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Daily Inspiration: Meet Monica Griffin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monica Griffin.

Hi Monica, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m a self-taught artist living and working in Santa Monica. Art has been a part of my life in one way or the other as a means of self-expression and discovery. I’ve dabbled in everything from ceramics and sculpture to drawing and painting. I now lean heavily on painting and photography. When I’m creating, it’s the one place where I can be a hundred percent myself and choose how I want the process to flow. Having been an Art Director for many years, it’s a release for me in a way. I’m used to creating with the goal of selling someone else’s product or having to adjust my creative instincts to appease someone else’s vision. My work is the thing that is truly all mine and a lot of growth happens in that space.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I wouldn’t consider being a creative is really ever a smooth road. There’s a lot of vulnerability and discovery that happens each time I set out to create new work. You go into something with an expectation of how you want it to turn out and it almost never happens that way. It’s like you and the work are growing together and sometimes there’s all this friction and then sometimes you have good days. The biggest consistent struggle is to trust yourself and the process. I used to get really bogged down with expectations that I’d set for myself or if something didn’t go to plan would blame this or that and want to give up. Then I realized working through all of that is actually the most rewarding part of creating. At the end, I can look at the piece and take in everything it took to get to that place and feel appreciation. When you start to feel really accomplished like that, within oneself, it’s easier to then put your work out into the world without worry on how others might perceive it. And you start to yearn for the next challenge.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a multidisciplinary artist, specifically painting and photography. The pandemic changed the course of my work, just as it has many other artists. I started spending a lot of time out in the various national parks and taking really long hikes as a means to get outdoors when we couldn’t much. In that, I really started to appreciate life and our world, I always have but it’s been magnified during this time. I found myself going on a hike in say Joshua Tree and then returning to my AirBnb and immediately had to paint an element from what I just witnessed… a gradient from the sky, sand from the dirt paths, the layers of mountains against the sky. Then as a means of putting those pieces out into the world, I thought it would be a beautiful comparison to combine art and muse. I started taking my paintings back out into the landscapes that inspired them and photographing them at prime moments… a double rainbow in Palm Springs, sunset in Joshua Tree, etc. I found that to be such an elevated way to view and enjoy the piece that I’ve now started a full-blown series out of it. I scout, I paint, I go back and shoot. This labor of love has taken me to new heights in my own journey and I’m feeling extremely excited to keep evolving it. I have big plans and hope to get this series into a gallery space soon so people can share in my appreciation of our planet. Ultimately if it could inspire some people to take more care in how we use our natural resources and engage with Earth, that would be a big win in my mind.

What matters most to you? Why?
Sharing beautiful and creative moments with other beautiful and creative minds.

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