She waits for me in the ethers

Where space and time never existed

It’s peaceful, serene but lonely…even though my mother and her father keep her company

She misses her family and best friends on the earth plane

She misses her beautiful human form

She always wanted to be a sad girl

And now her wish came true

For everyone can see her

But no one can hear her no more


It’s been one year since my friend Roxy passed. I wish I had taken the day off.🖤

I did see a sign from her today; on my way home from work a white car in front of me had the letters “RBM” on their license plate.

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Some of you might remember that I posted this interview years ago on October, 1st 2012 when my website was still under SHERMGRAFIK dot com. Well oddly enough, FB sent me a memory that I posted this interview 8 years ago today. Here it is again because I’m really missing her heavy right now. I’m having a hard time feeling excited for Halloween, as her transition anniversary is the 20th. Her and I would start drawing around this time for Inktober on Instagram then fall tf off after a week or so because life happens. I can feel my body grieving and my spirit wandering, not wanting to be present.🥺

roxybmontoya-artwork

Hi Roxy! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You know I’m a HUGE fan of your work. Can you tell us a little about who you are, where you live and what you do?

I grew up in Hawaii, but currently live in Las Vegas. I came out here right after I graduated high school to attend the Art Institute because Hawaii didn’t have art schools at the time. While in school I met my husband, got married, had two boys, and we’ve been in Vegas ever since where I work as a fine artist, graphic designer, and instructor at IADT.

I have always known you to be a creative individual. How did you get into art?

I always felt the need to get images out of my head when I was little and kept a lot of journals that I’d write and doodle in. My sister and I have an 8-year age gap, so that being said we never had anything in common so I had to play on my own and keep myself occupied. I wrote a lot of stories and illustrated them. Kind of like imaginary friends on paper, but none of them were human. They were all magical little animals. I still prefer to paint animals to this day. I think they are much more interesting than humans.

Since I know you personally, I also know that you are a graphic designer and also an instructor! How did you get into that? Do you prefer one over the other?

I’ve always wanted to teach! But what I didn’t expect was to be teaching at a college, I always told myself maybe high school? Or maybe even a Jr. high art class, but college never really crossed my mind. A good friend of mine got hired as the program chair at IADT and wanted to build a solid team of new instructors and asked if I was interested. Before interviewing I sat in one of her classes to see if it was for me, and I fell in love. The rest is history and I’ve been there for 3 years now and love what I do. I love school because I’m a huge nerd. If I weren’t an instructor, I’d probably be a student.

Also, I don’t think I prefer one to the other because I teach what I love to do.

Do you gravitate towards a certain style of painting, designing, overall creating?

I think I’m still and will forever be trying to find my style. I am inspired and love so many different art movements, artists, and styles, that it’s only natural to include a little bit of everything in certain art pieces. I also love to experiment. But when it comes down to it, the core of my fine artwork has a strong Pop-Surrealism background and influence.

Design work is a bit trickier since I work for clients, but one thing I am a fan of is fresh and clean work. That will NEVER go out of style. I like to keep up with design trends and incorporate them when I can to keep my work up to date and marketable.

On the topic of instruction – what is the constant question that your students ask, or a topic or concept that they tend to struggle with?

Funny you should ask, but believe it or not, a reoccurring question I get at least once a quarter is “How much should I charge for my work?” This is such a broad question and I don’t give any solid answers, but instead try to give some advice on finding their worth. I also let them know that some of my best portfolio pieces were done for free, but the experience and exposure were priceless. It gives them a lot to think about and it has them view the graphic design and art world in a whole other perspective.

When you start a painting, do you have a routine or way of doing things? Does it have to be quiet or do you have tv or music on?

When I start a painting, it’s always intense! I feel like a surgeon about to perform heart surgery. I need all of my tools ready and laid out perfectly. I need all of my tools, cleaned, and I need to be focused. Once I sit down I am NOT getting up unless the house is on fire (because there is nothing more frustrating than having your concentration interrupted!) After I triple check my work area to make sure everything I need is there (including coffee and extra water,) I put on my painting playlist and slip on my earphones. Everyone knows not to bother or talk to me till I’m done.

I notice that you paint bunnies A LOT. Why bunnies? Is there a meaning behind it, your spirit animal perhaps?

Besides being cuddly and cute, I’ve always had rabbits growing up. I’ve read that rabbits represent creativity and fear and always felt that was an interesting combination….

Where do you get your inspiration from? What motivates you to create?

I love and collect antique children’s books. I love any nostalgic imagery and the books I have are filled with amazing illustrations. My favorite illustrator is Richard Scarry.

What motivates you to create?

Not too sound overly emo, but the best motivation I have ever had was a broken heart. I paint my best work when I’m depressed.

