Monica Ramos is an illustrator born in Manila in the Philippines and who now lives in New York – having graduated from Parsons, the New School for Design.
She’s previously said she’s inspired by Miyazaki and the collision of the real and spirit world within his work. Which gives an indication of what you’re in for and perhaps helps explain the thought processes behind some of her pieces.
She said in one of her first recorded interviews six years ago that she ‘just wanted to make beautiful, funny things’ and she talks about a Children’s Book she was illustrating at the time about a forest girl who’s ‘wild, brave and loves to eat berries’ (heart glowing).
But since then Ramos has been hard at work and she’s now had a host of exhibitions predominantly in New York, but also Washington, Austin and Copenhagen. Her work is hard to pin down and you don’t quite know what will come next, but it’s definitely included a fair few lamas and lot of different kinds of foods (all the important things). But my favourite pieces of Ramos’ work have been those that portray women.
Her most recently commissioned work Muslim Women is a great example of how good she is at doing this:
One of my ultimate faves is from a personal collection she did for an exhibition in Copenhagen called ‘Just Swim’.
The calming and beautiful illustrations of naked women floating amongst tigers in pale blue clear waters – take me in, and let me rest there!
And you may recognise the below illustration from the My Year of Women website banner:
But she’s done a truck load of amazing stuff. From an asian-american tarot card deck to a woman riding an aubergine (in a sexual way). I definitely recommend checking her out here if you like what you see – and keeping an eye on her online store. Her tumblr archive is also great when getting a sense of her work’s progression, and also to grab snippets of projects and pieces that have flown lower on the radar.
Go and run head first into the beautiful images Ramos creates – she’s a women to love for sure.
P.S She also created (with a pal) a two hit wonder ‘Sad Girls Zine’ – which I wish I had a copy of because it looks hilarious.