We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Morones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Monica, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I went from almost a full time artist to a professional. Finding the time to create has been extremely difficult. I think it’s most artists goal to find a job that they can incorporate their art into and get paid for it. I went into the Cannabis industry and became a General Manager for retail and have over time been able to incorporate photography and Digital Design into my job description as well as marketing. I still take photography jobs on the side because I learned that the more money I make as a single, unmarried woman with no children, the more taxes the government takes. So I work my 40 plus hours a week and then I spend about 5 hours at home every night editing, making designs, learning new techniques. The balance has been extremely difficult in these times because of Covid. The year of the quarantine. Anxiety levels are peaking and it would be a lie to say my creativity hasn’t been affected. The balance of trying not to get exposed and sick while having a steady job, staying relevant as an artist, and keeping a positive outlook so I don’t get depressed has been overwhelming.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work in the Cannabis industry. I started as a budtender, worked my way up from the bottom and became General Manager of now two successful retail locations. I was working as a bartender so I can be an artist freely. The day came when I knew I had to make the transition to become a professional because of my age and where I was at in life. I don’t like the term starving artist but that’s what I was and I knew the transition needed to happen. It was an extremely hard transition going from tips to no tips, I was on about a $5 a day eating budget. That lasted about 8 months before I moved up in the company and became the big bad boss I am today. I had a great mentor. My Regional Director Tatiana Morales taught me how to navigate the world of business as a woman should and I owe all of my success as a manager and overall success to her. I’m emotional, I’m an artist. I’ve learned how to channel my passion and energy into my projects.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This whole summer, my best friend and I went to Carlsbad. It was a recovery kind of summer so we needed a nice beach where we could stay at all day for some Vitamin D therapy and then booked different hotels every time we visited. It became our sanctuary spot where we will visit probably every year until we get old. There was something about that beach over PB, Oceanside, and the typical area San Diego Beaches we usually visit. It became our place of refuge.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My friends and family really deserve a mention for getting me through this last year. I separated from my partner of 19 years and the love and encouragement from them has kept me going. I have my mother to thank for being hard on me and making sure I can survive the hardships life throws my way. My friends have been the most thoughtful, caring, and trusting human beings that a person could ask to have in their corner. And they tolerate my moody ass. Bless them.

Instagram: @cakesthemaniac
Linkedin: Monica Morones

Image Credits
Images all done by Me

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