Joy Miess’ collages and paintings are a response to her day-to-day experiences – a sort of physical translations on canvas of her thoughts and feelings. “There’s a certain order that my work has to be read to be understood, and the repeat symbology holds a story that’s unique to my life experiences,” she explained in an interview with Varoom.
But even if you don’t understand the symbols themselves, her work will still strike a chord within you. Though very personal, her art is also quite relatable. “Bringing nostalgic feelings into the work I create is part of my character,” says Miess. “I forget stories and key elements all the time, so to be able to turn these memories – many of which don’t have photographs documenting them – into artworks, adds permanence to the stories that I value.”
A sort of memory archive, her work draws from old films and photographs. After flipping endlessly through images on her phone, and then spending more time researching, the process of translating her thoughts into painting begins. “I reflect on what I’ve found and make a rough thumbnail drawing,” Miess explains. “From there I start collecting textures, paper, and material to build the composition. To this collage of pieces, I start adding layers of text using thoughts, feelings, and words from the notes I’ve jotted on my phone and create line drawings that build a story.”
Exhibited in galleries like Beers London Gallery and Office&Gallery Los Angeles, you can also catch her work online by following her on Instagram. Here are some of our favorites artworks by her: