Joan Krygsman attended the Ontario College of Art in the 1980s, and one way or another art and design have remained a large part of her life. When she started out, she often found it difficult to feel she was creating something truly original – the occasional successful creations seemed to appear magically, from a place she could not access except by happy accident. Somehow, as she’s grown older, she is grateful to find that she can access that place more readily.

Joan works in ink, collage and acrylic paint, drawing primarily animals, or child-like human figures. Bold colours and stripes are her signature elements. The characters tend to stare directly at the viewer, challenging and often a little sad. She likes the dichotomy between the sense of innocence and the sense of misery of these creatures. Although they are childlike, they aren’t created for children. The sense of darkness underlying each piece hangs there like a secret waiting to be discovered. Like children, they aren’t as sweet and innocent as they may at first appear. They like to keep secrets.