The Worldly Artist Speaks Her Truth
Whether she’s interpreting the Divine Big Bang, or the subtle energy of a single flower with her paintbrush, Mónica Esgueva‘s artwork has a common principle: Helping you find inspiration as you continue on life’s journey. It’s quite fitting that her style of visionary art was forged on her own journey — One that has taken her around the world and helped shape her perspective as a person and an artist. With over 20 years of experience in deep meditation, Mónica draws her inspiration directly from the inner visions that she taps into while in a meditative state. The result is a body of work with stunning clarity and intuition that goes far beyond surface level decoration.
Mónica’s artist journey started at a young age and further developed as she studied with renowned painters in France. These days, her work can be found in esteemed institutions like Monaco Museum of Modern Art, Museo Casa Orduña and much more. Through approaching art as a spiritual practice, Mónica is able to step out of her own way when she’s creating and let the spirit do the rest.
We loved her approach as an artist, and the art itself, so we connected with Mónica to ask her a few questions about her work. Enjoy!
Let’s start with your backstory. You mention that your talent was innate from the very start. Can you expand on your early beginnings in art?
I was born artistic. My early memories involve drawing and painting animals with remarkable accuracy. When I was at school, probably around the age of twelve, I had an art teacher that encouraged me to copy the masterpieces of Goya, El Greco and Van Gogh. He would get them framed and kept them for himself. My friends really opposed to that saying: “What is it going to happen when you become a famous artist? They will be worth a lot!” Hahaha.
My paintings were always shown at school festivals. For years, I taught myself to do famous people’s portraits, capturing their unique character through drawing as a regular practice. Painting was as necessary and natural for me as breathing. When I was still pretty young, I remember telling my parents that one day I would be exhibiting in galleries in Europe. Farfetched as it seemed, my parents always took me very seriously and believed in me.
“I BELIEVE THAT OUR HIGHER SELF CAN WORK WITH THE SMALLER SELF THROUGH ART. HENCE, IT CAN BECOME A BRIDGE TO THE SPIRITUAL IN EVERYDAY LIFE.”
Your journey has taken you to London, Paris, Tanzania, India and now Spain. How did your travels help shape you as a person and an artist?
Traveling helps alleviate the monotony of existence and rejuvenates one’s soul. I always had a thirst to know the world, to explore, to venture into the unknown, to have an interesting life. I have currently visited more than 110 countries, including many where I had gone on my own. By being able to let go of my comforts and daring to go into the unknown, I had so many adventures all over the world. I have slept in the house of a prostitute in Thailand to be able to understand their predicament and write a book about it. Working as a volunteer in an orphanage in Tanzania taught me the value of life, seeing those children that literally had nothing and yet were full of joy. Spending time with a tribe in the jungle of The Philippines showed me to appreciate everything we take for granted in the West. Living and studying Buddhism for months at a time at the valley of Kathmandu or at the feet of the Indian Himalayas forced me to become more resilient and adaptable.
It has inspired me to write some novels that are based on my own experiences. It has enhanced my inner strength and independence, as I had to face many challenges along the way. Not only that, but it has definitely humbled me. It has been my greatest school and possibly my greatest influence as it has shaped me as a person, truly feeling the brotherhood with all human beings despite their apparent differences.
Overall, it has made me more understanding and more open, as it broadens your horizons in every possible manner. It has helped me become a much better writer, a better painter, and most importantly, a better human being.
You describe your work as symbolic & visionary. Can you explain the relationship between your art and your spirituality?
In addition to our physical, emotional, and mental nature, we are spiritual beings. If we listen, the soul calls us all beyond our misleading sense of separation and isolation into a life of unity and deeper meaning. As an artist, my soul pushes me to experience my own divinity and find ways to express it in service to the world.
I believe that our higher self can work with the smaller self through art. Hence, it can become a bridge to the spiritual in everyday life. Art can potentially be a healing and transformational force on our planet as long as artists point to the source of transcendence wellness and radiance that is our real nature.
As an artist with works in museums worldwide, what would you say is your proudest accomplishment?
I feel enormous gratitude to be able to expand the light that this world so much needs through my art. I feel very fortunate to dedicate most of my time to create works that can help others feel uplifted, more peaceful, more hopeful and a sense of sacredness in everything that exist.
“NOT ALL ARTISTS CONSIDER THAT ART CAN BE A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. BUT WITH THE PROPER MOTIVATION AND FOCUS, IT CAN BE SO.”
For artists that wish to create “Visionary Art”, what type of head space should they be in? What is your creative process when you are working?
Through mystical and spiritual themes, Visionary Art transcends our physical realm and vividly conceptualizes a sublime state of consciousness.
Art is a natural expression of each artist’s idiosyncrasy. Our most meaningful creative work comes from deep inside, and it is an affirmation of the universal energy. The creativity of artists is actually cosmic creativity manifesting through us. The difficulty for most artists is to get themselves out of the way and let the spirit do its work. When art serves a greater purpose, it seeds the unconscious of both the artist and the viewer with a positive influence. Having the right motivation, art becomes a service to the divine by being an uplifting assistant to a suffering world.
Not all artists consider that art can be a spiritual practice. But with the proper motivation and focus, it can be so. For me, it is a daily exercise that enables me to keep developing the qualities of mental clarity, wisdom, service, and access to revelations of higher mystical states of awareness. My work is a contemplative method —as much as creative expression— that allows me to share my spiritual journey.
Anything else you’d like to add?
First, thank you to the Gritty Vibes team for the opportunity.
And then, I would like the reader to contemplate the words that the Visionary artist William Blake wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed then everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite”.
I actually paint to express this beyond words, even beyond the visual senses. I paint vibrations that aspire to transcend the physical world. Furthermore, I create to expand the light, aligned to Robert Schumann’s perspective that “the artist’s vocation is to send light into the human heart”. May you be inspired by my work.