Thursday, March 30, 2017

Creative Process + Dream Art Supplies

"The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there's ongoing creative revelations. Yes, it's really helpful to be marching toward a specific destination, but, along the way, you must allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow." -Carlton Cuse

I've been learning a new creative process over the past week with my new iPad and Apple Pencil (dream art supplies!). Let me just say my poor sketchbook is lonely! I'm amazed at what I can create, and how quickly, with them. 

I've been playing around with a new technique I learned that I used in the floral motifs up there, and in this lettering...

I am really loving the smoky, etherial effect. 

I'm also having fun replicating my usual pen and paper lettering...

The Apple Pencil is truly amazing...I didn't expect it to be so similar to using pen and paper but it really is.

I also created my first pattern using it...

I could seriously create ALL day!

Hope you're having a good week friends and follow me over on Instagram if you want to get a daily peek at my illustrations!



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Courage = Confidence

Have you ever taken on a project that required every ounce of your courage to see it through? 

Something you know was meant for you, and would help you grow, but darn-it if it didn't scare the crap out of you?

I spent the past two Saturdays working on my scare-the-crap-out-of-you project in the most beautiful space full of light and nature...

and I discovered that when you decide to use up every ounce of courage available to you, it looks a lot like confidence.

It may look on the outside like you have it all together, but inside you are holding on for dear life.

But when you don't give up, and decide to hold all of your scared parts together, magical things can happen. 

Like this cutie patootie snail.

I also learned that you can turn a daisy into an echinacea flower with a simple addition of purple and brown.

So the next time a project comes up that scares you, remember that you don't have to be 100% confident, you just need to gather up all of your courage. 

I promise it will work!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Living Inside Your Art

I was chatting with my Mom the other night about a new retail shop in town that is full of succulents, organic goodies and gemstones. 

I told her they have a necklace that has a crocheted pocket to hold a gemstone which sounds so lovely. 

And then declared with a giggle that I'm totally turning into a hippy. 

And she replied that I'm becoming who I was meant to be. 

Isn't that a wonderful thing?

Becoming who you were always meant to be?

Remembering who you were when you were a child and returning to your roots? 

When I was a kid, I drew a lot. And I collected rocks.

I was obsessed with both.

And now I am again.

I'm finding so much joy in my art, and in collecting pieces of nature that help me feel grounded and connected to something larger than myself. 

It is something so special and yet scary at the same time. 

When you get to that place of truly knowing yourself, it feels like you are walking a tight rope without a net below you, because there's no more facade to fall back on. 


The real, stripped down, cleanest, and most pure version of yourself. 

A friend commented on one of my Facebook posts the other day that she loves how I "live inside my art." Goodness what a compliment. And it really got me thinking about the idea of living inside my art. 

I do really feel like I'm starting to do that. To incorporate my art into every facet of my life. 

Or is it the other way around?

Either way it feel fabulous.

And "art" can mean so many different things. It is the thing that makes you come alive. The thing you can't go 24 hours without doing. 

Do you know what your art is? 

If not I really encourage you to think back to your childhood and what you loved. What you would do with your time if you didn't need a paycheck. 

What would life look like if you were living inside of that art?

I'd love to hear what you think about this in the comments!

Happy Friday friends,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Pattern Collection

I seem to go through spurts with my pattern making, and I've been in a major ON phase the past few weeks!

I was going through my old sketchbooks and came upon a page full of fun floral motifs that I hadn't done anything with yet, so of course they became a bunch of happy patterns!

Here is the original image from my sketchbook to give you an idea of where I started...

And here are the patterns!

This last one is my favorite because of the flowing movement to it, and I have a ridiculous love for those little balloon-ish flowers. I want to draw them on everything!

Happy Tuesday friends!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fun with Paint Pens

I got some new paint pens over the weekend and couldn't resist trying them out right away on this little canvas...

They are Uni Posca paint pens and I am in LOVE with them! 

The colors are lovely and the paint comes out smoothly and is nice and opaque.

I also used my favorite Paper Mate Flair pen to add some outlines and make the shapes pop...

As soon as I find the time I'll be making a few more of these little paintings!

Do you have a favorite new art or crafting supply?



Friday, March 17, 2017

Luck (and a bit of magic)

Luck is the thing that happens when you listen to that still, small voice, you keep taking chances, you put your broken & messy self out into the world and offer up what you were created to do, and all of those lovely threads connect into something SPECTACULAR.

I also like to call it magic. 

Sending happy spring flowers your way!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Pattern Collection

I sat down last night with the iPad and drew some happy flower motifs and then went nuts making patterns!

Goodness these make me SO happy. 

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend friends!


Monday, March 06, 2017

morning meditation

I've started a morning practice of lighting the candle in my window when I settle in at work and taking a few moments to admire the rocks and other natural elements on my tray and enjoy the view outside. 

I have found it to be a very grounding and peaceful way to start what could be a hectic day. 

I thought I would start sharing these short videos on the blog, in case you would like to take a few moments along with me to be silent, meditate, pray, or do whatever brings you calm. 

A post shared by Mandy Ford (@mandyfordart) on

Sending you love and light,


Sunday, March 05, 2017

illustration process

I thought it would be fun today to share the entire process of an illustration, from the idea to the sketch to the finished piece.

This one came to me as I was putting away laundry the other day, laughing about how I had told a friend earlier in the week that I had gotten so good at self-care that I was worried I was spoiling myself. But really...isn't reading a good book with a warm mug of coffee way more important than dusting? 

I think so. 

So here's the beginning sketch...

And a video of inking in the lettering... (I almost always use a Papermate Flair pen)

A few close-ups of the lettering...

The full illustration after ink...

And the finished illustration with lots of fun color!

Remember to practice self care this week! Those dishes can wait. 😉

Sending good vibes your way!



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