CG Artist Spotlight: Monica Valentine
RECOMMENDED AGE LEVEL
Recommended for ages 10 and up with adult supervision.
CAUTION: This process utilizes straight pins which are sharp! Beads and sequins can be choking hazards.
Monica Valentine, an artist at Creative Growth in Oakland, CA since 2012, has a powerful and unique connection to color. Having lost her sight at birth, she chooses hues by sense, associating different temperatures and feelings with color choices. Wearing bright monochromatic outfits (often adorned with bike reflectors), Monica dexterously creates beaded, optically charged sculptures of intentional color patterns. Widely recognized for her work, Monica’s creations have exhibited and sold at the Outsider Art Fair in New York, Paris, and Tokyo, at the Creative Growth Gallery, and Art Osaka amongst many others.
Explore Monica’s creative practice and creations before following in her artistic footsteps. Reflect as you craft, consider your relationship with colors, and create a beaded sculpture of your own!
“I like to dress in red. Dress in green, dress in blue, dress in yellow, dress in purple, dress in white and black. Red is HOT. Yellow and orange feel warm. Green feels kinda freezing, blue feels very cold. I can tell by the feel of them with my hands.” – Monica Valentine
OPTIONAL: needle, string
- Reflect on and sort the colors. Monica identifies each color by its temperature or feel. What do colors feel like to you?
- Carefully place beads and sequins on straight pins. With the pointy side down, push pins into the foam shape.
- Continue until the surface area is covered in sequins and beads.
OPTIONAL: Younger crafters may also choose to swap straight pins for pipe cleaners and beads and sequins for pony beads.
CREATIVE PROMPTS FOR MORE:
- From bike reflectors to light reflecting off sequins, reflection is a major theme in Monica’s work. The time-consuming process of her sculptures allows for plenty of mindful reflection. This holiday season, we encourage you to muse on some of the following while crafting:
- What were some of my favorite moments of this year?
- What are the most creative things I did?
- Did I come up with any cool, new ideas or inventions that I could continue developing?
- What are my goals for next year?
- How can I continue to make time for a consistent creative practice?