It's been a hot second since I've done a studio update and connected with all of you. Summer is one of those months that seems to happen in a blink of an eye. After the last 18ish months we have had, raise your hand if you feel the need to slow down.
Can I raise two hands? On top of civil injustice, Afghanistan, Texas, COVID, the list is long... I recently headed back into the classroom, university level, not grade school, thank heavens (many thanks to all the k-12 peeps), and it has been really stressful.
On top of everything happening in life, I'm starting to feel the seasonal shift. I don't know if you feel it too, but fall is just around the corner. The weather begins to change, and my body (hello creaky joints) and mind start telling me to slow down. It's during this time that I like to go inward and reflect. Reflection helps me manage the everyday stressors and fears I've been putting off. Thanks to everything happening in the world, my stress and anxieties are at an all-time high.
Right now, what I see and hear are fear, and stress is a big part of our everyday life. So I've been thinking a lot about how I can support this community (psst! that's you).
I love building connections with people, and I especially love to talk about alcohol ink, business, branding, and mindset. Unfortunately, I've been pulled in so many directions lately that sometimes I feel like I drop the ball in some areas of my business. One of those areas is this blog and emails. I really want to offer more and connect more with you, which means I will be more active on this site and with my email communication! So...
Welcome to Studio Chatter! Each week, or maybe bi-weekly, depending on what you all want to hear about from me, I'm going to be connecting with you. BUT,
In order to do that and to serve you better, I would love to know what you want to see more of going forward. Comment on this post or send me a message letting me know some ideas; I would love to hear from you!
In Other Exciting News
One thing I absolutely love about creating and teaching with alcohol ink is the community of beautiful people. There are so many amazing people and companies to work with within this space, which is why I couldn't say no to the opportunity to be a featured artist of the month for one of my favorite ink brands [eep!].
AND who might that be?
Well, if you haven't seen it splashed on Social Media yet, I am the September Artist & Educator Of The Month over on T Rex Alcohol Inks.
If you're new here, T Rex Alcohol Inks is one of my favorite brands of inks. Tiffani and Stephen might be a small company (right now), but I see big things in their future. I'm obsessed with their clear blending solution. No joke, I purchase bottles of the blender in quantities of three. I also adore the color Monsoon from their Cool pack and Mojave Dust from their Warm pack. In addition to the various ink packs, they started offering their Starter Pack Set inks in larger 4-ounce bottles. I have Tidal Teal in the 4-ounce bottle, and it's already getting some significant use! Bigger bonus - they plan to offer the colors from the Warm EARTH tones and Cool EARTH tones soon (I'm already saving up to buy multiples of Monsoon and Mojave Dust).
Also, in case you missed the link, check out the interview here: September Artist & Educator Of The Month: Mandy Marie – T-Rex Inks (trexinks.com)
Summer Product & Services Review
Summer was a busy time; I swear every year, I blink and miss it. If you're anything like me, you probably avoided your email for more fun activities outside. If that was the case, two BIG things happened here in the studio;
I launched an art collection, Explore the North, inspired by the Minnesota North Shore (Duluth, MN area). Read more about the collection and what it means to me here: Explore the North Shore Collection
I launched a new Intermediate Course; I provide over one hour of content covering color theory, composition, and contrast, PLUS a full painting demonstration, AND open and honest discussions on artist mindset.
I'll be in full holiday mode from now until Christmas. I've already started making Ornaments (these were hot items last year), smaller originals, prints, coasters (NEW), and trinket dishes (also NEW). All of these items will be hitting the shop closer to Thanksgiving (so really, not slowing down).
Well, that's it from me. Let's meet up again.