We are thrilled to welcome new line Communion By Joy into our L.A. shop and online store! Los Angeles-based Joy Sangalang Smith is the artist behind the line’s unique expression of fine jewelry.
This week I was lucky enough to speak with Joy about her creative process, and gained insight into the deep connection to spirituality in her work.
Alexis: So, tell me a bit about how you got your start making jewelry. What drew you to the medium?
Joy: I knew that I wanted to be an artist but I had to find my medium. I loved paining but I wasn't the best at it. Then I started taking wax-sculpting classes in Santa Monica. I thought it was cool because I liked the sculpting aspect of it and it was a wonderful way to express myself.
A: We love that your designs don't look like anything we've seen before. From where do you draw your inspiration? How did you develop your unique personal style and aesthetic point of view?
J: Thank you! Nature, rituals, symbolism inspire my work and I love religious iconography. I still feel very connected to religious rituals but now I believe that everything is one. I love to incorporate a lot of spirituality into my work in an abstract way.
A: Your jewelry has a strong symbolic/spiritual side, can you tell me more about that aspect? What is the connection between adornment and spirit for you?
J: My whole message behind what I do as an artist is that I allow myself to be used as a creative vessel. I never have a preconceived idea of what I want to design. I completely allow myself to be taken over by spirit. People who wear my jewelry have that connection to the spirit by looking at the piece. I feel women who buy my pieces are looking for something in their lives, whether it’s to be inspired, healed, or talismans to help them on their path. They’re strong, eclectic, artistic women. When I am in my creative state I don’t really think about anyone or anything, I just channel.
A: You and your daughter have these lovely mother-daughter adventures. What are some of your favorite things to do and places to visit around L.A. together?
J: We love to go to La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA and The Getty. Also, because I love Kirtan, which is an ancient bhakti yoga practice using sacred song and the fuel of our emotions as an expression of devotion and heart-felt prayer, she comes with me to Bhakti Yoga Shala, in Santa Monica to their Kirtan events. We are also big on eating yummy food so we frequent Bottega Louie when I bring her to work in Downtown LA!
A: I love Bottega Louie! Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us, Joy.