I’ve connected with Monica Torrejon when Therese Cilia recommended me to check her work. Monica is a talented artist and designer with a unique story and exceptional worldview. In this interview, you will learn how Monica starts her day, gets things done and avoids ghosts.
Monica Torrejon also known as Squarehand is an artist and designer with 10+ years of experience in digital design, and 15+ years developing groundbreaking graphic design, brand development, and user experiences. She has worked at many of the leading agencies in New York, Toronto, and Lima.
Monica's work tries to connect with the otherworldly, tries to attain insights into mysteries that transcend our human awareness as by direct communication with our intuition.
What Are the Most Influential Habits in Your Life?
I don't really have any habits that I follow daily, except for the fact that I love waking up super early and going to get coffee while wearing my pajamas (which I think could pass for a dress, they look like a Mexican peasant type dress with embroidered flowers and huge puffy sleeves) I also love to–and I feel helps me in my creative process as well as in life in general–is to look at myself in the mirror and talk to me.
Realizing I have no idea who that person is from the outside and being able to tell her things that she doesn't know so she can get to know herself better is an amazing experience. If you draw things on the mirror while you do this, it also helps with the narrative.
How Do You Set Goals and Manage Time?
I actually don't set goals at all, I like to wing it, I manage my time also by working whenever I feel inspired or motivated. I think planning anything in life is completely useless because things never ever work out the way you planned, in fact, they usually turn out to be the complete opposite. Life is always a surprise. So why bother?
How Are You Modeling Your Life?
I don't really model my life, I don't think I could even if I tried because I am continually changing my mind so I do what I feel like in the moment. Which is very variable. A very influential person in my life has been my father, I wonder how he has made it this far in life. I also try to be like Jesus.
Can You Describe Your Work Process and Thinking Behind It?
My work is pretty much all based on my deep questioning and wrestling with the idea of the disappearance of a loved one, whether its death, the end of a relationship or anything that would create an absence that we are forced to accept and yet still have the illusion of the absentee's presence through memory and/or objects left behind. I think and meditate on this every day of my life and my work is a result of that process. But this isn't really planned, it's just how my brain works. My most current project is actually about this very subject: gone and still here.
What Do You Eat for Breakfast?
I eat bread, butter, and coffee. Those 3 are some of the things I love most in life (those plus the feeling of velour on my body). Also, breakfast is usually the only time I feel optimistic about life.
How Do You Train Your Body and Mind?
I love to travel, this keeps my mind continually learning and experiencing completely different people, cultures and beliefs which inform my work, gives me perspective and helps me grow as a human and as an artist. Also because I don’t like being in one place too long, especially NYC.
How Do You Meet and Connect with People?
I rarely connect with people. When it happens it's practically a miracle.
What Are Your Sleeping Rituals?
Usually, I go to bed around 8 pm or earlier and watch an episode of "Murder She Wrote," this show, and most murder mysteries make me feel peaceful before bed because when it's dark out to me that means sleep/ bed. I am also afraid of the dark so I rather not have time to imagine any ghosts chasing me around the apartment or lurking shadows trying to touch me.
Also, most ideas come to me while I am in a state of half asleep so I have a notebook by my bed where I write them down; usually they don't make any sense the next morning (which is at times even better).
What Are Your Investing Habits?
I invest a lot in traveling, books, art materials, tons of notebooks and cups (I love cups! and plates…)
What Books, People, Experiences Shaped Your Thinking?
Books: The Bible (Ecclesiastes is my favorite). One Hundred Years of Solitude. Love in the Time of Cholera. Mac for Dummies. Taxidermy for Beginners. 1000 Muffins Recipe Book.
Experiences: Moving to NYC. My dad being a taxidermist. Growing up in Peru during Shining Path's control. The death of my grandfather when I was 7. A dream I had in which I was an old man having sex with Lil' Kim.