“I am Monica Prochazka. I was born in the city of Lima, Peru. I consider myself to be a very creative woman, always starting new projects and reinventing myself every few years. I also believe that I have a lot of energy, since I can’t sit still for too long. I am a perfectionist; I want things to be the best that they can be.
“Like all human beings, I have experienced hard times, and I am proud to have beaten them. But even though I am now a coach and educator, it has been some time since I learned that difficulties exist to make us stronger and that we can transform any negative situation into a positive once we learn this. The good thing about being able to learn about difficult situations that have touched my life is that I have transformed in a positive direction, and this is the memory that I want to keep.
“As a plastic artist and professor of drawing and color theory, I have always been interested in investigating the effect that colors have on our personal lives. When I paint and when I design rugs, I enjoy combining colors that vibrate and attract the eyes of people that view them. Designing rugs challenges me to seek effects of novel colors with a limited palette, and I love these challenges. In this way, I combine colors in ways that are not very common. I also believe that I have a good capacity for design and that I can offer products of heightened artistic value that reuse handwoven fabrics and maintain textile traditions, such as the use of handlooms.
“Having drawn and painted from a young age, my mom put me in a variety of design courses throughout my school years where I learned composition and color. Afterward, thanks to the support of my family and to their great strength, I was able to follow a career in plastic arts. When you have a dream, you have to pursue it, no matter the cost. When it comes to my passion for fabrics, I had two people that brought me closer to textiles at different points in my life. The first was my grandmother, who taught me how to crochet when I was young; and the second was my textile artist friend Kela, who taught me to weave on the handloom. I was impressed from the very first class, since it seemed like an art form that was unique and filled with detail.
“In order to begin learning and gaining mastery in this work, I had to make prototypes and learn from my mistakes. I began with a small investment of 60 dollars. I sketched some prototypes for these first pieces, and the first order came along. I didn’t really know how to work sales, determine prices, communicate the design to my clients, etc. With these first mistakes, I began learning the language of each one. I believe that this is extremely important: communicating the design in an adequate way. Since I am an innovator, I began learning to achieve the maximum benefit from each of my techniques; I am always motivating people to do more and better with the same resources.
“What I like the most is seeing my ideas become reality, seeing how a texture or combination of colors that occurred to me can service the determined design and improve it. The most challenging thing has been finding purveyors that could adapt to my ideas and innovations, but happily I have found artisans with the flexibility and aptitude to try new things and with the willingness to do it.
“My inspiration comes from observing the world around me. Sometimes I reinvent my own artistic expressions and adapt them to the possibilities of every weaving technique. Other times, I explore ancestral designs and study their patterns in order to bring the past to the modern world. Many times I observe the different levels of cities from different perspectives, reflecting on the footprints we leave behind: buildings, streets, corners, cultural expressions, order, and much more. Finally, the connection that I feel with nature allows me to capture what I call my “15 minutes of magic,” where nature gifts me with unique and unrepeatable effects of light that I capture through photos in order to reproduce them in my designs. This is the art that I love, that impassions me, and that I will carry until the end of my days.
“The beneficiaries of my work in the creation of rugs in my Ethnic Collection are the artisans of Andean communities. I always look for young mothers, allowing them to work from home with flexible hours so that they can work and take care of their children. I am very happy to be a part of Novica’s family and to be able to share my art with the world.”