Joy and Ryan perfectly reflects how love is really the strongest force out there. The story of how they came together to become one despite all the hurdles of coming from two different continents is inspiring. We stay in awe!
Join us on this special annual edition as Joy and Ryan share a truckload of inspiration filled with love, beauty and brilliance.
Here’s To An Annual Celebration of Inspiring Couples in The Creative Industry
Being a Creative is a lot in a world full of ‘noise.’ To find someone who can listen, relate with your words, your dreams, the happy tears, and even the challenging moments is one of the best gifts to have, not just for a moment, but for a lifetime. We understand that having the right partner can make life a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling. Having someone to support your creative journey in all sincerity and love all you do and all you are is a priceless gift.
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
Hello ICON To Joy: As your name is, you’re one person that effortlessly stirs pure joy, peace and warmth in all sincerity and beauty. Can you share some highlights of how your husband has contributed to the growth of your journey as a Creative?
Joy: Thank you very much for having us. Firstly, he’s very encouraging, he encourages me a lot. I mean, if there is anything I need to make anything I’m working on successful, I might just mention it to him in passing, and he’d get it for me and he’s like hey, here is what you need. Get what you want to make your work easier. It’s lovely to have someone who listens to you when you talk. We talk a lot about a lot of things and maybe after a week, he still gets what I said. So, it’s very encouraging to have him and it’s just really nice to have someone to support you.
Hello ICON To Ryan: You have continued to thrive in your creative journey and you are no doubt a beautiful inspiration to many out there. What will you consider most fulfilling about having the right partner?
Ryan: Oh. Like she said, the right person can encourage you in so many ways. You can balance ideas, energy, and struggles with your ideas, figure out how to resolve whatever issues you have or do you just need to talk things through with somebody. If you have the wrong person, they wouldn’t be helpful, they’d even discourage you and that’s really harmful. Especially to creative people.I mean you really do know the difference between the right or the wrong person as a creative.
Hello ICON: How did you meet? Was it love at first sight?
Ryan: No, she messaged me.
Joy: Yeah, I actually sent him the first message. Take it from there.
Ryan: I didn’t like you very much. It was not love at first sight. She messaged me and it took a second for me to respond, but I quickly saw that we had a deeper connection and that made love grow very quickly. So, it wasn’t love at first sight, but I felt a connection immediately and I realized I should respond to her message.
Hello ICON: I totally appreciate and enjoy the honesty. So, the next question goes to Joy, “My soul has found peace with you.” These are your words for your husband and they give a beautiful glimpse of how you see him. What was the first attraction to him for you? And that do you think has kept the love and connection strong?
Joy: Well, I noticed a lot of things about him, that’s why I messaged him. And when we got talking, I noticed those things were actually there. First of all was his love for God, I’ve always been this person who takes my faith seriously and I know I have always wanted someone who takes his faith seriously. Who is not just a Christian, but has a personal relationship with God, knows him well and does things the way God wants us to do things.
So, as weeks passed, we started talking. I asked him a lot of questions about his beliefs, his values, his principles, and as we got talking we discovered we had a lot of things in common. He loves god, he wants to do things the way God wants and our dating was different from what you would have in this age, and someone that’s old school would have just said that. I believe in doing things the way it should be.
Joy: (laughs) Anyways if you want somebody, you’d get to find out a lot about each other, I believe there is a process, get to know each other first, you ask their hand in marriage. A lot of relationships we see right now, people having premarital sex, I don’t believe in that. And it’s always been a problem finding someone who agrees with that, and when we got talking, I just saw that a lot of things, a lot of principles we had aligned with each other. It was hard to believe at first because we all know the world we are in right now. Everyone wants to be ‘woke’ and if you are someone who believes in doing things the way it used to be done so many years ago, people see you as old-fashioned. I think that was it for me, it was beautiful to see somebody who was as old-fashioned as me. I think the first thing that attracted him to me was his love for God and he kept the connection. There are a lot of things we did while we were long-distance from each other, we prayed together, studied God’s word together, had dinner dates. I should credit the success we had to communication, whether it’s good or bad, we had a lot of communication.
Hello ICON: Ryan, You and Joy are an absolute delight to see. And perfectly reflects the beauty of diversity which is one of our core values at Hello ICON Magazine. What was that one thing that made you know she is ‘the one’?
Ryan: Whoa. First, I was looking for somebody who has a good work ethic, and there were some things written in her profile that made me do a double check. I know God has been driving me in her direction and God drove us together. I genuinely believe this, there were little signs I picked up while trying to pray and there were those little things, like the deeper connection we have and I think the biggest thing is that you just know it. And I think that it is the communication that God wants to deliver to your spirit. When you just know that it’s the right thing to do, and so that’s how I kind of know that she is the right one. On so many different levels and through all the adversaries, all of the problems that we had trying to get together. Everything works together in a way better than I could have imagined. There could only be one reason for that, it’s that we are meant to be together.
Hello ICON: You guys are so cute together.
To Joy and Ryan: We understand life comes with its hurdles sometimes. How do you both best manage challenging times?
Ryan: The most important thing to anything is communication. Misunderstandings happen and it will grow into problems but it will communicate the good and bad things, you will understand things. Misunderstandings will grow into bad things. So, I think that’s one of the biggest things, and then patience, kindness, and love for each other. They are very key things that you have to have and also be willing to work through things. If you really want to be with someone, you want to do what it takes to be with that person and it means patience and kindness for yourself. There is a lot to it, and it’s kind of a two-way thing. I think that’s to relationships.
