Joy originally trained as a graphic designer. She developed her drawing and watercolour painting during five years living on the Chatham Islands, painting the landscape and portraits of the islanders. Moving to Europe where she lived for fifteen years, Joy studied art at graduate and post graduate level in universities in France, Holland and Italy. Returning to New Zealand she began teaching art part time and became involved with Wellington art, participating in various exhibitions and events. Appreciation of her clean and often highly detailed watercolours steadily grew and in 2008 she won first prize at Watercolour New Zealand's national exhibition. She then spent 18 months in Holland, where her parents had emigrated from, painting on commission. Now settled in Wellington, Joy paints scenes of the city in her own signature style, making full use of those typical New Zealand blues and greens that define the landscape.