Spending all her weekends on the beach with friends and family throughout her childhood is what 26-year-old Durban-born Monica says nurtured her connection to the ocean.
“I feel most at home with my feet buried in the sand or when I am floating in the sea. Just sitting and watching the waves is the most relaxing thing in the world for me.”
It was only natural that she would then begin expressing her love for the ocean through her art, says Monica, who started exploring her creative side after leaving school. She studied fashion design before gravitating towards web and graphic design. She and her husband Daniel now own their own digital design studio.
“Having this freedom gave me the time to further explore my own creativity outside of work, resulting in the creation of my art business, which I’ve called Naturally Monica.”
With no professional training and having never been to an art class (not even in high school), Monica is a completely self-taught artist.
“I like to think that I am lucky enough to be naturally talented, but I also spend a lot of time practicing and learning new mediums and techniques. I use any free time I have in my studio playing my favourite music and letting my creativity lead the way.”
Drawn to painting, and specifically watercolours, Monica says she loves the flowing, seamless blending of the paint, which she uses to illustrate her ocean-inspired resin art. Monica also frames her art in wood, bringing in a natural feel to finish the pieces and make them ready to hang anywhere in a home.
“The simplicity and beauty of nature truly inspires me. When I’m not painting something to do with the beach or ocean, you will definitely find me painting something else that nature has created.”
With art being a part of her daily life, Monica tries to paint whenever she can. “Whether I am spending a full day in the studio, or even if it is just creating a digital, ocean-inspired piece on my iPad while sitting on the couch, my creative juices are always flowing! I definitely know that creating is my passion, whether it’s through painting or creating a great logo for a new, start-up business. I feel so lucky to be able to express my creativity in all these different ways on a daily basis. Doing this helps me stay tune with my life’s purpose – to create beautiful designs that make people happy.”
Monica is currently exploring acrylic resin art, which involves mixing epoxy resin (the stuff surfboards are made of) with acrylic paint colours and pouring those onto a canvas to create a blend of colours and patterns.
“The thing I love so much about resin art, or any fluid art for that matter, is that no two pieces will be the same. This also reminds me of the ocean which is ever changing the beach landscape.”
When asked about her hopes for the future in terms of her painting, Monica says she would love to one day make it her full-time working career. “I would absolutely love to be able to spend all day painting, experimenting with new mediums and pieces and creating beautiful artworks for people to decorate their homes and offices with.”