Viewing a piece of Mandy Busby’s art is an introduction to the artist herself—it’s like shaking her hand or meeting her for coffee. You gaze at her painting or ink drawings and immediately notice a lightness, a joy almost. Yet it’s impossible to relegate Mandy, or her art, to the land of saccharin sweet. There’s something a touch too rough about them. Something real. Something intentional. With texture, layers, and color Mandy creates pictorial versions of hope and grace that are bound by the realities of monotony and suffering and sin. What’s ultimately true and what’s immediately lived mingle on her canvases and in her conversations.
For this issue of Fathom, Mandy created an original work of art just for us. We are all kinds of excited about this: kid in a candy store, Christmas morning, as if we were able to go back in time to choose two completely different presidential candidates. That excited.
Here’s the best part. You can own this piece of art too. All three of the pieces Mandy created are available as prints exclusively in our shop. Once you see them you’ll want one, or even all three, for a wall near you. —Kelsey Hency
What was your inspiration for Holy Hauntings?
I’ve been reading through Exodus and Leviticus and have just been awestruck by the holiness of God. At one point God tells the Israelites that if he were to come down to them he would consume them. I think of God and our human nature like fire and water—the two don’t mix except by God’s sovereignty in the Holy Spirit. This inspired the color choice for the painting.
I also thought about what it must have looked like for God to come down to the mountain where Moses met him. I thought about how his face shone. The painting reflects this scene and within it the beauty that God humbled himself to live within us through the Holy Spirit—amongst all our sin and baggage.
I painted them as three in one thinking about the Holy Spirit within the Trinity.
What do you do and how can I find it?
I am a freelance artist and wedding live event painter. You can find photos of my work, contact information, current series available for purchase, and more about me at mandyraebusby.com or follow me on Instagram.
How did you get started?
I got my start from a number of different realms.
The Great Discontent’s 100 Day Project was important to me. This was my first step in sharing my work and honing my love for drawing and painting.
The Gather Workshop is a group of rockstar ladies that provided some of the greatest encouragement in my start as a freelance artist and entrepreneur and truly guided me through the process of merging marketing, business, and creativity.
Art House Dallas has not only provided me local community but a chance to connect and collaborate creatively. Art House Dallas has been vital to my creative career and constant in encouraging and inspiring my work.
Community and the Lord, affectionately called my tribe—I cannot begin to fully tell you the impact community played in my life. Their constant encouragement, prayer, and steadfastness in loving me deeply moves and inspires me. I faced a lot of personal trials beginning this journey and each time found myself with a heavy heart picking up my brush to commune with the Lord. Often, I did not have words to speak, but rather came ready to fight and cry out. Friends and family embraced this need and brought sweet comfort and joy to my life. As I continued to paint, I began to recognize this overwhelming and stirring affection for God, leading me to where I am today.
What is the coolest story you have about doing what you do?
A few years back, I faced a really tough week at work and came home to pray and paint. In need of encouragement and serenity, I painted a meadow scene, and, as was my custom then, I placed the painting neatly under my bed and forgot about it thinking this was only for me anyways. I forgot about the painting fairly quickly. I started my business about two years later and began pulling out the long forgotten paintings from under my bed. Within a few weeks of posting this painting, a dear friend messaged me. Her mom had recently passed away and the meadow looked just like her mother’s yard. I realized in that moment that God has a purpose behind each painting he presents before me. As sweet as the process of painting is, this gift was always meant to be shared. Charlie Peacock said it best when he said, “As much joy as there is in making something, there is an even greater joy in making something and letting it go.”
Who is your biggest inspiration for your art?
This is such a hard question to answer, there are so many all-stars out there that inspire me! Hands down, though, it has to be Jenn Sprinkle with the Well Studio. This lady’s gift to inspire and encourage dreamers and doers is unreal! She just started a conference called The Well Summit that I cannot wait to go to one day! I have been following her for years and even got to meet her last year at a conference. Her compassion and authenticity to address and celebrate not only the great days but also the really hard fall-on-your-knees days has been so uplifting and encouraging! Her love for life, community, and the Lord are constantly inspiring my art and reminding me of the real purpose behind my work.
If you could tell someone advice for doing what you do, what would you say?
Remember that this is all grace. Your abilities, strengths, and even weaknesses are all gifts meant to be shared and celebrated. Dream big and pray bigger! Know that God has set his glory before you and has invited you into this amazing story! And take heart on the days when comparison and doubt creep in, and remember that God holds it all.
Images by Ashley Scarbrough. Ashely photographed Mandy as she created her original work for Fathom. You can find more of Ashley’s photography on her website, Written Shutter.