Mónica Morales


Never ending passion

About the conscious choice to dedicate yourself to the arts, her never ending passion for drawing and what art therapy is all about

Who am I?

My name is Mónica, I live in Granada in the South of Spain and I’m 36 years old. After school I did a degree in Interior Design at the Art School in Granada and after that I studied Fine Arts and did a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. For the last two years I’ve worked as a graphic designer for a company here in Granada.

On “being an artist” & studying Fine Arts

When I decided to study Fine Arts I was not thinking about “working as an artist”. I don’t agree with people who claim that you can’t find any work with this degree. At least here in Spain there are quite a few work areas related to the Fine Arts degree.

You can work for example in the advertising field, in theatre and movie production, in the area of design like I do or you can become an arts teacher at school or at university. In all these areas we can use what we learned during our time at university so to me, to say you can’t find work with a Fine Arts degree is to say something that is just not true.

I believe that we truly have to dedicate ourselves to finding a work in the fields of art and that we have to really want it.

I think it is important to insist and, most of all, not to lose patience. As for myself, I studied Fine Arts because like so many other people, I was very passionate about drawing from a very young age and this passion hasn’t decreased until today. So I decided to go for it and I would do it again.

Ambulare, from the Synopsis series, 2018
Learning about myself while studying

At university I learned many things that served me and how to live my life. One of them is that I got to know myself better. And, what I like most, I learned to respect other people’s works even more and to value the effort they put into their works.

The Spanish Fine Arts degree

To study Fine Arts in Spain means that you have a bunch of different subjects related to the arts. In the first few years it’s the basic ones like classical drawing, painting and sculpturing as well as photography, audio visual creation and philosophy and history of art. These are the basics and they remain in the curriculum until the end of the degree, which currently, by the way, is four years.

But they do evolve, so classical drawing becomes experimental drawing, general sculpturing becomes installation and so on. There are also specialities like landscape painting, to mention just one and so as a student you can choose the ones you feel drawn to most.

However, it’s always general visual arts and only if you do a Master’s degree after the four years you’ll be able to specialise in one field. For me that was Art’s Therapy.

Painting a mural in El Paul, Mónica’s home town.
My speciality: Art Therapy

Art therapy arose from psychoanalysis and the artistic avant-garde. Even though it’s used in the fields of mental health care in order to increase the well being of the individual, everybody can do art therapy.

What I like most about it is that just as in Fine Arts, we use the artistic language, the creative process to express ourselves. Thanks to the introspection that we do to ourselves, we are able to achieve very important things like wiping off our stress, being conscient about ourselves or increasing our self esteem. And for those people who usually don’t have nothing to do with visual arts, it’s a wonderful chance to develop a new language, to discover a new form of expression.

Do you think that it makes a difference if an artist is classically trained or self taught?

When it comes to the creative and expressive part of being an artist and creating art, I don’t think that it makes any difference if you’re trained or self taught. Maybe there is a difference when it comes to technique but it’s something that you attain with practice.

A great artist I admire, Christian Boltanski, has been a self taught artist throughout all of his career and honestly, there is nothing he lacks that a classically trained artist has.

My creative process & finding your own style

I don’t have a fixed creative process that I follow, I rather let myself be taken step by step by a painting or a drawing that I’m working on unless there is a very concrete idea for the outcome like it happens with a commission for example.

Talking about one’s style, I believe that you will end up finding your own style without anybody imposing it onto you. I consider that painting, drawing, sculpturing and so on, are forms of expression just like writing.

Just as everybody has their own hand writing, in the visual arts each one of us has their own “hand writing” too.

It’s how we do the things that we do, how we express ourselves: your style is evolving when creating and so, in the end, your style will emerge on its own.

What I look for in an artwork

That’s a good question, but I can’t say that I have a certain type of artwork that I like more than another. It always depends on the concrete work. I don’t look for something similar in my own work when I view another artwork.

I guess that when I see an artwork, I like it because I’m seeing something that reminds me of myself.

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