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Meet Monae Blackwood: An Interview with Youth Phenomenon Artist/Book Illustrator

When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist/creative?

I first realized that I wanted to be an Artist when I was at the age of around 9 or I used to sketch little doodles in my sketchbook. But it became serious to me at the age I am now, which is 14. When my mom bought me an Easel I realised that i loved painting, and my mom encouraged me to open my own business.

How long does it take you to create your pieces?

It takes me about 3-4 hours to create one of my pieces.

What is your work schedule like when you're working?

I am a freshman in high school so i really dont have much of a work schedule. I usually make a piece and then post immediately on Etsy. When I receive an order, I usually try to get it done in at least a week.

What would you say is your interesting artistic quirk?

My interesting artistic quirk is that I try to always make my pieces very unique and something that nobody has even seen before. So that when someone buys one of my pieces they are wowed.

Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

I usually get my inspiration from ideas that pop into my head and I immediately sketch them.

What do you like to do when you're not creating art?

I like to swim, work out, read, watch home design and hang out with my family because I am very family oriented.

What does your family think of your work?

My family loves my work especially my mother, friends and family and has shown a lot of support to my work.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your artwork?

One of the most surprising things I have learned in creating my artwork is that art is very calming. When i paint i feel very relaxed and it puts me in a state of tranquility.

How many works of art have you created? Which is your favorite?

I have created 13 works of art and the “Blue Grand Jete” is my favorite!

Do you have any suggestions to help others become better artists? If so, what are they?

To become a better artist you have to always believe in yourself and never give up! If something isn't working the way you want it to just whisper to yourself “i got this!” Also listen to your parents because your parents see a vision that you might not always see because I was hesitant at first to open up my own business but my mother believed in me.

Do you hear from your fans much? What kinds of things do they have to say?

Some fans of my artwork say to me that they love how my artwork always tells a story and how unique all my pieces are. Upon meeting a lot of people when I am handing out my business cards it is surprising to me to see the glow on their faces of how proud they are of me in starting my own business. I always walk away from complete strangers feeling a great accomplishment.

Bio: Monae Blackwood is a 14-year-old artist who specializes in afrocentric and African American Art. She does custom orders and clients can request to customize most pieces in her shop to their liking. Her work is inspired by her Caribbean heritage and her art is infused with the celebration of women and men of color. Some things she enjoys doing outside of creating art is, reading, swimming and working out. She loves working with palettes of earth tones as well as bright and bold colors. Her mixed media pieces are hand painted elements to create minimal yet compelling compositions. My link to my etsy shop is

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