Arts, Artists, Artwork interviews artist Mandy Joy.
How did you get started with art?
Art was always a hobby I enjoyed and sometimes felt good at. I never assumed I could be successful in making it a career though. When my husband and I bought a house with lots of large white walls, I just wanted a way to cheaply decorate, so I began making paintings. When friends and family saw these, they urged me to sell my work and began asking for specific things. This started me on my way.
What artists have influenced your work the most?
Andy Warhol was one of my influences, and later on I discovered Leonid Afremov and really enjoyed his use of color. I fell in love with his work. I also enjoy the work of so many realist painters, too numerous to list. Steve Anthony is a very talented artist whom I consider to be a mentor. I met him in my first art competition.
What’s your favorite piece of artwork that you created? Tell us more about its influence.
“Valentina De Los Muertos” was my very favorite piece. I just loved the colors and the way they blended, and the evolution of two of my favorite styles of painting coming together on the canvas. I was very proud of how she turned out. It was a major let-down when she was stolen from the gallery wall. Some people told me that one thing they enjoyed so much about the masked series of girls (my Dia De Los Muertos series) is that it could be anybody behind the mask, even themselves. I’ve now been commissioned to to a painting like this of a breast cancer survivor, baring her scar in her painting, with a message of strength in the form of a tattoo. I just love that my original painting will be evolving like that!
What inspires you? Does it change? What else has inspired you?
Wild animals were my first inspiration. As a teenager I drew tigers and bears often. After becoming an aunt and eventually a mother, children were my new inspiration. I drew their adorable baby faces and spent days noticing and rendering their adorable highlights and shadows and every detail of their beautiful faces. When I moved across the country, the new landscapes I discovered were my next love. After that came an abstract phase. Then a modern impressionist colorful tree phase. After forcing myself to paint the one thing I was truly afraid to attempt, painting people in all their lovely skin tones became a new passion. Who knows what’s next! Sometimes a custom order sparks a whole new interest in something I never would have thought to do!
What do you experience when you’re creating your art?
Joy, anger, joy, self-doubt, pride, more joy, frustration, excitement, fear, embarrassment, focus, immersion, and hopefully again at the end, joy.
How do you know when an artwork is finished?
Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I hide it and come back a year later and change something. Sometimes I hate it still but someone else sees it and buys it and then it’s out of my sight. Sometimes I think it’s perfect and a customer thinks otherwise. Other times it becomes what I had in my mind all along and it is obviously done. Painting people’s portraits is the hardest. There’s at least a day or two that I come back and change tiny things repeatedly and drive myself insane!
What is the most important artist tool that you use?
What can’t you live without in the studio?
Grids, rulers, pencils, erasers, angled brushes, and this one awful, beat up old scraggly house painting brush that is just perfect for painting nature scenes.
Why do you create art?
It has become a need. It wasn’t always, but it grew into one. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that I didn’t have the self awareness in my earlier years to know that it was a need. Now it is almost like an itch that you absolutely have to scratch, or a restless leg that wakes you up at night. I feel antsy and jittery and annoyed when I haven’t painted in too long.
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What do you enjoy working with the most?
Acrylic paint. So far!
Do you have any upcoming shows or exhibits that you’d like to share?
Always! March 31, 2016 is the opening day of the Elite Artists Show at Jana’s RedRoom in Las Vegas. As soon as I joined the gallery a year ago, I made it my goal to be on the Elite Artist Team, and this year I am proud to be on that team!
How can people buy your art? Where can they reach you?
There are several ways to see and buy my work! I have an artist profile (listed as Mandy Joy) on ArtsArtistsArtwork.com, Fineartamerica.com, and on Vangoart.co. If you prefer to see and buy in person, I always have something on the wall at Jana’s RedRoom Gallery, Twisted Artist Gallery, and Wonderland Gallery. I also do local events in Las Vegas and plan to market my work in other cities. I announce these details as they come on Facebook and Instagram. You can reach me online at the following links: