September Artist & Educator Of The Month: Mandy Marie
by Tiffa Rex
We are very excited to bring attention to a new artist & educator every month. Each Artist we highlight also teaches their craft in some way so we can all benefit from it. This month we interview the venerable Mandy Marie who not only makes some of the most stunning alcohol ink art around, but also teaches you how to do it!
1) Mandy, what kind of alcohol ink artist are you? How did you get started? Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an abstract alcohol ink artist that primarily paints on yupo paper, mineral paper, ceramic ornaments, and more recently canvas (again).
I am an artist, educator, and avid daydreamer who is hell-bent on teaching others how to find what set’s their soul on fire. I am a born-an-raised Minnesotan (hold the o) and my life has been a creative journey filled with many art explorations and crafting adventures. I dabbled in everything I could get my hands on but never found my niche. No lie, I searched high and low for damn near 30 years. Somehow, I stumbled into the best adventure of my life (alcohol inks) and I have been able to build my art business to share my art and serve clients from all over the world.
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 have 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.
2) What would you say are your specialties as an alcohol ink artist? What sets you apart?
When I create paintings there are three signature parts that I include or consider when I create each painting; negative space, texture (layers), and color combinations. I like to use negative space as a way to lead the viewers eye around the page. It's a dance and I like to be the lead. I use textured layers to create high contrast paintings that are emotive and whimsical. The color combinations that I use typically have both dark and light colors to help create additional contrast in each painting.
3) Do you teach how to do this at all? How can we learn from you?
Yes, I have several teaching options available at all price points on my website. I have some videos on YouTube (more coming in the future), a Patreon account with three membership levels, self-paced courses that you can purchase and watch at your leisure, and virtual one-on-one art lessons.
4) What advice for new alcohol ink artists would you offer?
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 yourself some grace and room for growth.
Practice every day. Again, I did not become the artist I am today without 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 WHOLE lot of metallic.
Also, for anyone who is planning to paint with inks, purchase a color wheel and look into the basics of color theory (I teach this in my course that launches September 7th). The more you understand color theory the easier it will be when you first start out. Why? because alcohol inks have more to them than just the color you see in the bottle. They have many layers and colors, unlike other art mediums, the base ink colors will sometimes bleed when you're using them, especially when you're creating abstract artworks and painting with them.
5) What have you enjoyed most about using T-Rex Inks? Do you have any in-depth review videos / posts about our inks we can link to?
I'm a huge fan of the warm tone and cool tone packs. Monsoon and Mojave dust are my favorite and I can't wait for the larger bottles to launch in those colors! I have blog posts on all of the packs where you can read more about my love for T-Rex. I also want to give a shout out to the blending solution. I absolutely love the clear blending solution; I keep bottles on hand at all times (although I'm currently almost out and waiting for the next shipment 🙂).
Mandy Marie's Reviews: