The magic and wonder of the ocean have always captured Joyful’s imagination. As a child, she would spend afternoons reading books about sea creatures and drawing them. Recurring adventures of breathing underwater and exploring the ocean with pods of whales filled her nighttime dreams.
In 2009 Joyful moved from her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend college in Florida to pursue a formal, representational art education and to study aquatic life. Earning a Bachelor’s and Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Illustration, as well as studying under artists such as Brian Jekel, Greg Beecham, and Derek Penix. Joyful also found opportunities to volunteer with local conservation groups allowing her to authentically connect with her subject matter, develop proficient artistic skills, and cultivate a unique voice and style.
The sensitivity to her subjects guides her style, capturing an authentic experience of the underwater world’s energizing atmosphere, serenity, movement, color, and light. Each painting serves as an aquatic portal reawaken wonder and hope for all people.
Currently Joyful is a distinguished member of the American Society of Marine Artists, The Society of Animal Artists, The Oil Painters of America, and The Ocean Artists Society. Over the years, my work has garnered awards and accolades through both solo and group shows in museum and fine art galleries across the country, as well as in publications such as Southwest Art and Fine Art Connoisseur. Recently her work has been featured in the American Society of Marine Artists 18th National Museum Exhibition Tour and the Society of Animal Artist’s 60th Annual Exhibition. Recently, she was awarded an artist-In-Residence Grant for the Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Stobart Foundation Artist Grant. Both of these grants will allowed her fulfill her dream to travel to study, photograph, and swim with humpback whales in Tonga in order to create and curate a special collection of whale-themed artworks for a future museum exhibition. These experiences have greatly enriched Joyful’s artistic journey and have provided her with the opportunity to share the beauty of the underwater world with more people than she ever thought possible.