Today we’d like to introduce you to MoNique LeRoux.
MoNique, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a native Texan and proud French Creole artist based in Houston. I have always loved art, working with my hands and trying to learn how certain things of interest worked. I spent my early childhood creating art as young as three years old from what I can remember. However, in my upbringing, it was greatly deterred to pursue it as seriously as I really wanted to. I was told to go to college or join the military to have the best life and to get out of poverty. It wasn’t until 15 years of passionately trying to find happiness in a career and changing several careers from the military, to the police department, the fire department and finally dental assistant that I realized I was not happy doing anything else but art. The career of firefighting, along with finding a need to escape from depression and PTSD, is what triggered my return to painting. My fascination with chemistry and fire grew and flourished into the unique combination that is the major part of my unique fire painting artistic process. I create all of my abstract expression pieces with many different mediums ranging from the traditional acrylic on canvas to the more elaborate concoctions of epoxy resin and other specifically calculated mixtures in which I use chemistry, to create textures and depth on each piece.
How the flames move or react to a chemical and the mediums I create are vital to my style of art. In Winter of 2016, I finally had enough of not following my dreams and being unhappy. With little to nothing to my name, only $1100, a room I rented from a stranger off of Craigslist, I began a new journey for a new life. I boxed up my last uniform and moved to Houston to pursue my passion and art career. The Houston art community was very active and very welcoming. I remember the first art show I visited in Houston that I met a local art non-profit organization called iMits Art and I started to volunteer my time in response to their mission to help others in the local community through the humanitarian efforts of local artists. In January of 2019, I was accepted into the Escapist Art Mentorship in Houston under internationally famous and local artist John Ross Palmer and Mentor Ryan Lyndsay. That was a pivotal moment in my art career, because of the program and becoming and Escapist, art is now becoming a career and not just a childhood dream, it is healing and restoring my quality of life.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Following your dreams is never easy. Not even when you are good at something you love. I feel you have a lot against you from the beginning and a lot of it you can not control. It’s definitely a mindset to try and be optimist when you are so used to very structured environments and every day you have no idea what you might be doing but you want to still try. I found the personal struggle was the hardest. Not getting into a mentorship, moving, learning a new way of life and getting adjusted to it, but the programming we all have. The personal struggle I had was believing in myself. From all my careers and military and paramilitary careers, I was always used to if you follow rules, A, B, C, then D, E, F, happens. Period. It is certainly not like that pursuing your passion. You have to learn all roles, take time for yourself, take your failures in stride, learn to reevaluate your undesired outcomes and still manage to be motivated along the way.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mo LeRoux Art – what should we know?
Mo LeRoux Art is here for the arts, the artists, and self-expression but mostly to recognize others who appreciate art and life but may also struggle with depression. I make art that I express my deepest thoughts and emotions that I am proud of and then I discuss them on my many social media platforms. I offer weekly advice or quotes to make you think about setting boundaries and following your heart in a very confusing world. I am most known for my resin and fire painting technique. This year in early May, I performed my first ever live painting with the fire and resin. To my surprise, it sold before I had completed it at my exhibition at the Chrysalis in Houston, Texas. Pictures often do not give my work justice because it’s when people are in front of my art and art able to see the depths and textures in my work, is when they are the most “wide-eyed”.
My artwork often comes from my night terrors and lucid dreams, I see emotions as colors, and I often just try to recreate the colors and emotions as I saw them. As Mo LeRoux Art, I am the most proud of all the private support that I get and lives I know I touch. Daily in my personal messages on my many social media platforms, I often get people saying they have a similar struggle with life, emotions, their own art career or they love my art and understand my art language. I feel like if I can make a difference in how someone feels in a good way, I am fulfilling my purpose as an artist. Just as Nina Simone once said, “It is the artist’s duty to reflect the times.”
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Knowing that there is still more to learn. Ambition. My whole life, I never would ever feel content with anything. I always wanted to learn, challenge, see, do and create. I would rather see things for myself than listen to others. I only felt comfortable or right when my heart did.
- Fine Art $100-$1500
- Serving Trays $75-$125
- Paper Pieces $50
- Live Paintings for Events $500-$1000
- Website: LeRouxArt.com
- Phone: 281-410-8260
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mo_lerouxart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoLeRouxArt
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/lerouxart
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMa__eo4fum7HanXQX2r0zA