Saturday, June 12, 2021

New blog!

My blog has moved!

Head over to for all new posts. 

Saturday, January 04, 2020

One Little Word 2020

Oh 2020, what a start you are off to!

I'm sitting here on the couch with nothing but practical things on my mind. Which is not normal for me. I need to pay our January bills. And we currently do not have a car, as both are un-drivable for different reasons. 

Our beloved Prius, which we've had for ten years, is sitting at the repair shop right now, probably totaled. We were in a pretty darn scary car accident this past Sunday when a guy ran a red light and hit us on the driver's side. Thankfully we are all OK and just waiting to find out the car's fate. And then last night we went to take our other car to the store and ended up with two flat tires. Thankfully only a few houses down the street. Seriously? All I can do is laugh. 

Soooo...our new year is off to a wonky start. The humorous part to me is that my word for 2020 is...

But what the heck am I manifesting? I mean seriously? I had no intention of this, I'll tell you that. 

I was thinking more about art opportunities than new tires and car shopping. 

We don't always have control over what the universe sends our way. 

But you know what we do have control over? How we respond to it. 

So I'm sitting on the couch writing this blog post, being OK with not having a car right now, and counting my blessings. Like tow trucks. And car insurance. And coffee, always coffee. 

I'm still really excited to see what God and the universe can help me manifest this year. Here's to a year of being open to possibilities and having the courage to go after them! 

Do you have a word this year? I'd love to know what it is!


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Recap

Well. Hello there, good old blog. It's been awhile!

Let's talk about 2019, shall we? 

There are only a few hours left in this year, and in this decade. I don't have the energy to think back on the past ten years today, but do want to look back a bit on the last 12 months.

I didn't have any specific goals for the year, other than slowing down and getting back to a life that felt manageable and aligned with my soul's purpose. 

What I didn't expect was that giving up some things that were weighing me down would open me up to so many new opportunities. I was amazed when I looked back on the year at everything I had been able to accomplish. 

If you follow me on Instagram, I created a highlight for the year with links to different posts. But for this blog post, I'm gonna keep it simple and list them with a few things linked up for ya. So here we go! 

In 2019 I...
  • Showed art at my 2nd Surtex 
  • Launched my 2nd coloring book
  • Left my art agency
  • Partnered to create printables for the Reset Girl
  • Rejoined the Illustrated Faith team
  • Created my first physical product for Illustrated Faith 
  • Launched new branding
  • Taught my first in person lettering classes
  • Created lots of pet portraits
  • Started creating gifs 
    • (you can find them by searching "mandyfordart"!)
  • Launched my first stickers
  • Started meeting with a spiritual director
  • Moved to a new art space in our home
  • Bought pink glasses
  • Got to hear Lisa Congdon and Andy Miller speak together
    • And chat with them both in person - such a gift!
  • Moved to a four day work week at my day job 
  • Had two super fun pop up shops

It was a YEAR. 

We capped it off on Sunday by getting in a scary car accident. 
Yikes. So the past few days we've been taking it easy and 
majorly counting our blessings. 

I'm so thankful for all of the support I've received this past year. 
I had no idea what it was going to hold, and looking back I'm in 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Here's to a 2020 where we give ourselves grace and grow 
even more into our best selves!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

New Printables!

Hello friends!

How are things in your corner of the world? I know I've been super quiet over here on the blog, but if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know I've been keeping myself busy with lots of new projects. And I have an exciting one to share with you!

I'm super excited to be back in the Illustrated Faith Print & Pray shop with some new printables! "Give it all you've got" is my motto these days, and all of these designs were created with motivation and encouragement in mind. 💛 

The first set is full of fun ephemera including rainbows, lettering & of course coffee cups, washi strips, and lots of cute hexies. 

And the second is a set of four patterned papers...

There are so many fun projects you can create with these sets! They are fantastic for not only bible journaling, but scrapbooking, adding to your paper planner, card-making, art journaling, and really any sort of paper crafting.  

You can check them both out, as well as my other printables, here!


Friday, May 03, 2019

A Dose of Encouragement

Oh yes, it's Friday friends!

Thanks goodness.

How are you doing over there? I wanted to share a bit about what's going on with me lately, and a few links to inspire and encourage you.

I've been blessed with commissioned artwork requests the past few weeks. The serendipitous thing about this is that just when I decided to take a break from working at the crazy pace I had been, some really wonderful and meaningful projects came my way.
This is the most recent one:

When this request came to me, I immediately knew how I wanted the finished piece to look. One of my favorite things about these pieces is that they stretch me to draw new subject matter. I had never drawn an amaryllis before, and it was a fun challenge. 

