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Meet Monie of South Central Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monie.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started when I was a little girl, as young as 6/7 years old. I would always catch my mom doodling in her journals, & I instantly became intrigued. Now my mom was a really amazing artist, an overall creative. Once I grew old enough to recognize her artistic skills I began asking questions & found myself attempting to copy some of her sketches. I’ll be honest…I sucked in the beginning. I mean, it wasn’t too bad for my age, but even at a young age I never allowed myself to be easily satisfied. I didn’t really know at that point that I wanted to be an artist, but I challenged myself to become good at drawing. 

My journey as a young aspiring artist wasn’t the easiest, but I’d do it all over again if I could. Most of my classmates throughout elementary & high school, even college, knew that I was a talented artist. Friends & family would always ask me to draw & design things for them, from drawing on their binders to drawing on shoes to even designing their tattoos. The older & more skilled I became the more I realized that I was truly blessed with a God given talent. 

After an unsuccessful 2 years of college basketball, I began to question whether it was time to hang up my nikes & pursue a career as an artist. It took all of 1 minute for me to decide. Over the course of the last 20+ years I spent countless hours practicing my skill & learning new things, & within the last 4 years I’ve managed to put everything into motion & establish myself as a full time artist. I was determined to be better, so I always worked hard. And when I say worked hard, I mean every bit of it. I would tattoo all hours of the day, sometimes starting sessions of 3-4 people at 9pm & ending at maybe 4:00am, when I didn’t have a car to travel to clients I would sometimes pack up my equipment & walk to them if they were close by…I basically got it by any means necessary. Crazy thing is, I’ve always been a hard worker & a hustler…I always wanted more for myself & to become the best that I could be. I’ve always been inspired by the city & environment I come from [South Central Los Angeles] which is often depicted in my artwork.

I am now where I’m at in my career because I made a choice a little over a year ago to solely believe in myself no matter what!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ll be very honest, it hasn’t been the easiest journey, but it’s been the most exciting aspect of my life. Throughout my journey I’ve hit several road bumps. The majority of them included the passing of my mother, my baby brother, & most recently my grandmother. Losing my mom at the age of 12 was one of the worst things I experienced in my life. A lot of people didn’t know, but my mom is the reason I first decided to pick up a pencil to draw. When she passed away, my world was shattered into pieces, however, I still had a part of her with me & I wanted to make her proud. Therefore, I continued to draw with hopes of picking up where she left off & doing all of the things she didn’t have a chance to do. Losing my brother challenged me in a way that I never knew was possible. My brother was a huge part of the reason I learned to be confident in my work & confident within myself.

Aside from the traumatic experiences, the lack of genuine & consistent supper really got to me at one point. I even began to distant myself from everyone, especially friends & family that weren’t supportive. Everyone around me either wanted free or cheap work, which was a sign of disrespect to myself & my craft. It took a while, but I had to let go of those feelings & rock with those that genuinely love & support what I do.

Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about your work?
Initially I publicly made myself know as an artist by establishing myself as a tattoo artist. I started tattooing in 2010 after spending many years drawing & designing tattoos for friends & family for another artist to tattoo. After 8 years of tattooing as a mobile artist, I joined Art is My Drug along side PonchoTheArtist & a few other artists. Art is My Drug is a community of artists in which each artist is given the opportunity & support to flourish individually & collectively. As far as tattooing I specialize in Lettering & Black&Gray Realism. In addition to tattooing I’ve also established myself as a fine artist, specializing in charcoal portrait drawing, acrylic painting, custom shoes & accessories, illustrations/digital art, Paint & Sip events, & many other art related services. 

As an artist my goal has been to brand myself [Monie] as a multidisciplinary Artist. I am most proud of how far I’ve come over the course of the last 9 years. I started as a mobile tattoo artist, & now I am a member of a great team of artists [Art is My Drug]. Not only that, but I’ve also managed to create a lane for myself to become an Independent artist. I believe I am able to set myself apart from others because of my drive & determination to learn new things every chance I get. I also take pride in the knowledge I have of art & it’s history. I was a Studio Art major in college, & I received some of the best information & perspectives of art. I have to ability to interpret a body of work in ways outside what I see before me (Credit to Dr. Richard Wright of TAMIU). The passion, knowledge, & appreciation that I possess allows me to connect with clients on high & comforting level. The love & positive energy that I receive from my clients is a reflection of the vibe I strive to set forth. 

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career has been the amount of love & recognition I receive. Many people aren’t aware of how this journey has been for me. Those that are aware seen how far I’ve come since I started back in 2010. Although I knew that I wanted to be an artist, I never imagined things turning out this way.

To see my artwork in the skin or in the homes of many people all across the country/world is an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. Being able to wake up every day & do what I love makes me proud of how hard I’ve worked over the years.

Pricing:

  • $200 Tattoos, comissions, customs, graphics design, etc.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Nikki B.

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