For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

Today, we’re chatting with Joy Kissow, an artist we discovered on Instagram a few weeks ago. For a great visual understanding of how her intricate “doodle art” comes together, be sure to check out her YouTube channel!

Festival Ghost of Man

1) Please tell us a little about yourself

Name: Joy Anna S. Kissow
Age: 33
Hometown: Viby J, Aarhus, Denmark
Education/Training: I have Bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Graphic Design.
Occupation: Self-employed Designer and Artist/Illustrator
Creative Works: Visit www.thejoydoodle.dk / www.thejoydoodle.com or see my profile for @thejoydoodle on Instagram to see some of my projects and illustrations.

Places: I have always lived in Denmark. But I dream about living outside Denmark at one point. 🙂 I have traveled to Bali for a wedding of close friends and I have been to England many times, visiting London more than once. One summer I spent three weeks in Bournemouth; I even have close friends in Southampton whom I have visited. I have been to New York twice (and I am going back). I got married in Siena, Italy, a few years back, and went with close friends and family for a whole week. I visited Italy years back where it won my heart over and have gone back to the beautiful cities and islands of Italy several times since. 🙂 And I will definitely go back throughout the rest of my life. I have also been to Thailand. I dream of going to Vietnam once in the future and more of the USA is also on my wish list.

Other: I have always been drawn to the past and I am a sucker for old music and fashion from the 1920s–1960s; I just feel there is so much beauty in the way that people dressed, spoke and created music back then. I am crazy in love with animals (I have two cats and a dog). Besides that, I am a total romantic. I love big hugs and making people laugh.

Favourite Quote: I loooove quotes and I have too many favorites. But here are some for everything:

“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. Dreams are forever” – Walt Disney

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein

“Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE, the word itself says I’M POSSIBLE” – Audrey Hepburn



2) We first discovered your art on Instagram and we have to say the “Joy Doodle” is the perfect name for these joyfully detailed drawings. How did you develop this intricate doodle style?

Well, first of all, the name was given to me by the first buyer that I sold to. At the time I had just opened my mind to the idea that I should try to build a business on it and I was just calling it “A Happy Doodle.” But it made so much more sense to me so I kept it.

The JoyDoodle style is something that just came to me. The story is even hard for me to believe sometimes.

For more than 15 years I had stopped drawing. I drew a lot as a kid and a young teenager. But then I stopped. I did not feel that my drawings at the time were special or something that I could build a career on. I just couldn’t see the point anymore. I was also very annoyed that I was so bad at drawing in a “classic way.” Things just did not look real enough to me when I drew. My mom is who I mirrored myself on when it came to drawing in a classic way. When I looked at what she could do and I could not, I simply did not feel that my work was special, unique or something I could grow in as an artist.

When I started drawing again two years ago, this “universe” is what came “out of me.” In about a year’s time I developed my own style and I still feel that I am developing my self and my art. I have only drawn the JoyDoodle that you see today for a little over a year now.

Something inside of me just wanted out and then I just let go. I guess timing is everything. 🙂 I have, and always have had, a crazy imagination. I drift into my work forgetting all about food, drinks and even bathroom visits; it is truly magical and I love to see where the swirlies/curlicues, lines, shapes and faces take me.

I have had no training. I have never attended a drawing class other than one in design school, and my teacher told me that I would probably never become an illustrator or artist. Again, because I was so hard on myself when it came to drawing and things not looking good or perfect enough to me, this is what he saw.

But all I do now is draw, not limiting myself, and I have just stopped being my worst critic. I study the Internet a lot and what others do, trying out new stuff to evolve my style and myself as an artist and then I just draw with a smile in my heart. As long as I can do so, I will draw.

Mit Aarhus


3) Does it take a long time for you to compose, create and finish such intricate detail work?

Well, it takes time, that’s for sure. But it can take about 3–4 hours and up to several days. I even have a poster that took me probably more than 50 hours to do. It is very much up to the specific illustration that I am working on.

Usually it takes me more than a few days, because I go back and forth to add more and more details, faces, lines until I am satisfied with the amount of details and “blackness” of the final work. Everything has to have some kind of balance. So I sleep on it – a lot – and continue the work another day. Sometimes I even go back to an old piece because something is “off” to me and so I add more.

Sometimes I sketch with a pen before drawing with a fine liner. Other times I just draw with the fine liner from the beginning without sketching first or outlining the art, using many different widths of pens, to get the specific sense that I want.

Overall? Very hard to say or narrow down. 🙂 It all depends on the illustration and where it takes me.

4) There seems to be a lot of whimsy involved in your art. Are there artists or styles who have particularly inspired you?

My mother is the first I remember who drew these whimsical things, lines and strokes. Therefore I of course copied her. 🙂 It was just magical to me the way you could hide faces and eyes in the lines and strokes. She even made illustrations where you could turn them upside down and then you would see a whole different image. I loved what could hide in an illustration that you would not see before studying it.

I am also very inspired by Kerby Rosanes, who I have followed for a while now. The way he incorporates elements into the art – well, there is just something magical about it. He is the master of Doodle-art, in my opinion.



5) On your website, you specifically offer your art for Dentists & Clinics or Offices & Shops. How did you get into office art design?

When I started to work with the JoyDoodle and see what it could do I found that it could be used in several places. I could see it in clinics where it was made in a specific theme in this particular style. So I explored it and the first thing I did was try out dentists’ offices and, finding the specific material that I wanted, I could create this installment in the ceiling.

I hope and dream of even more interior design projects for companies and clinics, not just limited to Denmark, created in the specific JoyDoodle style.



6) Has anyone, or anything, in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?

You could say my mother, but not in a way you would expect.

My mother stopped drawing and painting when I was in my early teens. She just did not see a reason for it anymore I think. I could never give up something that gives me so much joy and meaning. Seeing her give up on it was hard, and I could never talk to her about it later on, because I think it was too painful for her. This motivates me to keep on, even when it is hard or other stuff gets in the way, simply because I feel so much joy and love when I do what I do and when I can share my crazy images and stories in my illustrations with the world. It is truly a gift, when others feel the joy of my illustrations and this gives meaning to me.



7) Other than the JoyDoodle, what are your passions in art or life?

I love to write poems and fairy tales. I wrote my first fairy tale in sixth grade and it was picked out and became the annual school play that year. Since then, I have loved to write a little, when I find time.

Being in the kitchen is also a true joy to me. I started my own food blog this year, www.joy4food.dk, where I gather all my favorite things and my own recipes. It is something I have wanted to do for a long long time.

Another passion of mine is sewing. Yep, I used to sew most of my clothes. I would disappear into sewing for hours, mostly creating dresses and outfits for events I was going to. Now I do it once in a while if I have nothing to wear. 🙂 Or if I need new designs for my pillow covers in my home.



8) Why did you choose a Paperblanks® journal to create your art?

I have a close friend who showed me her book one day and immediately I fell in love. I knew I had to get one. Notebooks are my thing and Paperblanks® are the crème de la crème when it comes to notebooks. I love that they are so unique; the patterns, colors and soul that I feel it presents. So what’s not to like. 🙂 Everyone who is creative in one way or another should have one, in my opinion. It shows passion and love for creativity and story.



9) Any advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?

Be true to yourself and your creative style, even if others feel differently. Do it out of joy and love. Remember to challenge yourself and try out different things, get out of your comfort zone and explore.

About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.


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