Tell me a little about yourself…
My name is Joyce Treasure and I work as a mixed media artists and street artist. My street name is JOY2see. Not really strayed far from my real name, but then I keep it pretty legal, so that’s cool. I work in London and I paint body forms and am totally drawn by the subject of identity. Being mixed race, identity has been quite a prominent subject in my life and I have filtered experiences from my White in appearance family and my Black in appearance family. This has formed the basis for some of my designs and I play with the concept of identity from my own philosophical and spiritual point of view, I guess. The crux being – I wish to have fun with my heritage / cultural background. Life is simple and is not meant to be too serious. This is how I see things and how I approach my work.
How’d you get started, or what prompted you to begin crafting in your genre?
I was invited to take part in a local artist trail where I live and really had no idea where to begin. I began looking through some of my art books and came across a fashion book called Appearances. I really loved some of the shots and adapted them for my own use. It wasn’t until later I began to examine the meaning behind my work. At the time I drew lots of Afros. I still do. And so that cultural reference became part of my artistic signature. It’s moved on to include other forms now…. But that’s where it started, Afros and fashion!
Where can we check out and buy your work?
You can see examples of work on my website www.joycetreasure.co.uk and you can find unfiltered examples on Instagram: http://instagram.com/joycetreasure and a more interactive platform can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/treasurejoyce
What do you think sets you apart from other artists and crafters?
There does not appear to be any female Black street artist of my age on the scene. I started quite late. I’m now 49, so it would seem crazy to be out on the street instead of going for long walks. I do that too, but I just love that platform of expression. It’s also the easiest place not to get too sucked in by what you should or should not do. You are left up to your own devise…. (within legal reason). This is just BRILLIANT! Of course there are politics on the street too, but so far I have been able to step aside from all that. And as for my style, I work in layers and am still developing this. The slicing of heritage in the way I am doing I have not seen anywhere else …. Or maybe I have missed someone’s work. But it looks to be different, so I will aim to keep this different style.
What do you get out of being an artist or crafter?
When I work I have in mind the viewer, but it is for myself that I begin. But from my understanding the viewer and the creator are intrinsically connected. So you cannot work without the other being there. I most definitely work to show. I see no point otherwise. And I love it when my work communicates to the viewer. This has to be the most exhilarating life experience, to give and share through art. Oh and it is very exciting when someone is willing to buy your work too! This never ceases to please, as you know that it is an exchange that will keep you doing what you do.
What inspires you to create the art you do? Where do you get your inspiration?
At the heart of my practice is an interest in human behaviour, relationships, how we communicate, social issues and our relationship with identities. I am fascinated with how these ideas correspond with the source of our being.
From this centre point of who we are, do the layers relating to identity take us further from the heart? The heart being the silent and still place where an openness and a sense of freedom can be found. Or is freedom always present, where there is no going anywhere to get anything?
What’s the weirdest or most astonishing and controversial craft or artwork that you have ever created and how so or why?
I guess my design that takes a postage stamp of the queen that is overworked to depict a Black queen. This may appear as controversial. However, I see it as playful and maybe a bit cheeky. There is depth to the ‘steal’ of identity from the queen that relates to history and I would like to see this design widely publicized.
What do others seem to love about your crafts or art, as far as feedback you have gotten?
I also create jewelry out of dominoes and most people really love the up-cycled vibe. I hope to do more of this kind of stuff, as it’s also a pleasure to see others like this aspect.
What is your advice to fellow crafters and artists?
Just do it!! Try not to seek outside opinions too much. Strike a balance between external feedback and your own development. Enjoy it! Look at others work and go to exhibitions. Remember to eat!
How would you describe your style, or form of artistry?
I work with body forms sometimes to express the feeling of movement. It often reflects ideas relating to identity. And I have heard people say it is colourful and playful.
Do you have any future plans for your artwork or crafts?
My plans are to work on a larger scale on the street. And to see my morphed queen Elizabeth – African queen widely shown in other formats that sit outside of fine art. I have just designed a new t-shirt that carries my queen postage stamp design and I will begin publicizing this very soon.
How long have you been an artist or crafter? When did you first discover your artistic ability?
I began working as an artist making art deco lamps and art deco figures when I was 20. I’m now 49. I also ran a jewelry business for 12 years. There was a period where I worked making props. And I taught filmmaking for 7 years. There is a film club that I helped set up in my local area that is still running and well attended. It seems I have always worked creatively…. I love it! I have been painting fine art to sell for 4 years and street art for 2. The fine art is new and I am very much still in development. But I would say you always are. Always learning.