Arie Monroe is our latest Artist Spotlight! She is a caricature artist who also makes comics and loves to stay fit. Check out her story below!

Q: Where did you get your start, and how long have you been a caricature artist?
A: I started doing caricatures at worlds of fun. A amusement park in Kansas City Missouri when I was 18. I have been doing this for about 23 years.

Q: Where are you currently working?
A: Currently I am working for Drawlikecrazy studios Llc. I started my own caricature illustration business in 2015. I contract with different vendors and event planners and work parties festivals and events.

Q: What kind of gigs are you doing, if any?
A: Currently most of my in person events are canceled due to COVID. I am going a large amount of my work through virtual events.

Q: COVID has had a huge impact on our industry. How has it impacted you personally, as a professional caricature artist?
A: COVID devastated my business. My entire work colander disappeared over night and I am nervous about the upcoming year. I am blessed to be able to get work through zoom however. I feel like my business is hanging in the balance and I am going through some trainings for other types of work.

Q: What are some of the caricature skills that you continue to use in your studio work?
A: I still do live virtual events from home. And I apply a lot of my airbrush caricature skills to use on the computer. So I continue to work on getting a good likeness and working quickly.

Q: Tell us more about your comics. How long have you been making comics? What are your favorite kinds of stories?
A: I have been making comics since I was a little girl. I always loved to draw cartoons. I really enjoy zany funny silly stories as well as dramatic ones. I like all genres of comics from super hero to slice of life manga.

Q: Are there things that you get from your studio work that retail caricature can’t provide? Do you like having the freedom to explore other topics and themes, for example?
A: Over the years my studio work has become more and more personal. Especially, since I no longer focus as much on animation and comics being my career. This has been good for me. I can separate my work and my fun so that I can be freely creative in my personal work and I have seen my art skills grow a lot as a result because my focus isn’t as much on completing illustrations really fast for commissions for people. I can really focus and put love into my comics and illustrations. As well as humor that relates to my personal vision.
I have had people say I should be happy I get to draw for a living but it’s not about the drawing. Anyone can draw boring and repetitive illustrations for other people to make their vision happen for them. But that left me feeling empty inside cause I was always worrying about someone else’s vision. Now I only worry about my own.

Q: What are your favorite tools for retail or digital caricature?
A: For retail caricatures I sure the standard tools. Crayola markers that are refillable, ink, prisma color color sticks and a nice paper. Digitally I use a xp- pen 15 inch and my home desktop computer, with clip studio paint.

Q: What hobbies or passions do you have outside of caricature?
A: People never believe me when I say I work out a lot. When I am not drawing I am at the gym. I’m currently studying wing chun kung fu and I do a lot of ashtanga yoga. Hopefully this year I will get my first teachers certification to become an aerobics instructor for dance and yoga. I want to be confident and continue to grow in my health and encourage others to do the same. I’m a pretty big girl but I work hard on staying healthy. I’m probably in better shape than most skinny people.

Q: Who are your favorite women artists in caricature or in related industries?
A: I love Beejay Hawn, she is also my best friend. Her work is amazing and inspiring. Afua Richardson, also a long time friend who now gets to work for marvel. Candy Briones, one of the sweetest young women you will meet, she is a caricature artist and has her own online web series called the good the bad and the bunny. She also use to be my roommate and is just fun to be around. I really value these ladies as inspiration and also friends in my life. They make every day better. Outside of them I enjoy Claire Wendling, rumiko takahashi, lazymillz, and so many others.

Q: Thanks again for participating in WIC's Artist Spotlight! Where can we follow your work?
A: Thanks so much for including me. I have 2 websites. One for caricature and one for my comics.
I am also on YouTube as thatmainchick
Instagram: ariemonroe
Facebook: drawlikecrazy Or Arie Monroe
I do live streams with my friends through Facebook and post vids on YouTube so feel free to check them out.

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