This dog portrait was a surprise birthday gift which made it even more fun to create...

And how fun is that name?! I used one of the owner's tattoos for inspiration for the flowers and color palette. 

And finally this piece was created for the shared bedroom of two young sisters. Do you see the little bee and lady bug? Those represent sweet is that?! 

I'm sharing all of this with you to prove that the universe has your back. Just when I felt discouraged and that my art wasn't the quality it should be, or reaching the audience I wanted it to, these projects came my way. 

That validation means everything!

And as I promised, here are a few links to encourage and inspire you...

Hope you have a fantastic weekend friends!


Monday, April 15, 2019

Keep Going

Oh, hello there friends.

Boy has it been awhile since I blogged. A lot has changed for me in the past few months, and even in the past few weeks. A lot of growing and discerning where things are going, and where I want them to be going.

Have you been in a similar season? It can be exhausting, right? But also freeing. Figuring out who the heck you are, what matters to you, and what path feels right for your soul. 

If you follow along with me on social media, especially my Instagram stories, you know I love to start a slow morning with a good book and a mug of coffee. 

Last weekend I read Keep Going by Austin Kleon and it was so lovely and encouraging that I wanted to share a few of my favorite snippets with you. 

You're not supposed to start with the end, but I will say that the last page made me cry and say YES! out loud and nod my head and then cry some more. It was exactly the reminder I needed on the day I read it. 

Don't you love when a book finds you at the perfect time? 

One of the serendipitous moments where the book met my life is where Kleon talks about creating a "bliss station" in your home. 

My husband and I recently switched desk spaces at home. He needed a more private space so he moved into our downstairs rec room, and I moved my desk into our family room. This has been the best surprising game changer for me. I hardly every used my art space before because I had to be alone and away from my family, and when I'm home I want to be with them. 

"Creativity is about connection - you must be connected to others in order to be inspired and share your own work - but it is also about disconnection. You must retreat from the world long enough to think, practice your art, and bring forth something worth sharing with others."

Now I'm sharing the space where we do life together and it is perfect. If I need quiet I just pop in my headphones and get to work. I still do love creating from the comfy corner of our couch, but last night I sat at my desk to work on an illustration and it was so wonderful. It is amazing what this switch has done for my motivation and attitude toward my art. 

Kleon says, "A bliss station can be not just a where, but also a when. Not just a sacred space, but also a sacred time." Depending on your life and schedule, it can be hard to find a place and a time that works. The important thing is to find one that works for you. 

Another lesson in the book that hit super close to home for me was the notion of doing the creative work and letting go of the tight grip on BEING the artist. 

For the past year and a half I have been so focused on results and productivity, that I had lost the joy of simply creating. I don't recommend this unnerving path, but at the end of the day, coming back to joy feels like returning home after a long trip, and that is a particularly wonderful feeling. 

"Art and the artist both suffer most when the artist gets too heavy, too focused on results."

It had gotten so heavy for me, this "professional artist" life. I was so weighed down I could barely breathe. And when you can't breathe, you can't create. 

One of my very favorite creative folks, Andy Miller, recently said that your art won't be alive if you aren't living. Boy, isn't that the truth. 

"If you want to change your life, change what you pay attention to."

I've been focusing a lot these days on what I'm giving my energy and attention to...on the vibes I'm sending out into the universe. And I'm seeing miraculous changes happen both for me mentally and in my career. My confidence has grown. I'm owning my strengths and talents in a way that is helping me share them in a more authentic way. 

Being open is SO important to creating space for those miracles to find their way to you. 

This book is a fun, quick, and encouraging read, and I really recommend it if you are feeling stuck and need a gentle kick in the pants to get you going again. 

*And if you need a few extra things to make you feel good about the world, I recommend these:

  • Lennon Stella. This girl's voice has been playing on repeat for me lately

Sending joy-filled vibes to you!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

New Product Alert

I have a super exciting new product collaboration to share with you today!
I'm over the moon to share that I'm creating monthly printables for The Reset Girl

Holy cow. Yep...that's what I'm still thinking as I share this news even though I've been working on this for weeks. #dreamproject

My first set, Happy at Home, is available now!

I've been a long time fan of TRG and am pinching myself that my creations are now a part of their store. Ahhh! I can't wait to get started on my next set. 

If you have themes you would love to see send them my way. I am always collecting inspiration!



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