When asked about when she recognized that she had a passion for art, she said “I realized my passion when I was six. Even though I was so young, my parents could tell from my constant doodling, that art was something that really interested me...at that age, I started taking private lessons with a local artist who taught me drawing and painting skills that have made me the artist I am today. She made me see the passion within myself.”
Also, Monique spoke about what inspires her most as an artist, saying that “there is a quote by John Steinbeck, ‘I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen,’ that I feel like captures my source of inspiration” She describes herself as an introvert, saying that she “thinks [she’s] not seen for who [she] is.” Also, Monique said: “I’m sure if you asked a random person in my grade to describe me in three words they would say: quiet, artistic, and nice.I would not necessarily disagree, but there is so much more to me that very few people have seen.”
Monique likes to paint people because “it amazes [her] how much [she] feel like [she] knows someone after painting them for hours because [she] knows that they have two wrinkles by their mouth or a scar on their chin.” She also says that “every face is tremendously different, and even though [she’s] only seeing what is on the surface, [she] sees beauty in places [she] wouldn’t notice otherwise. Every mark and indent on a face tells a story that [she] wishes [she] could hear.”
Because Monique is still in school, it is necessary that she finds a healthy balance between her artwork and her schoolwork. I spoke with Monique about how she finds this balance, and she said that “it has become a lot easier.” Even though art is her passion, she mentioned that both have been priorities in her life, and that she couldn’t “emotionally and mentally handle [her] schoolwork if [she] didn’t spend 2.5 hours a day on art” because it provides her with a source of refueling and is completely relaxing.
Aside from visual art, Monique is a very valuable student in our community. She plays the flute in the jazz band, contributes to the yearbook, and is overall a kind student who leads the Bullis way.