Costume Designer Christian Joy Incorporates Her Mask into Her Outfit

Q(uar) & A is a series of interviews with some of our favorite storytellers and creators about how they’re living while in lockdown.

Christian Joy is costume designer and artist. She has worked with musicians such as Karen O, Childish Gambino, and Brittany Howard. Christian’s paintings were most recently on view at Spring Breakers Art Show in LA.

Where are you currently sheltering in place?

I’m at my apartment in Greenpoint with my husband Jason Grisell.

What does your face mask look like? 

I’ve been making my own masks. They’re colorful, bright and graphic. I actually don’t mind wearing them. I try to incorporate it into my outfit.

Do you follow any kind of routine at this moment? 

I feel like I was for awhile, but now I just try to go with the flow. Following a schedule always makes me feel a little too contained so even though I usually try to work between the hours of 11am and 7pm. I’m not too hard on myself if it differs up a bit. I’ve been making masks to sell online so that has been part of my agenda for awhile now.

What are some pieces of entertainment that you have consumed and loved during this time?

Oh geez, I’ve been listening to this podcast called Small Town Dicks, it’s a true crime podcast. I’m a little embarrassed but it’s pretty fascinating. I also love Reply All. I’ve finally been able to keep up a bit on the millions of issues of The New Yorker that I receive and never get around to reading. I also have a subscription to Archeology Magazine.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed I watch reruns of The Great British Baking Show. It makes me feel calm. We actually haven’t watched a ton of TV or movies, but my favorite quarantine movie so far is one I found on Criterion called The Forest For The Trees, which is a really funny, dramatic, and cringe-y movie. It’s one of those movies where you feel embarrassed for the main character the entire time.

Are you working on anything during this time? And if you’re having trouble “creating” things at the moment, how are you getting around it?

I started off making masks to hand off to hospitals and then began making them to sell online, because let’s face it, I don’t have a job right now and I need to make money somehow. I was having a lot of trouble creating, but I’ve recently started to feel like maybe I’m breaking free. I did a couple of pieces the other day and I’m working on a new one right now. The way I got around it was I started to think about my mom and how she was always able to be creative even during times of struggle. I mean it was necessary to our survival as a family, but I think it’s necessary for my survival as a human as well.

Have you taken up any new hobbies? 

Not so much. I’ve been doing a lot of crosswords and maybe baking a little bit more than usual.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten so far during quar? 

Well I finally broke down and ordered a pizza. It was a Grandma pizza from Sal’s and it was delicious.

What’s the best quar purchase you’ve made so far?

I’ve really only bought fabric and recently I bought some screen printing ink. I bought the fabric from Big Duck Canvas.

Who are the writers, storytellers, or makers who are bringing you great joy right now?

Ok, mine are all Instagram handles. @Doyrivative is my friend Akiko Sthrenberger who is this super genius illustrator who makes movie posters. She also posts funny memes in her stories. Also, my friend Lacie RZ Porta who owns a company called Framed Florals. Her Instagram is always so relaxing and pretty. I think memes may be getting me through this more than anything. My favorite meme Instagram is @Daquan.

Any unexpectedly memorable moments of quar so far? 

I think my favorite memory so far is the socially distant stoop pizza party we had with our neighbors and their four-year-old daughter. They’re right next door so we just sit on our stoops and eat pizza together.

Find Christian on Instagram @christianjoycostumes.