By Crystal Harrell

The mystic qualities of the desert landscape make it easy to conjure inspiration for artistic works. Monica Morones—local visual artist and the musician behind Cakes—is riding that creative current wherever the inspiration takes her for her new solo art show, Mojave Witch.

Morones’ Mojave Witch art show will take place on January 28 at Flat Black Art Supplies from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring original paintings, photography, vintage items, and more.

There will also be a sound piece from artist IAMNOTADJ between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. IAMNOTADJ is an ongoing performance art project of improvisational soundpieces by multidisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co-founder of LIFEWORK Gallery Marnie L. Navarro. DJ Nick Chavez will be closing out the night with his musical vibes. There will also be catered treats and eats from local plant based company Savege Foods by Chef Christian Williams. The show is free and open to the public.


“It’s been five years since my last solo show. I wanted to provoke my creativity and break some current boundaries. Mojave Witch is a celebration of living in the desert for over 30 years and making this place my home. What I once saw as ugliness and drought became my oasis and sanctuary.  I no longer see just the beige of the desert, I see a vast array of colors and energy,” shared Morones.

A longtime practitioner of the arts, Morones began painting in 2000, making music in 2002, sewing in 2008, and  added photography to her list of creative pursuits in 2010. She works with acrylic paint mostly, but loves to dabble with oil and gouache. The artwork showcased in the Mojave Witch art show displays contemporary explorations of raw feminine power.

“When you have the mind of a creator, it’s a blessing and a curse to want to make art out of everything. With TikTok and Instagram now as platforms for emerging artists, I am blown away by all the creativity I get to see on the daily. I do love going to museums and seeing art on a large scale. We have some great talent here as well like Carlos Ramirez, Aaron Hanson, and Marnie Navarro who inspire me to be a better artist and keep creating,” said Morones.

Morones’ hopes and goals for Mojave Witch center on seeing if she can make her vision come to life through her creations. Her artistic process starts by envisioning the design in her head, and seeing if she can replicate it.

In terms of choosing between music or art, Morones finds it difficult to pick a preference, as she considers herself a temperamental artist, wholly dependent on what’s making her the happiest at the moment.

“It’s all about self expression with both mediums. With music, there’s parts to it. When I write music, it’s to heal my trauma. When I perform live, it’s living out my rockstar dreams and doing things I normally wouldn’t do in my everyday life as a professional. When I make art, it’s more of a mental challenge that turns into a hyper focused goal, and then release when I can finally move on from that thought and piece. Like I said before, being creative is a blessing and a curse. It’s amazing to be able to create visions, but it’s also very maddening when all you want to do is relax and enjoy the ride,” stated Morones.

For future artistic goals, Morones has set her sights on focusing on the digital aspect of her art. She loves learning new programs on computers and she is determined to practice more digital illustration and animation techniques.

To follow Morones on her artistic journey and for updates on any upcoming shows, visit her social media pages on Instagram and TikTok @cakesthemaniac.