On the Next Level: Sally Monkus

On the Next Level is a series of interviews that features artists of the Art Nxt Level academy. The artists share their stories of how the academy has impacted their careers as well as share the exciting projects they have been working on. These artists have made the most of their experience and have taken their careers to the next level.

Today’s featured artist is Sally Monkus, a resident ceramic artist at ClaySpace in Illinois.

What was your path like getting to your residency and has it affected your process in creating work? 

Sally: My path was to work. Everyday. I made something…good…bad…indifferent, but I created something. That is being an Artist. One day I took advantage of a class offered at ClaySpace and I returned to ceramics many years after my first course in college. The classes I took resulted in my being offered a position as a Resident Artist. My work is featured in the Gallery as a benefit of my residency.

In your website you say you have always had an interest in the way “method informs the image. I have a strong interest in process; in the layering of materials and ideas.” What inspires your work? Is it the materials in front of you, ideas or emotions, or something else? 

Sally: What inspires me?  Working inspires me…handling a ball of clay, rolling it out, making it into a square or cylinder and then giving it a voice. Pencil to paper…that inspires me. I have a natural reticence about my emotions and my work becomes my thoughts. A feeling or thought will come to me and it materializes as a collage.

When did you discover the Art Nxt Level Academy and how has it been able to give an edge to your art career? 

Sally: A while ago on Facebook I watched Breakfast with Sergio. I am slowly absorbing the principles of Art as a business. (I will probably never be very good at this aspect of it).

What about the way you approach your art career has changed since joining the academy? 

Sally: I have learned some things about social media, now I am concentrating on putting them in to practice.

Do you have any additional thoughts or comments you would like to share concerning your exhibition or Art Nxt Level?

The most difficult part of pursuing Art as a self driven career is “putting yourself out there”…in person or online. I have not yet found a comfort level, but perhaps, this interview is a good place to start!

To see more of Sally Monkus’ art, visit her website, Facebook, and Instagram by following these links:




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