Monica Ahanonu

Monica describes her work as “energetic.” The LA-based illustrator, model, and creator began her career at DreamWorks Animation, where she honed her unique artistic style and became a go-to expert in color theory and vector illustration. Now, as the first signed illustrator for IMG Models, Monica focuses on elevating her talents within illustration as well as fashion through capsule clothing collections, book illustration, package design, digital campaigns, and various red carpet events. Her portfolio includes brands such as Vanity Fair, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Sephora, TIME, Sprite, Peloton, TOMS, Simon & Schuster, and Adobe.

“I feel like by putting out work that showcases so many types of beauty it reminds people to be okay with who they are and what they look like,” she said, “(to) be excited about bringing variation to the world and being genuinely who they are as they go about their day.”

Monica leads in the digital space for black artists with portraits and pop art that make learning about people from other cultures, industries and backgrounds accessible. Her fourth illustrated book, Bold Words from Black Women, was released in January 2022. 

“Just because you’re different from the people around you doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful”, she said. “I believe in diverse beauty. It brings color and variation into the world … and more excitement. I’m glad that I can bring that to light with my work.” 

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