My name is Monique Novak, artist name Monique Moon. I was born in São Paulo – Brazil. I’m a freelance illustrator and artist, self-taught
Can you begin with telling me a little bit about your illustration practice? How did you begin to Illustrate?
I started to do artwork seriously about a year ago, previously I used to draw but i didn’t tought my drawings were very good and hid them from people. Around 2010 I stopped drawing completely because of life and gave up being and artist. However in 2017, I randomly found out my long lost passion and here we are.
What is your main focus in Illustrations?
Feelings. I have a lot of feelings that tend to accumulate and I find very difficult to express myself by „conventional“ means like talking to friends or doing therapy
When and why did you start to create Monsters?
That’s kind of a difficult question. My early work (and by early I mean 2 years ago, not so long ago) is more about my own view of sexuality and gender. The women (or feminine creatures) in my works often have animal characteristics like horns, fur and fangs, and they represent how I feel a lot of the times in society as a transgender women. Some people will see you as a monster, some of them will see you as human.
What do you express through them? What do they mean to you?
Its pretty much the way I feel about being a trans girl in a country where transgender people have a life expectancy of 35 years, pretty much all dying in hate crimes and violent circunstances because we are so marginalized and forced to prostitution, drugs and diseases. You live like everyone is the enemy, and they will remind you very often of that. My later work however is the complete opposite. I try to imagine different non-human existances and planes, something totally alien from everything we know, things undescribable like some Lovecraftian existances or something like that. It’s like escaping from all I live and letting my mind travel to places I will never be able to physically go.
Does gender play a role in your Illustration?
Yes, I think with all that I’ve been through because of my sexuality and gender it’s pretty much impossible to separate these things. I feel like even when I try to imagine completely alien creatures I have this need to deconstruct everything at a fundamental level because I refuse to accept the norm.
How do you think Monsters are connected to Gender-questions?
I think it’s the fear of the unknown. Anything or any gender that confronts the rules will be treated with violence because people fear what they don’t understand. And often that’s the case with monsters.
Do you have a definition of what is monstrous? Do you need it?
Honestly, i don’t like the word monster at all, because it comes with a lot
of implications in my opinion. We tend to say something is monstrous, and
relate that to evil, wicked, bad things. Things that are ugly are often
associated with evil, but can they be judged by our human standards? Even in
human society often people perceived as physically beautiful are capable of the
most evil things.
I’m not particularly religious, actually very far from that, but I think some of the lessons they teach are really things to think. Why does Exu will sometimes appear as a beggar to test your kindness (Exu like a guardian deity in african-brazilian religions), Jesus also appears as a beggar. But what about the devil? The devil will always appear to you like a tall handsome and well dressed man. Beauty is something good, but it can be the very thing that turns us into monsters if we use it to advantage of other people.
What ore who influenced your work? With whom do you talk about your work?
everyone I come accross will influence my work on way or another. On the top of
my head, Vania Zouravliov, Audrey Kawasaki, Christopher Lovell, Zdzislaw
Bekskinski, Allen Williams, Aaron Horkey, James Jean.
Actually I don’t really talk about my work (except with a few close friends) or unless someone asks about it. I’m not very good at expressing myself with words.
What is your favourite monster ore piece of work? Why did you create it? (please attach)
Graphite and ink on paper
do you have any particular focus or self enforced rules that you follow when you work on your creatures? What visual methods do you use to create your monsters?
When I start to draw, I kind of dont know where I’m going with it. Sometimes I’ll have this initial idea but the final artwork is totally different. I really like to do that because it’s a proccess that gives me freedom to imagine all kinds of narratives when I am doing it, and that’s really satisfying. About visuals, I tend to use textures and variation a lot. The human body or any kind of animal have a lot of variations in their anatomy for example the fur in a tiger’s paw it’s different from the fur in it’s back so I really tend to think about that, It kind of comes naturally to me, but i tend to use a lot of references (like any other artist)
What do want to achive through your work?
I really want people to question gender, what’s evil, bad, ugly or beautiful and learn to respect what they don’t understand. If I could change how people think, just a little, so marginalized people (especially trans people like me) won’t have to go through what I had to, I probably achieve my goal. If i can do my best, nothing else will matter.
Do you do commission work when you create Monster? Have they been published, and if so where? Aside that, where do you publish your Work and where (ore in what context)do your Images circulate?
I don’t do comissioned work very often. I publish my work at social media mostly Instagram (@moniq.moon) and https://www.behance.net/mooniqmoon
I mostly sell my artwork at local fairs