Joel Clements is a graphic designer, documentary photographer, and widely involved creative soul who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario with his fabulous wife Andrea, and two adorable cats. I have witnessed the exceptional work of Joel’s hands in his woodworking, cabinetmaking, and renovating. His vintage canoe is one example of his loving and meticulous process of preserving things of beauty.
To have a creative conversation with Joel is best enjoyed with a cold craft brew in your hand and a good chunk of time to sit and wonder together. For now I’m just going to imagine the day that will happen again, and enjoy our virtual chat.
Joel is my brother, and my friend. Welcome to Buddy Breathing, JC. Your websites HERE and HERE are great resources for folk to dig in and find out more about you, and experience more of your work. Today you’ve brought us a poignant poem, and a photograph, but let’s dig first into the answers to three questions.
Lesley-Anne: We often say we wish we had more time for certain things. Are you spending your time differently in view of our current world challenges? If so, how?
Joel: I’ve been a self-employed creative for almost 14 years, so working from home hasn’t required an adjustment besides adapting to sharing the house 24/7 with my wife. Social distancing and travel restrictions are definitely having an effect on my photography. Last year at this time I was preparing for a month long documentary assignment in Malawi. I have taken the opportunity to play a little – with my Polaroid cameras and some mixed-media art projects. I take a little time out of work each day to do some art for art’s sake.
Lesley-Anne: Why is art important?
Joel: Creativity is central to my being. I love to create, and experience things that other people have created.
Lesley-Anne: What is one surprising thing that happened today?
Joel: I received a request to submit a poem to Buddy Breathing.
Your photo and poem are gifts that seem so well suited to each other. Thank you for taking us here.
Love and hope,
Grief Moved In Blue sweatshirts, sweat-stained, darkened, sled labelled boxes down the hall jammed with box-spring skeletons, and grunt a piano up the stairs The sofa rests hard on soft shoulders, carried away from an empty shrunken room. We sit hard on hardwood floors, listen to squeals of dolly wheels rolling up plywood ramps, eat fried chicken from the bucket, sharing memories with deaf walls as grief moves in.