artist / podcast / Season 2

Ep97: Following Your Inspiration, Doodling, and Becoming an Illustrator with guest Mandy Ford

This week it’s my true pleasure to have Mandy Ford joining me for an interview, where she talks about following your inspiration, doodling, becoming an illustrator. Mandy is a graphic designer, and she returned to drawing after many years after inspiration struck her in a writing class, and she found herself doodling. This led to her posting her art on Instagram, and finding a community there. She signed her first art licensing contract within 7 months of starting to draw again, which led to her art being picked up by HomeGoods.

Do you have a dream to become an illustrator, designer, or graphic artist? Mandy Ford loved drawing as a child, but stopped drawing. Find out how she got back to doing what she loves, and how she's landed a licensed deal with Home Goods by following her heart. Plus lots of tips on using Instagram for business. Click to listen to her interview with Paula Jenkins and save for later.

I love how Mandy has said yes to this inspiration, and following the many nudges she’s gotten from God and the universe along the way. As she says about that moment that she returned to drawing, “my soul knows something that it isn’t ready to tell me yet.” I know you’re going to be delighted and inspired by Mandy.

Mandy Ford has been been blogging for 11 years, and is the mother of twin boys, and I adore hearing how joy has played a part in her journey. She’s a talented designer, working on scrapbooking sets for Illustrated Faith, teaching classes at Skillshare, and having prints with Home Goods. She does all of this, while also working a full time job at She’s also very lovingly been working on a new logo for my show, and I am so thrilled to have her join me this week.

In this episode, Mandy and I talk about:
– her early love of collecting rocks, Lisa Frank stickers and Poochie
– how working at a Earlham College, a Quaker seminary has changed her life and shaped her drawing
– how taking a writing class brought her back to her love of drawing
– how she got a licensing deal with Home Goods just four months after she returned to drawing
– what her creative process looks like, now
– her work with Illustrated Faith, creating scrapbooking kits
– her tips for Instagram and finding a community there
– the work she’s most proud of to date (spoiler: it’s being a mom to her twin boys)
– what harmony looks like for Mandy
– her thoughts on jump starting your joy – taking time to look up and notice the world around you, being kind, and giving freely to people

Mandy Ford’s Website
Mandy Ford’s Instagram feed
Mandy Ford’s “Create Your Own Crazy Doodle” class on Skillshare
Jessica Swift’s website (including the link to her Pattern Camp)