Cricut Contributing Artist Series: Mandee Thomas
Mandee Thomas, a digital artist from Utah, has a love of crafting that shines through in her unique artwork. Images that she has shared with the Cricut community through Design Space are specifically designed to be accessible to all levels of crafters, from newbies to experts. In this artist spotlight, we discover her artistic journey, her favorite materials, and what inspires her to create.
How did you find Cricut, and why did you decide to join the Contributing Artist Program?
I came to Cricut when they first introduced machines that could cut out custom-made designs. I had already been sharing printables and illustrations, but once I found out that the new Cricut machines would allow you to upload designs you created yourself, it opened up a whole new world for me. I began experimenting with cut file design, and that quickly became my main focus as a designer. When Cricut launched its Contributing Artist Program, it was really exciting for me!
What does creativity mean to you?
To me, creativity means self-expression. Everyone has the capacity for creativity, and if they are allowed to discover which creative outlets feed their soul, then magical things will happen.
Where did your artistic journey begin?
I could say that my artistic journey began when I took my first course in graphic design while in high school, but I would say that it really began when I was a small child, crafting with my mom. She would buy me crafting books and magazines and I would sit at the kitchen table for hours on end—making handmade trinkets and gifts for my friends. We didn’t have very much money, but I always found a way to turn free or inexpensive materials into something I thought was beautiful.
Who or what inspires you to create, and why?
There are a number of things in this world that inspire me to create, but none more so than the people that support me. My family most of all, but also the wonderful people I haven’t met in real life: the ones who enjoy my work and write encouraging messages to me. Knowing that the things that I dream up can be made by the hands of people all around the world and brighten the day of perfect strangers is such an incredible feeling.
What is your favorite type of craft?
One craft that I am extremely proud of is my 3D carousel! It was a huge challenge for me to design as it was my first dive into the 3D papercrafting world. Little did I know that it would be the first of many 3D projects to come.
What word would you use to describe your design style?
Accessible. That might sound like an odd word choice for an artist, but it’s the one that I keep in mind the most. The accessibility of art is really important to me. As I mentioned before, I didn’t grow up with very much money, so anything I wanted to create had to be out of free or inexpensive materials. But, just because my mom wasn’t able to buy me all the fanciest crafting kits, didn’t mean that I couldn’t look to them for inspiration and find my own way to use the material that I did have access to and make something for myself.
That’s one of the main reasons that I’ve chosen to focus on papercrafting as a medium. Paper is one of the most accessible materials in the crafting world! And I strive to ensure that all of the designs I create for my website, even the more complicated ones, can be made by someone with minimal crafting experience and limited monetary investment.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Probably playing college tennis. I spent most of my childhood playing tennis with my dad. Making it to the college level was something I never really knew I could accomplish. It was one of the most challenging things I ever did, but it was an experience I’ll never forget.
Do you collect anything?
Fancy hats. I absolutely adore pretty, vintage headwear and over-the-top derby hats! Though I don’t have very many places to wear my hats to, they make me very happy.
What is a skill/talent that you wish you had?
Lock picking. As a big fan of fantasy novels, I am a sucker for a character that can pick locks, do card tricks, or smooth-talk their way out of situations. I’m not a born smooth-talker, but maybe I’ll learn how to charm a lock someday.
Discover more of Mandee’s artwork by visiting her Design Space profile. Her images are a great place to find inspiration for your next project. We love having Mandee in the Contributing Artist Program and know you will enjoy her art as much as we do.
Show us what you make with Mandee’s designs, and make sure to tag #cricut on social.
Interested in seeing more Contributing Artist images and designs? Check out all of our artists in Design Space!