Souvenirs Range


About The Artist Joy Clarke

Joy Clarke is a New Zealand artist who was born in Masterton in the beautiful Wairarapa. Her works predominantly reflect her New Zealand heritage and strong love for the environment she grew up in.

Although her family moved often during her childhood they always lived on the outskirts of the town surround by creeks, frog ponds, green pastures and native bush. Many happy hours were spent building forts, catching tadpoles and fresh water crayfish, climbing trees and bird watching. This began Joy’s love affair with nature’s wonderland and the need to express this deep love in drawing and painting.

From an early age, Joy’s natural ability in anything creative was outstanding, she won many prizes as a young person in the local art competitions and flower shows. Her first job at age 15 was as a poster and window display artist in a large department store and at 21 she moved to Wellington where she worked as a graphic artist. She then became a self-taught, freelance artist for a company that produced souvenir textiles. This experience laid a good foundation for when she went into business with her husband designing and screen printing their own souvenir tee shirts in 1974.

Joy traditionally draws all elements by hand and then translates them into graphic art on a computer program where she redraws and manipulates them into her final art. This technique gives freedom in contrast to the pre-computer days when everything was drawn by hand and colour separations were painstakingly hand drawn one colour at a time. Joy’s technique creates layers of complexity and continuity in her designs which is seen throughout this catalogue.

Today, Joy works from the tranquil environment of her home, with a distant view of the sea and the sound of the Tui’s in the Kowhai tree helping her to produce her beautiful designs. She does not like to hurry a design but works from the idea that it is like a flower unfolding and has its own unique way of doing this. Some designs are very quick but mostly it is a lengthy process of exploration and discovery. It is an exciting and absorbing process and one that needs stillness to do ones best. Joy says “for me it is about getting the most out of each design experience not how quickly it can be done.”