Monica Brown

Monica Brown discusses what about Frida Kahlo inspired her to Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos and how others in her life have inspired her as well.

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“Strong girls rise after falling down. They join hands and help each other up. They grow up into strong women who celebrate and honor themselves, and care about others.”

What is it about the main character of your story that inspires you?

Frida Kahlo inspires me in every way. She was a passionate artist, ahead of her time, who was outrageously, fiercely herself. She suffered a great deal from various physical ailments, but channeled that suffering into art. She was not limited by the confines of our physical body—her imagination flew her everywhere, and brought all who encounter her art along for the ride. She lived a big life—by big I mean that her love was enormous, be it for Diego, for her animalitos, or for art itself.

What is the best piece of advice you were given as a girl?

When I was a young woman, a very special teacher told me, “Monica, you can write.” As in, “You are a good writer” and implied: “Go! Write!” This knowledge and this boost of confidence propelled me into a life of words—as a journalist, a scholar, and a creative writer. My job is one of the blessings of my life, and I’ve written my life, in a sense.