If you love the colors in the sands of the desert or the feeling of the fresh air in the mountains.. you'll love Mandy Arroyo.
Denik x Mandy Arroyo is largely characterized by joyful color palettes and designs inspired by Mandy’s hiking and backpacking trips throughout the Western U.S, from the Cascade Mountains to the Sonoran Desert.
Read more about Mandy, check out her Instagram, or shop her collection here!
1. What has driven you to be an artist?
I was a creative kid growing up who loved all things DIY, and was always encouraged by myfamily to try out every new medium I took interest in. I went on to study graphic design in college, and developed a regular painting practice when I kept a watercolor journal while studying design in Copenhagen. Since then, I’ve been driven to make art primarily as a way to document my travels. I feel more connected to where I am and able to remember what I see and how I feel when I take the time to interpret it through art.
2. What is your favorite medium to work with?
My favorite medium is watercolor - it is not usually the medium I use for final works, but I love to use it in my sketchbook, especially when I’m painting on the go. I feel the most free when I’m painting in watercolor - free to explore, be messy, and make mistakes.
3. Do you have a favorite piece? A piece that brought you the most joy to create?
My favorite piece is a large scale acrylic painting that I made shortly after moving to Phoenix from Seattle in 2020. I’d never experienced the diverse desert landscape before, and was amazed at how lush and full of life it felt. I created a few sketches of a view from the summit of a hike, and knew I wanted to create something really large and expressive. When I started the final painting on a large wood panel, I got into a flow state where I didn’t have to think too much about what I was doing, and let my hands move around adding paint to the panel. I love the sense of movement and bright, contrasting colors that fill the landscape - I think it really captures the sense of awe I felt at how full of life the desert was.
4. How do you get through a creative block?
5. What is your biggest dream/goal as an artist?
6. Is there any particular advice that has fueled your creative journey?
7. Anything else you want us to know?