The Emergence of a Movement: An Interview with Art...

The Emergence of a Movement: An Interview with Artist Joy Sela

At some point in time, we, as humans, come to true self. We emerge from our internal shell and create our soul calling for all the world to see. Meet Joy Sela, Creative Director turned Artist/Spiritual Activist whose soul mission is to organize this lifelong process. Simply put, Joy helps others emerge to true self through her art and calls each and every one of us to join in on this very important movement, a movement that elevates consciousness through Positive Disruption.

Joy recently launched the first iteration of her art form at Tumblr HQ in NYC in collaboration with photographer Andrew Boyle. Her launch featured a short film (featured below) with Love Reflections by various artists including Hank Willis Thomas, Jonathan Mannion, and Zoe Buckman among others– leaving all of those who joined to witness the inception of what is surely the beginning of a peaceful revolution, craving more. Here, Joy shares further insight into her project through personal reflections on her past, present, and future.

joy sela_emergence of a movement_artist interview

Jess Conatser: Who are you?

Joy Sela: I’m Joy Sela.  I’m an Artist, Spiritual Activist, Creative Director, teacher, student, friend, sister, daughter, partner, and above all, I’m a human that’s here to serve.

JC: Where do you come from?

JS: I grew up in the midwest in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a Jewish American/Israeli household. Yes, there’s Jews and Israelis in Minnesota. My father is Israeli and immigrated to the US in his early 20s and my mom is a Jewish American that spent her formative years in Israel. Israeli culture was a big influence in the home and I identify strongly with that part of my heritage. We spent a lot of time there when I was growing up and I have since gotten my citizenship.

JC: What do you do?

JS: I create series to inspire Positive Disruption. Throughout my career, I have focused my vision on helping brands communicate who they are and what they have to offer through digital and physical experiences that resonate with their audience. Now, I focus on helping people remember who they already are through a series that interprets transformation and self discovery called The Four Pillars.

Each pillar represents what we all go through to find ourselves and to come into our power. The Pillars- Mirror, Uncover, Path, & Emanate- highlight people mirroring unconditional love, speaking and finding their truth, and expressing who they are while sharing their gifts with the world. Within each of the pillars, I create and document experiences that bring these ideas to life.

For instance the first pillar, We Mirror, is about mirroring love to the world and to our fellow humans through the act of loving ourselves first. Once we feel that love inside of us, we are free to express it outwards and experience it being reflected back to us. I illustrate this pillar through collaborating with people from all walks of life- whether that be strangers on the street, artists, thought leaders, or pairing those with opposing political or religious beliefs to break down barriers, see themselves in each other, and express love to one another.

joy sela_emergence of a movement_artist interview-8joy sela_emergence of a movement_artist interview-jia jia fei portrait by andy boyle

JC: Why do you do what you do?

JS: I believe that this is my soul mission. I’m doing this because I feel called to do it so strongly that I can’t not do it and I am so grateful to have found something that fills me with so much love and joy every day. I feel that I am simply doing my part in contributing alongside many others to help usher in a new way of existing for humanity. One where everyone is actualized in their own power to be an autonomous, amazing human that is in full expression of who they are and the gifts that they have to share with the world.

JC: How can one participate in your “movement that ties conceptual art with consciousness” and what do you hope the takeaway is for participants?

JS: Someone can participate in so many ways because this idea is just one interpretation of what discovery of self and sharing that with the world looks like. I support others doing similar work and encourage others to create their own experiences that resonate with them in their life. My goal is to fan a flame that already exists within all of us.

I hope that someone viewing the project will become inspired to share positive disruption in their life, in whatever form that takes. I also hope that it will create and reaffirm positive actions that are being taken, showing us what we are capable of as individuals and as a collective of humanity.

joy sela_emergence of a movement_artist interview-Antwaun Sargent portrait by andy boyle.jpg

JC: What’s next?

JS: I’m continuing to expand Part I of the Four Pillars – We Mirror. The series will take on many forms–including live talks and workshops at spaces like Soho House and a continued release of artist interviews featuring Hank Willis Thomas, Jonathan Mannion, Ashley Owens, Jillionaire, Zoe Buckman, Richie Shazam, and more– showing many different interpretations of self love and how it reflects into the world around us.

The next pillar, Uncover, will focus on deconstructing illusions to access the beauty in truth within ourselves and within our environment. I will be releasing several interview series, including Arab Muslims and Jewish Israelis exploring coexistence in Jaffa, Israel; Democrats and Republicans sharing hopes and fears for the future of America; and an environment-based series focusing on water, food and more.

We are in a constant state of transformation that is dynamic and in flux. So is this project. As I release series for new pillars, we will continue to revisit and expand upon previous pillars with the intention that Positive Disruption will become the new social norm.

Watch Joy Sela’s We Mirror: Artist Mirror now and stay tuned for more series.

Follow on Social Media @iamjoysela

Subscribe to Art Report’s newsletter for more stories you don’t want to miss!

Jess is a Content Director based in Brooklyn, New York. She contributes to various cultural publications and works with brands and creatives to help tell impactful stories in real-time, print, and digital programs.