The Illustrator

My Story

The south Okanagan has been my home for many years now.  Along with the natural beauty of the hills, valleys and lakes, we have beautiful orchards and vineyards now dotting the Okanagan landscape.

The apple was an important part of our history in the Okanagan!  Apple trees, along with many other types of fruit trees, were introduced by the early settlers here due to the summer heat and temperate winters.

I could not produce books called Colour the Okanagan without including this photo in an apple orchard.  The apple made this valley famous!

We are now seeing fewer apple orchards, as vineyards are gradually changing our landscape.  Wineries, producing excellent wines sought after by locals and tourists who visit our lovely home every year, are the new history here!

This is my story in my new home, but I would like to include a bit of my history as well!

My early life in Winnipeg, watching the Red River flow past our home, summers spent in the beautiful lake country of eastern Manitoba and Lake of the Woods, Ontario were a great inspiration for me.

Enjoyment of books, poetry, flora and fauna, brilliant prairie colours, landscapes, skies and cloud watching became an instrument in my love of art.

One of my favourite childhood memories in early spring is of lavender coloured prairie crocuses peeking out of the meadows of melting snow in the very bright sunlight!

Prairie Crocuses

 After studying Fine Arts Honours at the University of Manitoba and a graphic arts program, I worked at freelance artwork, medical illustration, drawing and painting.

A move to the picturesque Okanagan Valley with our young family was a dream fulfilled!

Work in the south Okanagan as a freelance artist, including illustration, design and art production, window painting and sign writing for small businesses in the Okanagan & Similkameen Valleys became part of my portfolio.   I also worked in the hospitality industry while taking care of my family.

 After education as a Social Service Worker, I worked with special needs adults as an art teacher.

The never ending beauty of our Okanagan Valley, the many interesting and “unique places” here, inspired me to work on this new project, the illustration of adult colouring books to celebrate our beautiful Okanagan landscape!

There has been much encouragement from my family and friends…and of course, my husband Larry, who kept making dinner and pouring the Okanagan wine!  I love Greek food!!!

I can draw, you can colour and together, with imagination, we can create and have fun with art!!!


Grapes by Joy Whitley Syskakis of Colour the Okanagan Illustrations Company. Request YOUR very own copy of Joy's colouring book today via our website! All images and illustrations are Copyright protected!

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