Model Monday: Monica Ahanonu designs her own future

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Source: (Photo by Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Tory Burch & The Daily) / (Photo by Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Tory Burch & The Daily)

Last name: Monica Ahanonu

IG: @monicaahanonu

Agency: IMG Models

Claiming fame: Ahanonu was featured in a Wolk Morias series in Vogue and in a beauty segment for Refinery29. She has also appeared in campaigns for Alex Jewelry Studio, The Uprising, and P.MAI. Most recently, she illustrated The Hip-Hop Queens Oracle Deck: A 52-Card Deck and Guidebook and #SheCametoSlay by Erica Armstrong Dunbar.

Monica Ahanonu was literally drawn to modeling. “There is a Wolk Morias brand and I met them at an event where I was showing my art,” she told HelloBeautiful. “I stayed in touch with them afterwards. And then they started using me in their different campaigns every year, which is really fun. This is kind of how I started. She also played the role of a model for the brand.

“They used to use me as a fit model sometimes,” she said. “And we got really close, so that’s kind of where it all started in terms of any kind of professional modeling.”

The model and illustrator previously considered the profession in “college and high school,” but withdrew. “I’ve always thought, oh, I want to be a model, but I’m not tall enough,” she revealed.

“It’s something I’ve been actively thinking about. But then there was a point where I was like, okay, I’m not interested in it anymore. ”

Her interests turned to her first love and she became a successful illustrator working on high-profile projects like Queens Oracle Deck: A 52-Card Deck and Guidebook by Kathy Iandoli and She Came To Slay by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. Her artistic signature floods our timelines every day and she brings the signature “energy” to her work that she takes with her in modeling sets.

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Source: (Photo by Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Pinkie Swear) / (Photo by Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Pinkie Swear)

“When I created different maps and interpreted them in my own style, I try to bring out their individual energy,” she said.

She was expressing her creativity on a specific project when IMG discovered her talents. “I signed up with IMG earlier this year and it happened after doing a photoshoot in my forties where I recreated some iconic Grace Jones photos and they saw them online,” he said. she declared.

The agency had the foresight to enhance the talents she brought to the project with photographer Brandon Almengo as well as its appearance.

“They signed me on as an illustrator and a model and I’m like the first illustrator they signed, which was really cool.”

Her previous athletic experience helps her to excel in modeling. “I was a gymnast for a long time, for about 14 years growing up. So I think it helped me. I have some awareness in this sense of loving my body when I move and the movements. Like Olivia Burgess and Ashley Chew, she discovered that tthis is an advantage to “being an artist”, also in the field.

“When I draw people I have to look at all the little details and I have to know, you know, how their body is going to look from different angles when I draw it. So I think it helps a bit, ”she explained.

She wants to allow young people to paint their own pictures of their future life. she hopes to devote time and resources to “mental health”, causes that raise “The confidence of young people is increasing. ”

She is interested in “helping them to be happy and proud of who they are” and “to present themselves authentically as they are”.


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