Floral Artist Joy Bradley
Floral Artist Joy Bradley

Joy Bradley or Joy X Designs is living out her ancestors wildest dreams. The multifaceted wife, art designer, biopsychology neuroscienist and soon to be dietitian has dedicated herself to blending together her dream world and her reality. Bradley creates imaginative art experiences through installation artwork built with plaster, polyethylene foam, EVA foam, spray paints, airbrush paints, metal supports, construction materials, epoxy resin and whatever else she needs to bring her vision to life. From her apartment in Berrien Springs, Michigan, she uses these products to create 7 ft or taller 3-dimensional dreamy and whimsical floral designs that entice the viewer to come close to take in every detail. 

These days she spends her time creating for the international art competition, ArtPrize, that takes place this fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize celebrates artists working in all mediums from anywhere in the world. Starting September 15th through October 2nd artists partner with venues around Grand Rapids. ArtPrize awards $450,000 directly to artists, through grants to support them and their artistry. Winners are selected by the public through their website.

Bradley has known about ArtPrize since the start of her artistry in 2017. She was first commissioned by a friend who asked Bradley to decorate her wedding. While brainstorming ideas for the wedding she stumbled across giant flowers and fell in love. Most of the flowers that she adored were made across Russia. The language barrier in directional videos and instruction manuals to construct her artwork became taxing for the hands-on learner so she flew to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2018 for a 3-day giant flower master class. It was there she learned the basics of floral design. She says, “I learned the rules, so I could break them.”

When she returned from Russia, she began to hone in on her skills and personal style. She creates each design in pieces and assembles as she goes with the help of a ladder. Since then has worked on countless commissions and additionally her work has been seen at Light Up Livernois, RAW Artist: Detroit, The Somerset Collection in Troy, Acronym, Norwest Gallery, The Somerset Collection in Troy, and she has also collaborated with Studio M Detroit for the 313 Heart in Parker’s Alley and more.

Growing up she would create 3D paper structures made out of little tiny folded triangles that make a whole dimensional shape. She would make intricate rope bracelets. She says that now her designs are the pinnacle of that work she began in her childhood. She says, “my work is always fantastical.” Her favorite movie is Avatar as she is inspired by over the top, day dreamy genres that can take her viewer to another imaginative dimension. Her childhood books, movies and soundtracks still play through her memories which allows her to originate her designs.

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The work of Floral Artist Joy Bradley
She is Love Piece by Joy Bradley

“Wildest Dreams” is the name of the ArtPrize creation she will submit for judging at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. She says “the piece is based on my ancestors’ wildest dreams because, I’m sure they never imagined me as a black woman doing what I do now in both the sciences and the arts.” She goes on to say,  “being able to build and create big, giant pieces that are from my childhood fantasy land and for people to enjoy it and love it too. That’s something for my wildest dreams.” With the “Wildest Dreams” design she is hoping to encourage and remind the viewers that your reality and your dream land can coexist. The piece will be a butterfly made of flowers and vines.  

It took Bradley some time to realize this for herself but she says,“one thing I always want people to know is that you literally can do whatever you wanna do with your life. You have everything you need to create the world you want.” 

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