Obsessed with geometric patterns and bright colors as much as we are? Then this week’s featured maker should need no introduction. Meet Joy Cho, the brilliant gal behind the Oh Joy Blog, a treasure trove of creative inspiration.
Not only is this impressive woman a creative force, but she’s a blogger, designer, author and mother. Well as of today, we’re happy to add curator to that list — we’ve got a brand new collection in the Brit + Co shop curated by Joy Cho herself. And guess what? Her latest book, Oh Joy!, is also in stock. How awesome is that? You can shop the collection right here.
I spent a morning in Los Angeles with Joy at her favorite breakfast spot, Republique. We chatted about how she got her start, what her typical day looks like and what inspires her. Read on to learn more about Joy’s story — we’re sure it’s one that will inspire you to find more creative moments on the daily.
Have you always been drawn to creative pursuits?
As a kid, I always leaned towards creative things. I was never into playing with dolls or dressing up like a princess — I was more interested in things that let me create something from start to finish. I didn’t realize back then that it had to do with creativity.
Did you know that this love of making things would turn into a business?
In a way, yes. When I was a kid I had about a dozen different businesses before I even graduated high school, including a calligraphy business and a banana bread business! My parents moved here in the mid ‘70s from Thailand and started a Thai restaurant, so I’ve always been surrounded by self-starters and entrepreneurs. (photo credit: Casey Brodley)
Okay so let’s fast forward a bit — what did you study in college? And what were your first couple of jobs after graduating?
I didn’t know that I wanted to be an “artist” but I did know that I didn’t want to go down a doctor or lawyer path. I went to Syracuse and studied graphic design, because in my mind it had a practical side but was still artistic. After graduating, I went to New York for graduate school and ended up getting a job at an ad agency for a couple years. The agency gig was a great start for me, but I quickly became tired of designing for businesses. I wanted to design things that help normal people add delight to their daily lives. That’s when I started to get super interested in patterns, though I hadn’t officially studied them in school. This led me to getting a job with Cynthia Rowley as a designer for her small line at Target. I designed two years worth of collections for her line.
Wow, so that’s really come full circle with Target!
Creating an Oh Joy line at Target was definitely a dream project, especially after working on Cynthia’s line. Getting to see my products in store has been incredible. Unlike a blog post, actual products don’t disappear. They’re in people’s homes and part of their lives, and that feels really good.
What inspires you? Why do you love to design, create and make?
I’m inspired by people and the desire to make people happier with something I can ideate, design, create, and put out into the world for others to enjoy.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Just do your thing. It can be so easy to get caught up in what others are doing or compare yourself to who’s doing things bigger or better. But I find when I focus on challenging myself and trying new things, then I feel satisfied with my work and I don’t worry about comparisons as much.
How do you get into the creative flow? How does it feel?
I surround myself with stuff. Whether it’s materials, colors, fabrics, food, objects. When I see a lot, my brain starts churning, my heart starts racing, and ideas begin to surface. Those initial ideas aren’t always the final idea, but they usually snowball into something magical.
Looking for more Joy in your life? Be sure to follow Joy on Instagram (Warning: Heart-melting videos of the cutest kids ever await you), buy her book (photo credit: Casey Brodley), and check out her curated collection in the Brit + Co shop!