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Meet Nicole K Moncree

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole K Moncree.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Where to begin. I feel like my life has been on an interesting journey since I’ve entered adulthood. My name is Nicole K and I am an educator during the day, and an artist at night. My love for photography is shared with my father and began when my dad bought me my first camera in elementary school. It was an old film camera, with the rolls of film that automatically wound up once you shot the last picture and had to be taken to be developed. Ever since then, I have been photographing the world through my eyes. I spent most of elementary school, middle school, high school, and college learning and strengthening my camera/photography skills. The truth is during that time, I used to never let anyone see my photos. Of course, I thought they were interesting, but I didn’t know if the rest of the world would think the same. In high school and early college, I battled with depression and learned to use photography and painting as my outlet. And it wasn’t until I started searching for a way to cope with my mental health that I started sharing my work with those closest to me. It was in all honesty, their feedback that inspired me to stop hiding and share my work and my story with the world.

In 2016, I got the courage to share my art for the first time and participated in my first art show in Downtown Los Angeles with the Conception Art Show. It was at that moment that I started seeing myself as an artist and as a resource for others experiencing the same things I was. Since then, I have participated in a show every year and have created a few series based on the emotions associated with mental health. It was because of all of these experiences that I decided to pursue teaching, in an effort to help the youth of my community. After teaching my first art class as a sub, I realized that I wanted to help those younger than me learn how to put their thoughts, ideas, and feelings into creating something. I am now attending National University and am earning my Masters in Teaching with an Art Credential.

Please tell us about your art.
I am a photographer and a painter. I’ve spent the last three years, outside of teaching, traveling and photographing different cities but most of my photos have been shot in and around Los Angeles. Art has been my outlet for as long as I can remember. It is my release and it is the only thing that brings me absolute peace in this world. And it is because of the tranquility it brings me that I choose to use Photography as an outlet and coping mechanism. Each of my photos stems from a time in which I was experiencing difficulties with depression or in life in general and was in need of an escape. My vision is to guide viewers through a different perception of the world through each image and allow them to experience the emotions or feelings I might have been encountering at that time.

I search for a new place to be inspired by, travel to that place, and let the location speak to me while leading my lens to capture unique images from different angles. Painting is what I use to de-stress. It soothes me when I a feel overwhelmed. However, my paintings are inspired by my culture and reflect the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and strength associated with being Black in America. Through experiences I’ve encountered throughout my life, I understand the empowerment of being a person of color and the importance of representing my culture proudly in my work. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I never discovered my abilities as an artist and learned to use my art as a resource for my students and my culture.

The inspiration for my art also comes from the work I do with the youth of my community every single day and the importance of mental health. One thing that I always remind my students of is the importance of the mark that they leave on this world. Often times when I bring up the concept, they realize that it is something they’ve never considered. I believe these discussions open up the doors for young people to start looking at their abilities, and their life and where they can go from where they are currently at. And when they ask me that same question here’s what I reply: “I want my art to be my mark on this world. From my art, I hope that people can see and experience me, my life, my journey, my struggles, triumphs and failures, and be inspired to create themselves, speak out, and change the world.”

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I think the biggest challenge that artists face today is censorship of what we create. There is so much of a need to discuss our world, through the eyes of our community in our art, yet I believe that some artist ( including myself at times) fear the retaliation that might come with that expression due to the state of society right now. It’s like this, Think about when you were in grade school, in a class full of diversity and a discussion is taking place. There are so many different opinions going around and you agree with some but more importantly strongly disagree with others.

What do you do? Do you speak up and risk being judged? Or do you stay quiet and keep your thoughts to yourself? I feel that now more than ever is the time for artists voices to be heard. It’s time to express ourselves, our views, and share our stories with the world, and it’s time for us to inspire one another. Every time I turn on the news the negativity I see being portrayed always outweighs the positive. And I believe it’s up to people to tap into their creative sides and speak up about what’s right and what’s wrong. What’s happening in the world only adds fuel to my fire and it motivates me to express myself and my views, and to find a way to inspire the next generation.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am currently collaborating on several wall murals with other artists in Burbank, CA at LA Grip Film Studios. I have also done many Conception Art Shows. Thanks to the platform they’ve provided for artists, I’ve been able to network and display my work in my community. Each year I try to participate in as many art shows or exhibitions as possible. As for my other work, it is available in an online portfolio through my website PhotosbyNicoleK.wordpress.com.

Here people can see some of the work I’ve shown in pop up art shows throughout the years and also catch my latest series. All of my work is printed on canvas or prints (available in 12×16 up to 40×60) and is available for purchase. I update my Instagram account weekly with my latest photos and paintings. People can follow me for news on the upcoming shows I will be participating in throughout LA and to keep in touch @nicole.k.photography. If any of my images or paintings speak to you and you would like to own one of them, feel free to email me at nicolekphotos@gmail.com, Follow me on Instagram or stop by my next art show!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Conception Art Show

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