With a modern and whimsical take on American folk art, Joy Laforme’s illustrations are the perfect antidote to a gloomy day inside and an extra touch of brightness to a clear spring day. As an illustrator and artist based out of the New York and New Jersey area, her work has been featured on book covers, greeting cards, puzzles, textiles, and galleries for over 10 years around the world. We might be stuck inside more than usual this spring, but Joy’s work will bring the New York City streets we love so much into our homes.
Joy’s work is featured as part of our Local Art in Action program for Common Clinton, a program that looks to unite the communities within our homes with the communities around them.
Continue reading to learn more about Joy, her art, her favorite NYC spots, and her advice for creating a stress-free home environment with art.
Get to know Joy Laforme
You got your Master’s from in Savannah, Georgia before relocating to the NJ/NYC area! How did this affect your perspective on the urban environment?
I’ve been really fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in urban, suburban, and rural communities. I’ve learned that regardless of the kind of community you live in, we all have a need for togetherness and that having a community is important no matter where you are!
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your art?
My primary source of inspiration for my work is in stories and storytelling, specifically folktales and folk art. I love that folk art tells a visual story and oftentimes lets the viewer fill their own story in. In everyday life, I’ve always loved the “overlooked” details. When everyone else is looking at a garden, I’m usually up close watching a honey bee.
If you could only use a few words, how would you describe your work?
Nostalgic, colorful, imaginative
How do you think that having physical forms of art helps create a more personal, stress-free space?
Physical art is such a tangible form of self-expression in a home! It’s an extension of the person. Besides being a form of expression, art causes us to feel in a way that other parts of life never will. Sometimes stress reaches a point where talking about the stress only makes it worse, but art has a way of helping us process that stress without many words.
What is your favorite local spot in NYC?
I absolutely love walking the Highline, especially in the spring!
What is your favorite place?
We spend a good amount of time at the NYBG (New York Botanical Garden) throughout the year. It’s definitely one of my favorite places in the world.
What upcoming project are you most excited about?
I have several books that I’m working on, and I’m so excited to have them come out over the next year.