gallery of Joy's work below