Inspiration comes in many forms, and for Johns Creek artist Eileen Sirica Cardillo, it came in a dream.

In 2012, at age 49, Cardillo woke up with the name that would become her business for the next seven years: Joy to the WORD. That dream — and that name — drove Cardillo to create her custom, inspirational art business. Today, Joy to the WORD spreads joy through Cardillo’s hand-created art, from paintings and pet portraits to signs and prints. 

“It had been a challenging year, and I prayed that God would send me something I could do which might bring joy to others,” Cardillo said. “That day, I wasn’t sure what I was going to paint until my brush hit the canvas. I began creating inspirational pieces, which were the focus of my business initially. Over the past seven years, my artwork has expanded in subject and style significantly, but the mission has remained the same: ‘to spread joy through uplifting, original and meaningful art.’”

Art has always been a part of Cardillo’s life. Although she pursued a graphic design degree in college, she said she was unable to use it.

“Almost immediately after I graduated from the American University, computer graphics took over and my degree was antiquated, having learned to do everything by hand,” Cardillo said.

Determined to make it work, Cardillo turned to work as a muralist, calligrapher and freelance artist while raising her children with her husband in Michigan and Georgia.

It wasn’t until decades later that Joy to the WORD Custom and Inspirational Art was born, and it has only grown since then, Cardillo said. 

Cardillo now paints meaningful signs, quotes and inspirational pieces, usually in acrylic. She also creates custom pet portraits. Some of her favorite subjects include angels, sunflowers, landscapes, seascapes, sunrises and animals. 

“I try to promote messages of love, peace, faith, strength, kindness and joy with my art and hopefully bring a few smiles to people along the way,” she said. 

Cardillo’s work has taken her as far as Washington, D.C., where a special piece she created now hangs in honor of her late father John Sirica, the U.S. District Court judge who presided over the Watergate burglary trials in the early 1970s that ultimately implicated then President Richard Nixon’s administration in the crime and led to Nixon’s resignation. 

“I will never forget what occurred on December of 2018,” Cardillo said. “I had the pleasure of painting ‘Honor,’ in memory and honor of my father John Sirica. Along with our family, we presented and donated the piece of art to the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., where it is hanging outside of his former chambers today.”

Giving back has always been a priority, Cardillo said.

She has used her success with Joy to the WORD to regularly give back to CURE Childhood Cancer, making approximately $11,000 in monetary donations to date to the nonprofit.

Cardillo has likewise donated her original artwork to a variety of nonprofits and schools in the Atlanta area to help with their fundraising efforts.

“Giving back to the community has been a highlight and privilege more than I can properly express,” Cardillo said. “I hope that Joy to the WORD will continue to bring joy to the clients and organizations we have been blessed to work with for many years to come … How grateful I am to God for this mid-life gift.”

For more information about Cardillo, her works and her initiatives, visit joytothewordart.com. 

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