What does a student of botany usually become? A botanist perhaps or a plant researcher or, more often than not, a botany teacher. But, this lover of botany was so enamored with her subject that she chose to become a mural artist to be able to display the wide array of beautiful plants on buildings in gigantic sizes. She’s Mona Caron, based in San Francisco, California, USA.
Caron’s claim to fame is her breathtaking murals and illustrations that she displays in public spaces for all to see. She has been invited to create these iconic large-scale murals not only in the US, but also in Europe, South America, and Asia. As part of her ‘WEEDS’ project, she also delved into stop-motion animation.
Caron was born in the Centovalli region of Ticino, Switzerland. From her very childhood, she was in love with nature due to the natural environment in which she was raised. Her mother played a big role in inculcating this love. It was only natural for her to fall in love with botany when she took it up in school. However, her natural artistic talents were a gift from her father, who was a theater set designer. He exposed her to the visual environment and its effect on peoples’ emotions and feelings.
After studying English literature briefly at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, Caron relocated to San Francisco. Here she pursued her passion for art by enrolling in The Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California, USA, and graduated as Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors in Illustration.
Caron’s first love was creating murals in public spaces through which she endeavored to paint “narratives to spark conversations and critical awareness of the space we share”. She has classified her murals as narrative murals and weeds. Her interactive murals were also featured in an Emmy-winning documentary film ‘A Brush with the Tenderloin’.
Caron’s ‘WEEDS’ series is “a metaphor about resilience and resistance”. People of all cultures readily identify with the interaction of her painted weed seedlings with its environment. So popular are these stop-motion animations and botanical murals that they have made a global presence. Her recent works combine painting with photography.