This is a random question but what are your pet peeves?

When people are late. Biggest pet peeve ever.

Honorable mentions: Bad parenting (like parents who bring their kids to R rated movies!) people who misspell “they’re,” assholes who take up two parking spaces, stupid baby names, people who go shopping during peak hours and use a bazillion coupons, dirty keyboards.

Ok so now, the opposite of that question – what do you love, admire, obsess about?

Typography, Radiohead, alchemy and symbolism, analogous color pallets, blood, thick cuts of fatty marbled meat, pictures of ice cream, cholas, silly tattoos, sushi, human anatomy, vintage children books, hello kitty, my kids, my husband, and my best friends.

What goes on in that brain of yours? Do you have deep thoughts about life’s greatest mysteries, or do you get paranoid about the government watching your every move?

I am always thinking of my purpose, because I think everyone in this universe has a purpose.

Any guilty pleasures?

Food porn, silly pictures of animals on the internet and making up captions to what they would say and how they would sound like out loud, vampire shows, reading Teen Vogue instead of adult Vogue. Ugh, I’ve already said too much.

Jesus or Satan?

One of my favorite movies of all time is Constantine, and I’m always daydreaming of being the female version of him. How rad would that be? Anyway, team Jesus all the way. WWJDOMGFTW.

If God (or aliens) decided to destroy us and it was up to you to represent us, what would you say are the redeeming qualities of the human race?

Despite our imperfections and capacity of evil and greed (let’s forget about all of that for a quick second,) humans will never stop fighting for what they believe in. We’re the only species that keeps advancing; we’ve built pyramids, been to the moon and cured diseases. Regardless of some of our actions, which can be ugly, we have the ability create beautiful things.

What do you think about art on the Internet and the amount of copying people do (whether it’s intentional or not)?

I think it’s more common than not, especially with young artists just starting out. It’s a cycle. We all get inspired and subconsciously (or not) we’ve “borrowed” elements or techniques we’ve admired and included them within our own artwork. Now, if someone reproduces your work, and continues to do so, that’s a problem. But there is nothing wrong with being inspired and openly letting people know where the original idea came from, for the sake of not looking like a douche. The idea behind this is to eventually find yourself and your own style. There is a difference between being a reproduction artist vs. someone completely original and known for his or her own unique style.

Speaking of the internets, what websites do you frequent?

The usuals. For design I like to check out what the people at Behance or Dribbble are up to. I have a handful of artists I like to follow, including Shermgrafik.com. Then of course guilty pleasures like Facebook, Pinterest and Allrecipes.com (because I love to cook.) And if I remember, I visit Postsecret on Sundays.

Are you a lover or a hater?

I wasn’t sure so I googled “Lover or Hater Quiz.” I took it and it said I was 50/50. It also gave me some advice: “I know you mean well, but you should be more open minded, and socialize more.” After taking the quiz, I feel slightly more hater than not.

Any advice or words of wisdom to those who are just starting out in the creative world?

Read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. Also, try to give back when you can. Not every gig has to be a paying one. Paint a mural for your community or design a logo for a charity out of the goodness of your heart (I love doing benefit shows and knowing my piece will help towards a good cause.) You were given a talent; never stop being thankful for that. Like any good thing in this world, nourish it and appreciate it. Keep evolving and even when you’re satisfied with a piece of art or design, start brainstorming how the next one will be 10 times better. Know there will always be someone better than you. Stay humble.

Is there anything else you’d like to say or let people know about yourself?

No animals were harmed during the making of this interview. 

Roxy on Instagram 🐰 Roxy’s website

Her most recent illustrations are at @xactoknife

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so fucking addicting? I hate it and want to wean myself off of it. It’s not like I have a lot of friends to keep up with nor do I get a bunch of likes on my posts. It’s the scrolling part – addicted to seeing photos and addicted to information, I guess? I don’t know. As a creative person, I’m definitely stimulated by images.

I know I can do better things with my time…and yet I don’t.

I only draw or get creative when I know I have a deadline.

Otherwise, I’d much rather be doing absolutely nothing, or scrolling. Ugh.

I’m also aware that it’s Mercury Rx and I really should just chill the fuck out and be easy on myself. Why do I beat myself up for not being creative enough?

Roxy’s birthday is August 3, it is still unreal to me that she is gone. The few months since her passing was the strongest connection I had to her. I miss her so much, social media & the internet isn’t quite the same without her.

Smile now, cry later.

Fuck the world.

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I’ve been wondering why I have no energy for anything lately. And it just occurred to me that I am still heartbroken over the death of my best friend Roxy and it’s showing up energetically:

+ I don’t want to interact with people as much or have basic conversations with them.

