We had the privilege of working with Joy Cho of Oh Joy! on our July/August issue. In the issue, she gave us an inside look at the Oh Joy! Studio in Los Angeles, and we got to see the bright designs and fun features of her summer line for Target. As summer draws to a close, we had one more conversation with Joy about inspiration, staying creative, and her upcoming plans for the fall. We couldn’t think of a better way to close out the season.
fs:Our ongoing goal at fresh style is to be a resource for creative inspiration. What inspires your creativity? Is there something or someone you regularly turn to?
Joy: I draw inspiration everywhere I go, but mostly I focus on what draws me in—whether that’s an eye-catching storefront, a delicious meal, or a new place I visit. I am constantly trying to expose myself to new experiences, so there is a constant flow of ideas or projects that will inspire others as well.
fs:What advice do you have for being consistently creative, and continually turning out fresh new work?
Joy:I think everyone has his or her own voice and style, which makes every individual unique no matter what. Don’t compare yourself to others and stay true to what speaks to you.
fs:We loved your post encouraging working parents to avoid feeling guilty, especially when they’re pursuing work they love. With back to school upon us, what recommendations do you have for making the most of the end of summer?
Joy: This fall Ruby starts preschool, which is bittersweet for me. I do my best to spend as much time with her as I can, always keeping a delicate balance between work and home life. As for making the most of summer, we’re spending a lot of time outdoors either at the beach or other spots around town that allow kids to play and keep cool—like Grand Park in downtown L.A., where kids can run through fountains while parents hang out nearby. It’s the simple, everyday things we get to enjoy as a family that make summer so magical to me.
fs: Now that your second child is on the way, how do you think being a mom influenced your creativity and work?
Joy: A lot of my designs this past year were inspired by my daughter, like the Land of Nod kid’s collection which was inspired by her favorite food (ice cream) and the simple shapes she loves to draw. As Ruby grows and develops more into her own, I’m excited to see what else she will inspire. And as for the newest addition, I see them playing off each other and adding to my love of designing items for kids.
fs: As the Oh Joy! for Target summer line makes way for fall, can you tell us a little bit about what it includes?
Joy: The spring and summer lines were bright and bold, and the fall line still has those pops of bright colors, but this time they are mixed in with accents of darker colors (like deep gray and teal), which go along with the fall season while still being good to use any time of year. I kept the metallic gold in the designs as it’s my favorite neutral. We also added some fun new pieces, like tiny party hats, salt and pepper shakers, a ceramic pitcher, and decorative fans.