Working full-time at a marketing agency based in Atlanta, creative director and artist Mandy Cochran has her hands in all sorts of projects, bringing brands to life with an uncanny ability to merge creativity with smart business strategy. “Creatively, I'm a little all over the place,” she says. “But if it involves making something out of nothing, count me in.”
We spoke with Mandy for our Daydream Artist Series to uncover what inspires her, how she channels her daydreams into her work, and why we should all learn to appreciate life’s complexities — especially in the time of a global pandemic.
Q: Tell us a little about you and what you do.
Mandy: I'm the creative director at a marketing agency called Marketwake. I'm blessed to do what I love every day, and around some of the best and smartest people I've ever met. I am an artist at heart and do a little bit of everything — graphic design, fashion, architecture, furniture making. I even love landscaping design.
Q: Tell us about your process and inspiration behind your artwork. What is your daydream and how can people feel inspired to daydream during these tough times?
Mandy: My daydream is simple — everything is easy, and everybody is loved. That probably sounds really naive and silly, but simplicity is very hard to find these days. Life itself is not simple, but our daydreams can be. This piece is inspired by that. It's a portrait of life's complexities — the lemons life hands us, problems occurring in patterns but organic and sporadic — and here we are in the middle of it all, both beautiful and imperfect.
The words at the bottom come from a song that's lately become a mantra for me. "I Wish You Love" is all about letting go of the things that don't serve you with grace, humility, and well wishes. The lyrics I chose come from the second verse, "And in July [I wish you] a lemonade to cool you in some leafy glade. I wish you health, and more than wealth, I wish you love." May we all let go, in our daydreams and in our daily lives, of the things that do not serve us, with a wistful smile and authentic heart full of love.
If you want to hear the song, hands down, the best version of the song is here. You're welcome.
Q: What do you hope people will take away from this piece?
Mandy: I hope that this piece simplifies for others a fact that was very hard for me to understand for a long time. Life can be hard and joyful at the same time. Great things can happen at the wrong time and still be great. Horrible things can happen and you can still be happy. In fact, there is no other way. In this image, life is handing you lemons. Beautiful, round, imperfect, dimpled, sour, refreshing lemons. It's what you do with them — and whether or not you can see the beauty in them — that counts.