Hello ICON: True. Joy, do you have anything to add?
Joy: He has actually covered it. I think that patience is one if I have to emphasize one thing. It’s not enough to communicate and be willing to work through things, you have to be patient. The other partner might be difficult on some days, the other partner might be hard on some days, just be patient.
To Joy and Ryan: Social media somewhat makes the picture of love, marriage and relationships quite blurry sometimes. One moment we see love everywhere, the next moment we hear breakup stories. But these words below by X-Wam (one of our pioneer interviewees on the love series) makes the picture clearer: “Understand what you see is not the complete story, do not assume to know. Strength, power, independence, wisdom, love is just beneath the eye catching cover.”
To either Joy or Ryan: Can you please share some quick tips on how couples can better manage social media and its influence on their relationships?
Ryan: I talk about this topic a lot. Social media is a superficial place. If you talk to your neighbor, he’d only say what he wants you to know. So, you have to understand that even with the bad or the good things, it’s very superficial. It’s what they want you to see. When you know nothing about the behind the scenes, you can’t really judge or compare people, because you don’t know. Your situation is completely different from others. Leave it at that.
Joy: I’d like to add that sometimes we spend a lot on social media and we don’t know the effect that has on us, until we start to see ourselves do something and you wonder where it’s coming from. In that case, I’d say sometimes we need breaks off social media to focus on our relationships, because even if those online are actually happy, and it’s not just what they want you to see, it took them a lot of work to get there. Take time off and invest in your relationships and improve yourself and be the best you can be for yourself and your partner.
Hello ICON: Ryan, who was the first person you spoke to about Joy?
Ryan: The monks? No parents!
Joy: He is actually friends with monks because there was a time he was considering becoming a monk, so he made friends with some of them.
Hello ICON: Thank God, Joy sent that message.
Joy: I believe things will just always work out the way God wants it to be. Then he maintained strong relationships with those in the monastery, because he is a convert catholic like me. But, he’s always confused as to who he told friends, but I think he told his parents before his friends at the monastery.
Hello ICON: To Joy, what song best describes your marriage?
Joy: I saw this question and the first song that came to mind was this part from Burna Boy’s song with EdSheeran that says, “you see through the storm and take me as I am.” I’m not a very music person.
Hello ICON: What does Art mean to you?
Joy: It’s expressing yourself, the things you feel. Just an expression.
Ryan: Art is something you share, your ideas about society, or any sort of philosophy and it also depends on the medium you use. You can create a simple picture or you can really put any meaning behind it. Through Art you send the world a message of how you see the world and what you’d like to see in the world that could provoke thoughts, debate, thought-provoking activities that you can engage other people in that you can improve the society in your small way. Art is used to do a census, it connects with people more than a conversation. You feel a picture or movie more than just a conversation. If it’s music, how much music means to people. You hear a song and you have an immediate connection and what it means. I could really talk for hours about it.
Hello ICON To Joy: As creatives, we understand the high tendencies of getting stressed out even while pursuing our passion. There are days when even depression may creep in or just that inexplicable feeling of overwhelmingness. Do you have any relatable experience to this? If so, how are you able to manage and thrive beyond phases like this? Any quick tips on ‘Mental Health for Creatives.’
Joy: Well, I can relate with this because there are times when you pour your heart into something and you don’t get what you want out of it. Take a break then. Do something you love, or talk to someone, they can help you see another perspective and that helps. Take time if you need it. When you take the time off, don’t think about the project so you can see another perspective when you come back. Shutting yourself completely and maybe going out with friends will help you see as if you are working on it for the first time.
Hello ICON To Ryan: Do you feel creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?
Ryan: No, I think it’s the opposite. Creative people think outside the box, so you can create a solution to solve your problem. If you are creative, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’d create a solution. However, in developed countries, there are more distractions that take you away from yourself, and art requires being with yourself. There are advantages to being in a developed world but you have to be very careful but in developing world, you have more time and don’t need to force yourself too much.
Hello ICON: This is the first time I am getting a different response to this. Things mean different things to different people, and I am really enjoying my time with you. Joy, we know balancing time is a challenge for creatives. Please share how you balance work time, family time, rest time? And when the triplets come, how would you balance your time?
Joy: I believe family should come first. People have different opinions, but family will always be there even when work fails. You shouldn’t let your dreams suffer. If you need to take time off work, do so, and vice versa. Communicate with your partner to see how they can help you when you need one. It takes the worry off your mind. If work is taking things too much, stop though because family is the most important thing.
Hello ICON TO joy and Ryan: What is success to you?
Joy: I’d say being able to achieve the things and dreams that keep you awake.
Ryan: For example, if you want to be the richest person on earth, that is what would make you a success right? Success is fulfilling a goal, if it’s a family, get it done and you are successful. You only have this one life, why limit yourself to the society’s view of success. When your soul is happy about what you do in life, that’s success. Know what you want and strive for it, if you maintain your goals and not waiver no matter how long it takes, then you are successful.
Hello ICON To Joy and Ryan: Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that pallette, what would that be and why?
Joy: Me. I’d pick Green because it signifies growth and it’s what I strive for. When I look back and see I have grown, maybe mentally. So, I’d say green.
Ryan: Purple and blue. There is chaos in this world and that sorts it.
Massive Love Joy and Ryan!
The ICONIC Team.