+ I have no energy for a lot of things. Even trying to make money on the side is exhausting as it mostly requires me having to spend money to make money.

+ I go home after work and eat dinner with my husband, pet my cat and watch a little tv, then go on the internet, read and do some yoga until it’s time for bed.

+ Apparently, I’ve been looking to fill that void. Like out of nowhere I got into politics for a whole month because Andrew Yang really inspired me and got me engaged in that realm, but then he suspended his campaign. Thankfully he announced on The View today that he is starting up a non-profit where his ideas will actually be implemented, like Universal Basic Income.

+ I look at Roxy’s artwork – I have a few of her art actually but the one that I look at the most is this print of a ghost animal with a teardrop leaving its physical body buried close to a tree. I’m still somewhat floored that I was able to communicate with her around Samhain. I’ve not communicated with her like that ever since.

I haven’t written anything here for a bit and so I’m just airing out how I’ve been feeling this year.

By the way, this site might be going away soon. I can’t keep up with the payments. I’m trying to be frugal and cut out whatever I don’t need. We’ll see.

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I don’t normally do this, EVER. I’m not one to tell people it’s my birthday, I usually keep it low key but this time around, everything’s different. So I felt compelled to share.

Over the years, my closest friends have showered me with their love, humor, originality and creativity. I am so lucky & blessed, seriously. And ever since my friend Roxy died, it’s more important than ever for me to share it, to remind people how important she was to me, Jimmy and my friends.

I love and miss you so much, Roxy. I will never stop thinking or talking about you.❤️

I am so thankful for these ladies. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I never met them. I would probably be a different person. I met them all through painting graffiti and hanging out on a graffiti forum so many years ago. Oh and through MySpace. We were internet friends that became real life friends.

So here are my favorites, they are from 2014.

From Roxy
From Paula & Dala her kitty (RIP)
From Cee
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Jimmy keeps thinking you will pop up and say “SURPRISE! I pranked you all so fucking hard.”

But there is no prank. And we drove to Las Vegas this past weekend to see for ourselves. Your family did such a beautiful job honoring you, it felt as if you were still there.

What really hurt though was seeing your mom break down in front of us. I kept it together but couldn’t handle it at the same time.

What was really cool was that Orion actually talked to us. He had no idea his mom had so many friends and wanted to know how we all met you. He has so much personality – funny, outgoing and really reminded me of you.

It was bittersweet being in your city with Paula, Cee & Brian and Jimmy. We reminisced a lot – ate, hung out, took photos, walked around, got a few dessert options from Smiths for your celebration.

I don’t know when I will get over this and be ‘back to normal’…I’m still having a hard time accepting it.

Please send me a sign so I know you’re listening to me. I want to hear your voice just like you always loved hearing mine.

I really want to delete my @savethesavages IG account and my Facebook since I hardly use it but there are so many DM’s and comments from you that I’m just not ready to let go of.

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Today is a very hard day, especially driving to and then being at work. I wanted to post this on Instagram but couldn’t bring myself to do it…it’s still too soon. Except for people that already know, I’m not ready for other people to leave comments of condolences, so I’m doing it here where no one really reads my blog.

I found out yesterday late afternoon that one of my bestest friends, Roxy passed away unexpectedly on Sunday morning, October 20th.

My heart hurts so bad, no one can hardly believe this is even real. I was hoping it was a joke. Not only that but now I also have a sore throat and runny nose which makes everything even worse, literally making my chest hurt…I’m exhausted.

I pulled this card today: Five of Cups. Loss, disappointments in love and relationships. Sad emotions. In the photo is a sticker of one of Roxy’s old illustrations.

The tarot never lies, it always knows exactly what’s going on with you and reflects it back whether you are consciously aware of it or not. This one was completely obvious.

I can’t believe this happened and I miss her so much already. She was only 36. I keep expecting for her to react to one of my IG stories or for her to post a pic or a story. All I can do at this point is read old DMs and look at photos and videos of her painting with her bunny. I collected her art over the years too.

The last time I experienced overwhelming grief and sadness was when my mom passed in 2006.

Everytime I listen to this song by Lana Del Rey, I start crying uncontrollably…Roxy loved LDR and even saw her live.

I tuned in to her energy while the song was playing and the impression I got was – she felt really bad for putting us through this but she felt especially awful for her husband and kids. That she was sorry but also feeling scared. I understood, as her physical death was very unexpected. She was dressed in a beautiful white gown with her hair and makeup done, but she was in tears, looking at me. I was also in tears and she looked at me, unable to console me.

I’m really missing you right now, my friend 💔

Roxy and I at her art show in Las Vegas, Sept 2016

 

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