Research shows that art can help to relieve stress and relax your mind. To help spread positivity and inspiration, we collaborated with artists to create artwork reflecting what our motto—Shine from the inside out—means to them.

This week, we connect with artist Amanda Sandlin.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I never would have expected I would become an artist! Writing was my first love; I went to school for journalism and began experimenting with design and art shortly after. I very much consider myself a visual artist and a writer equally. So much of my visual work is inspired by writing, and vice versa. My work has been featured in The Coveteur, UPWORTHY, Range Magazine, and other publications.

I spent a few years creating a series called “At Wild Woman,” where I illustrated women over photography from my travels, and more recently have started making lush, textured, colorful abstract landscape oil paintings, often inspired by my time in the desert and mountain west.

What does ‘Shine from the inside out’ mean to you?

To me, ‘Shine from the inside out’ means to go inside, be honest, feel your feelings, get to know yourself, do the internal work … that is the way to true happiness and change in our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in the mental chatter of comparison, self-doubt, negativity. When I get to that place where the grime and toil of daily life start to wear on me, I flock to nature.

Especially during this time of staying at home and limited access to public lands, I close my eyes and dream of the New Mexico high desertswaying sagebrush, bright puffy clouds, adobe-pink hues, and blue skies that just seem bigger there than anywhere else.

How do you support your wellness throughout the day? What does wellness mean to you?

I think of my body as a wellness messenger, so being able to tune in and listen to its needs is very important to me. Most days it asks for the basicsmindful time, lots of hydration, fresh foods, movement, sunshine, cuddles with my pup, laughter. Some days it will include a hot bath, a cold plunge in an icy local river, an intense climbing session, or a watching reality show that turns my mind off and gives me a good laugh.

Why were you excited to partner with Rae?

I love that Rae is committed to empowering women through affordable holistic wellnesssomething I am passionate about, too. It’s also important to me that they invest in women and girls by donating 5% of all revenue to Girls Inc. We need more companies in this world that are committed to giving back like this.

What are your favorite Rae products?

I use the  Vegan Collagen Boost Powder every morning after my coffee in a cup of hot lemon water. It’s a really nice ritual and makes me feel hydrated and fresh before I start working. I also just turned 30 this year and I want to give my skin a little extra love.

What was your process in creating this piece of artwork?

Sometimes I plan out every part of a piece before I paint and others I just wing it and follow the inspiration in real-time. For this piece, I wanted to clear every expectation.

I only paint by natural light, so on a clear day, I brewed an extra cup of coffee, turned up the music and got to work. I began laying down beautiful muted tones of paint that reminded me of my happy place in the high desert and it suddenly clicked. I was instantly transported to three springs ago when I took a solo trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I paint with oilmostly abstract work with illustrative elements, lush, thick textures and emotive marks through pencil and/or pastel. Much of my work is inspired by time I have spent in the western US.

We’d love to hear what Shine from the Inside Out means to you—let us know in the comments!

* Artist curated by Spacey