Wednesday, April 27, 2016

{#100daysofyourtruth 7&8}

Good morning friends!

How is your week going so far? It has been a bit of a doozy for us so far but we keep going, right? :)

Here are days 7&8 of my #100daysofyourtruth project. I'm excited to see a cohesive theme of color and shapes evolving with these!

I'm still taking submissions for quotes to include in this project, so if you have a mantra, truth, or favorite short quote, send it my way (! 


Sunday, April 24, 2016

{time lapse illustration}

I'm embarrassed to admit that I spent waaaay too much time this evening figuring out this time lapse video (and I still can't figure out how to share it on my Instagram). 

But hopefully now I can create them much more easily, and yay for even figuring out how to add music! 

Here's the pencil sketch...

And the final digitally colored illustration...

A good reminder as we start the week!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

{#100daysofyourtruth update)

Happy Saturday!

I thought it would be fun to share my first five illustrations for my #100daysofyourtruth project!

If you don't know what the heck I'm talking this post.

It has been so fun reading all of your submissions and choosing one each day that speaks to me. 

Here are the first five...

If you have a truth you want me to illustrate, leave it in the comments or send it to me at!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Good morning friends!

First of all, if you haven't read my last post, I shared all the info on a super fabulous Mother's Day Etsy print sale. So head over there after you read this, ok?  

Last night I was scrolling through my Instagram and came across @elleluna and her ‪#‎the100dayproject‬ which begins today. 

It reminded me of a lettering project idea that came to me a few months ago. One where I do a handlettered illustration of quotes you submit to me! Your feelings, your secrets, your truths...anything you want to share! 

So for the next 100 days (fingers and toes crossed I can keep up with it!) I'm going to letter one of your submissions each day. That means I need your help! Send me your words...preferably 10 or shorter, and I'll illustrate it!

Your quote can be as honest, raw, silly, etc. as you need it to be. It can also be a quote from someone else but I'll need to know who to attribute it to. You can leave it in the comments here, or if you want it to be anonymous, email it to me at 

I really hope this project will be freeing for all of us! Follow along each day on my Instagram @mandyfordart or #100daysofyourtruth!


Monday, April 18, 2016

{Mother's Day Print Sale}

Are you Mother's Day shopping yet? How about inspiring prints from my shop for all of the moms in your life?

Now through Sunday night at midnight EST I'm offering Buy 1 Get 1 FREE on all prints in my Etsy shop!

And I've added lots of new prints to choose from...

That means two 8x10 prints for $18 or two 5x7 prints for $15!

Directions for the sale:
  1. Add the print(s) you want to pay for to your cart.
  2. In the notes to seller at check-out let me know the print(s) and sizes you want for free (of equal or lesser value).
  3. Gift all of your mom friends with inspiration!
Sale is good now through midnight EST on Sunday, April 24th.

Happy shopping!



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

{sabbatical ramblings}

So before I get into this, let me first say that this post contains a lot of first world problems. You might think I sound like a spoiled brat and to be honest I do as well...but it is how I feel so I'm going with it. And maybe my honesty will help you feel better about something you're going through. 

I've been on sabbatical from my job for over a month now and it has been the biggest rollercoaster of emotion that I was not prepared for. Or maybe I was...I was terrified at the start.

For a good part of the past 5 weeks I've felt lost and disoriented. I had no clue how ingrained my weekday routine was in my subconscious. How much it defined me to have a place to go every day from 8-5 with a set list of responsibilities. 

Sure, the idea of not having to go to work for a good chunk of a time sounded fabulous, but boy it is easier said than done to quit cold turkey and figure out what to do with yourself.

I posted this photo to my Instagram this morning...

And while the caption was true, it isn't the whole story. 

A few hours later and I am sitting in the same spot, coffee cold in my mug, fighting a tension headache, and honestly a pretty big panic attack about what the heck to do with myself today. It is like I've forgotten how to be myself...or am I relearning a new way to be? 

Change has always been super hard for me and I thought I had gotten better at it, but nope, still a struggle. Like doing work from home...huge hurdle for me to overcome. Trying to focus is nearly impossible. (Especially when there is cat puke to clean up and a rug that needs a good know the FUN stuff about being home all day.)

And then there is the tremendous pressure I feel to make huge strides with my art during this time. I'm feeling like a bit of a failure right now because I have no idea what direction to go. Do I create another coloring book? Do I work on prints? Do I keep submitting my artwork to companies for licensing opportunities? I want to do it all but even with this break there isn't enough time in the day. I'm trying my hardest to listen to my intuition, to God, and also pay attention to signs around me to keep me on the right track. Trusting in the universe and all that jazz.

Being home like this is most importantly allowing me to do more for the boys, more for Dan, more around the house. Which is wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. Like right now I should be doing the dishes right? That pan containing last night's mac-n-cheese isn't going to clean itself. Oh now wouldn't that be nice?  

I know in the long run this break from routine is going to be good for me. I'm going to learn a lot about myself. They say any good change is painful and scary in some way, right? 

Welp...hello fear...please do something good for me. Meanwhile I'm going to microwave my coffee and carry on. 



Friday, April 08, 2016

{new illustrations}

Happy Friday friends!

Thought I would share a few new illustrations I've been working on. You'll notice a definite thread shared by all of them both in style and use of color. I've been feeling bright and bold lately! 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

{tips for choosing markers}

Over the past year, a lot of my drawing has been in black and white for my coloring book, and lately I've been feeling the urge to use color again. I went through my quite sad marker collection last week and realized I needed to add some major color asap.

As far as markers go, I've used several brands over the past few years, mainly Copic, Prismacolor, and Spectrum Noir. All are alcohol based, double ended, and the color is blendable.

After lots of testing I've settled on Spectrum Noir markers for a few reasons. 

  • The ink quality is wonderful
  • they blend well
  • they are double ended (chisel and bullet tips)
  • they are refillable
  • the cost per marker is much lower than the competition. You can pay up to $8 for one copic marker, where Spectrum Noir come in much lower - I got a 24 pack of brights on Amazon for $32. The cost alone is a huge selling point!

I comparison, I love Copics just as much as Spectrum Noir (even more because they come with a brush tip), but they are too spendy for me. Prismacolor have a brush tip and good quality color, but they are not refillable and I've found overall that they dry out more quickly, so those are big drawbacks. 

And now a few drawbacks for the Spectrum Noir markers. 

  • They don't have a brush tip if you prefer that to a bullet point or chisel tip. You can purchase replacement brush tips though, which I'm considering. 
  • You also can't buy single markers (or at least I haven't seen them sold that way). You can purchase them in colorway packs of 6, or larger packs. But when you can get 6 markers for $12 I don't mind not being able to buy a single color. 
  • My biggest annoyance with these is that the color on the end of the cap doesn't always match the actual color of the marker. Here's an example...

Because of this I created a marker "menu" of sorts to help me decide which colors to use on my illustrations. There are also a few colors that are extremely similar.

Despite these drawbacks, I still think these markers are a fabulous choice, especially for those on a budget who still want great quality color. 

Here is a fun piece I created last night to test out my new colors...

I hope this is helpful for you! If you have any favorites, tips, or tricks about using blendable markers, leave them for everyone in the comments!


Monday, April 04, 2016


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