About Joy Murray

18034219_1689419937742708_8425546506479888283_nThis blog is about how the arts impact and improve our lives, from the time we are impressionable children until we are silver-haired sages.  I am a writer and artist who lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

From 2006 to 2016, I lived in Portland, Oregon.  While there I had to opportunity to live at Bridge Meadows, an intentional community serving families adopting children from the foster care system.  I mentored children in storytelling and art.  Here’s a link to a video about that:

I’ve used the arts to help navigate life, cope with a long term disability, and to find enchantment and insight.  I have Transverse Myelitis, a neurological disorder similar to Mulitiple Sclerosis, since I was 16.  I also have a mild bi-polar disorder that leans to the depressive side.  I grew up in a chaotic environment and it’s only in the past decade I’ve learned what a rich source of story and growth that is.  The gift of aging is that I can see more clearly the strength of my physical and emotional scars.

I’d like to encourage everyone to get on with their creative work  We all have unique stories to tell in unique ways.  There are so many ways we are told through our lives to conform, to be quiet, and to not stir up trouble.  I hope to resist that in my life and to help others resist.  What we hide, what we cloak in shame, becomes toxic and keeps us from living fully.  We are meant to learn and share our thoughts all through our lives.  I hope to do what it takes to keep my sense of wonder alive and to report it back to you.

I teach art, journaling, and creative writing to all ages.


I used to do a lot of fabric art and dolls.

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Now i’m concentrating on painting and writing, combining narratives, making books.  This is from my Depression Recovery Book that I’m working on now.

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And I paint and make collages:

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Thanks for reading my blog.

4 thoughts on “About Joy Murray

  1. Hello Joy! You are doing an amazing job with those dolls and I love how you also include posts and photographs of the stages involved in creating them. You are so talented!

    I think your project called “Bodies in Transition: From Transformation to Transcendence” is absolutely brilliant. It’s quite an undertaking, so good luck.

    1. Thank you so much, Nadia. I plan to do a lot of the work on Bodies in Transition this summer. I have an idea for a segment called “Fantastic Ambulation,” where I want to make several different kinds of fantasy wheelchairs and mobility assistance devices. People are so inspiring — I love honoring them with my art.

  2. Joy,

    I have just spent part of this evening looking through this wonderful site. I must admit, Jazzy JJ has caught my eye.

    You’ve done a great job with your creations! I love seeing how someone transforms their ideas into reality.


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