My name is Mandy, and I am an Abstract Painter based in Minnesota (USA).
My life has been a creative journey filled with many art medium explorations and crafting adventures. I dabbled in everything I could get my hands on but never found my niche. It was only when I stumbled across alcohol ink that I truly found my artistic calling. It is through alcohol ink that I am able to create paintings that connect the analytical parts of my brain with the creative, deeply emotional, daydreamer side.
Deep down, I have always known I was born to create, educate, and bring joy to others through art. Creating full-time has been a dream I’ve always wanted to chase. I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to pursue my dream and use my professional experience to educate and spark joy in others.
Mini Martha is my name and Art is my game (Circa 1993).
Creativity has been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was dubbed 'Mini Martha' (after Martha Stewart, of course) by my father as a small child because I was constantly creating something. Of course, in my younger years, I was mostly using noodles, homemade glue, water-based paint, and Crayola crayons for my mediums of choice. But, I'll tell you, I still had some minor league success with the basics. I won my first city-wide coloring contest at the age of 7, and I believe winning that contest was the catalyst for my artistic journey. I haven't stopped coloring my way through life since that day.
The Great Expedition (1993-2018)
I come from a family who believes in education and ‘real’ jobs, so I went to college planning to work in hospital management. Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) when I graduated from college it was during one of the recessions. Meaning I happily took the first job I was offered, which happened to be working in education.
I’ve worked various jobs in higher education for the past 11 years while also earning my master’s degree and my Ph.D. (well almost, ABD gal here!). I have basically gone through the motions in my career- earning and doing the next thing because it was the expectation. I don’t think I have ever wanted any of the degrees I have earned they were more or less requirements for the career journey I had selected.
As you can image, working full-time while earning advanced degrees is extremely stressful. The mental tole from my career choice was wreaking havoc on my body. It was during this time that I realized I need some other outlet- something more creative than my job or studies were offering me.
I wasn’t sure where to begin because for most of my life, I have struggled to find my niche medium. I've dabbled in many art mediums including acrylic, oil, watercolor, pen, pencil, charcoal (among others), and I’ve tried many types of craft including, quilting, pattern making, scrapbooking, and knitting. I've tried it all, and nothing ever felt right.
I consider everything prior to 2018 to be the exploratory years because it took me a bit to figure out my calling. However, if it weren't for the exploration, I wouldn't have developed an understanding and appreciation for color theory, composition, texture, and color interactions (hello, any analytical creators out there?!).
Finding Neverland (2018)
Do you remember the moment in your life where you really connected with something or someone? For me, it was fall 2018, the seasonal change (in case you're wondering, fall leads to winter, and winter is my least favorite season) was getting to me and my current life situation was especially challenging for me. At this point in my life, I was finishing up coursework for my Ph.D. and working full-time as an academic advisor and lecturer at a local university. To say I was stressed would be a complete understatement; I was stressed to the max! I was also feeling low and unfulfilled by the trajectory of my career. Thankfully, when I get in these moods, I seek creative adventures as an outlet. As luck would have it, my next creative adventure would take me down a path I never expected.
The magic all started the day I found Alcohol Ink. I was scrolling through Instagram, and an artist popped up on the explore page, who was creating collage works using alcohol ink. I loved the color and creative approach she was using and did a bit of research to find out what medium she was using. From there, I purchased my first set of inks from Jacquard Products and never looked back.
Creating Magic (2019- Present)
Since 2018, I've spent time honing my skills as an alcohol ink abstract painter. I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to thrive in today's crazy world; your personality, your sense of humor, a little sparkle, and, most importantly, your heart. All of these elements brought me to start Mandy Marie Art.
It hasn’t been an easy road, but nothing in life is free! Looking back, I can’t say I would change a thing because each part of my life journey has brought me to this very moment.
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WHY DO I
love to teach
Easy, I have spent most of my childhood and adult career teaching in a university setting. It's what I love to do, and now I get to teach content that excites me. I find joy in teaching others how to paint with alcohol ink. I get a thrill out of help others connect with a medium that has brought so much joy and magic into my life.
WHAT ARE MY
Have fun! It's not worth doing it if you're not having fun. Life is too short to spend your time angry, frustrated, and upset. If something isn't working keep trying! I did not become the artist I am today overnight. Give your self some grace and room for growth.
Practice every day. Again, I did not become the artist I am today with out a bit of practice ;) My early work was not as good as my work is today, that is the case with almost everything in life. Most of us are not great at something right out of the gate.
Find your own personal style. It's great to look to other artists for inspiration but try to find your signature style. My style focuses on heavy texture, contrast, composition, color theory, and a WHOLE lot of metallic.