Phoenix Artist Monica Robles: 100 Creatives

Categories: 100 Creatives

Courtesy of Monica Robles
Meet the artist.

Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 37. Monica Robles.

Creating is a round-the-clock endeavor for Monica Robles.

By day, Monica Robles works in graphic design. By night, she's a studio artist.

But the Phoenix creative wasn't always set on a career in the arts.

See also: Tempe Artist Rossitza Todorova: 100 Creatives

Courtesy of the artist
Robles' Recuadros 8 is one of a series.
"As a young child I taught myself to sketch and draw by copying photos out of my parents' magazines," Robles says. "I wasn't surrounded by art growing up so I really wasn't pushed to be involved in any art classes. Once I was in high school, I stepped away from sketching and drawing and focused on studying advanced math, which I truly did enjoy. It wasn't until I began at the University of Arizona that I would find myself returning to my artistic roots."

She credits her time at U of A for pushing her into a more artistic headspace. "This is where I branched out and my creative mind kicked into full gear," she says. "One of my professors told me about this army surplus junk yard off of the freeway and that's when my mind just exploded with creative ideas. That's really where my love for used/recycled objects began."

Now, she splits her time between graphic design projects, including work for 5th Row Dance Studio and The Lab Pop-Up Gallery, where she also arranges artist exhibitions.

Her current projects include creating furniture pieces and gearing up for a fall show.

"I'm getting ready for our upcoming one-year-anniversary party at the end of September at our new location on Grand Avenue for 11th Monk3y and The Lab Pop-Up Gallery," Robles says. "I'm going to be showing new art pieces, and for the first time, I will be doing a wall installation. (I'm crossing my fingers on that one!)"

After graduating from the University of Arizona, I moved to Phoenix for a change and to experience a bigger city atmosphere. I moved to downtown Phoenix for the art scene and the diverse mix of people.

I create art because I truly love working with my hands and making art with objects that have been discarded. I enjoy giving them new life and new meaning.
I'm most productive when I'm under pressure, probably like most artists. But I most enjoy when I lose track of time and work for endless hours. The end result is all worth it!

My inspiration wall is full of illustrations, including two art prints, one from Sentrock (Fight the Good Fight) and the other from Mikey Jackson. I also have images that inspire me that I've cut out from PRINT and Dwell magazines.

I've learned most from watching and just getting my hands dirty and "diving" in. I've gone from creating oil paintings - mixed media paintings - graphic design- photography - to building furniture. I've been so lucky ever since we started the Lab on Roosevelt, I've got to meet and be surrounded by so many creative people. And working alongside Ruben Gonzales at our studio space -- he's taught me so much. I truly believe you continue to evolve as an artist especially when you start meeting new artists and sharing ideas. It's really a never-ending, creative process.

Good work should always inspire others and make people excited.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more spaces that have equipment readily available for artists to use.

Location Info


Fifth Row Dance Studio

513 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

The Lab Pop-Up Gallery

1022 W Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

11th Monk3y

1022 NW Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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