Tell us your full name, and your background/ your story leading up to becoming the incredible artist we know today?
My name is Shakerra Monét, a contemporary artist. For me, all I have ever known was art, which always came naturally. As a fashion design and merchandising graduate, fashion illustration was always my first introduction to me wanting to take art seriously. My senior year of college was when I was strongly encouraged to pick up the skill of learning digital illustration. So, over the next decade, I perfected the craft of digital artistry.
Are you from Colorado? Which neighborhood did you eventually choose to call home? And why?
No, but I have been living in Denver, CO for almost 6 years. I am actually from St. Louis, MO and moved to Denver for work. Currently, I’ve been living in the Cherry Creek/ Glendale Neighborhood. I love it because I am in the middle of everything and now that the neighborhood is getting new restaurants and stores, everything is easy to access for me.
What was the inspiration or thought process behind crossing out the eyes in your work ? What do you want the audience to focus on/ experience?
Originally, I was struggling with one of my early pieces to get the position of the eyes right. Eventually, after being frustrated, I crossed out the eyes, which eliminates the critique of guessing who was drawn/referenced. For me, the eyes are the window to the soul and what identifies an individual. Taking the eyes out all together lets you focus on the image as a whole instead of who the person could be. Now it has become my main aesthetic feature that gets my art noticed and creates conversation to find out more about a piece.
Can you tell us more about LA/NA Studios?
LA/NA Studios was established in 2021 and it was named after my grandmother’s middle name Lana. My grandma played an important role in my life establishing resilience and strength with a dash of creativity. LA/NA studio is a safe space for creativity and ideas. Eventually, LA/NA studios will hold room for other artists looking to think outside the box within all mediums of art.
How would you describe the Personality or “Vibe” of Denver?
I would say a unique place to grow. I have been immersed in different groups that are trying to make a name for themselves, whether are are natives or out of towners.
What are some of your favorite Denver based businesses you’d like to shout out?
Yes, there are so many black female/nonbinary artist that are in Denver that you should check out, here is a few, IG handles:
What were you most proud of accomplishing in 2022?
In 2022, it was a whirlwind for sure and I was a part of big things. My top four would be:
– “The Feels” Art Showcase (Feb 2022), first art show outside of Denver/St.Louis in a different city, my favorite city. Also, there were some heavy hitters. That night was BIG!
– Black Arts Festival (July 2022), Completed my first mural and again with some heavy hitters.
– MCA Denver x S. Monét Collab, designing a custom t-shirt. One of my goals was to get my art into MCA somehow and now my art is being sold in their shop. Eventually, one day, crossing fingers, I will get my fine art to be fully showcased.
– Black + Blossomed Mural currently at Green Spaces. I said I wanted to complete two murals in the beginning of 2022 even though I have never done one before. So having Breigh (owner) reach and ask me, I was honored. It was also my biggest mural so far and I am very proud of it.
What’s coming up in 2023 you’d like to promote or shout out? Any Exhibits or collabs or work you are working on?
I can’t really go into details about what is happening this year, BUT you can keep tabs on my social media (IG: S. Monet) because all announcements will be soon. But what I can say is later this year will be my solo show with Wolf Den Custom Studio.
If people want to shop your Art Online or – How can they?
So my website is Smonet.co and by the time this interview comes out there will be new work in the shop, but I will keep SOME older pieces.