Kardashian courtroom artist responds to backlash over drawings
EXCLUSIVE: ‘I’m proud of what I do!’ Illustrator behind mercilessly mocked Kardashian courtroom sketches fires back at her critics – insisting she ‘couldn’t really see’ the reality stars but ‘did the best she could’
- LA courtroom artist Mona Shafer Edwards who drew the Kardashians at the Blac Chyna trial said she ‘does the best she can’ after her sketches were slammed
- The artist exclusively tells DailyMail.com that she was sat at the ‘back of the courtroom’ and couldn’t really see the Kardashians on day one of the trial
- Critics accused Mona of intentionally drawing ‘ugly depictions’ of the Kardashians but she claims she’s always ‘very objective’ in her work
- Blac Chyna sued the Kardashians for $108 million, accusing them of being involved with the sudden cancellation of her show Rob & Chyna
- Mona has sketched for ‘very high-profile’ celebrity trials involving OJ Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Lori Loughlin, Michael Jackson and more
The LA-based courtroom sketch artist behind the much-mocked illustrations of the Kardashian-Jenners has spoken out to defend her work after it was brutally criticized online
The LA-based courtroom artist who drew furious criticism and mockery online after releasing sketches of the Kardashian family during the Blac Chyna trial has spoken out to defend her work, claiming she was sat at the ‘back of the courtroom’ and ‘didn’t have much of a view.’
‘I do the best work I can,’ Mona Shafer Edwards tells DailyMail.com exclusively, while explaining that she feels many people have a ‘skewed vision’ of what she does and ‘don’t know what courtroom art is about.’
Mona became something of an internet sensation this week after her sketches of Kardashian-Jenners Kim, Khloe, Kylie, and Kris attending legal proceedings for Blac Chyna’s $108 million case against them were published online – with critics joking that her depictions of the women were ‘brutal’ and ‘ugly’.
However the artist has now fired back at the mockery, insisting that courtroom sketching is not as simple as some might think.
‘I’ve been doing this a very long time,’ she explains, adding that her job requires her to be ‘very fast’ while drawing and have a ‘photographic memory.’
The illustrator faced brutal criticism online after releasing sketches of (left to right) Khloe, Kylie, Kim, and Kris during the legal proceedings of rapper Blac Chyna’s $108 million lawsuit against them
Mona told DailyMail.com that she was sat ‘back of the courtroom’ for the Kardashian trial during which she was trying to draw Kim, Kylie Khloe and Kris and ‘didn’t have much of a view’
‘I’ve been doing this a very long time,’ Mona tells DailyMail.com, adding she does ‘the best she can’ when it comes to her courtroom drawings like this of Blac Chyna from day one of the trial
She also shares that she’s required to draw with a pen – not a pencil.
Mona notes that she had a ‘much better view on the second day,’ however her illustrations from days two and three of the legal proceedings have received similarly mocking reactions from social media users.
The Kardashians are certainly not the first famous faces that Mona has sketched; her lengthy career has seen her covering a number of high-profile celebrity court cases over the years.
Mona has sketched OJ Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Michael Jackson and many more ‘very high-profile’ celebrities in court – but it’s her drawings of Blac Chyna and the Kardashian clan that have turned her into a viral sensation.
‘I don’t usually look at the comments,’ Mona explains but admits that she couldn’t help but notice the uproar over her Kardashian drawings.
Some mocked the art claiming the drawings were ‘ugly’ and ‘brutal,’ even joking that Kim would ‘sue the hell out of this court room sketch artist.’
Others called them true ‘ART’ and enjoyed her depiction of the Kardashians.
Regardless, most feel that the artist ‘is clearly not a Kardashian fan’ and that she’s ‘team Blac Chyna.’ However, Mona tells Daily Mail that isn’t the case.
‘I always try to be very objective,’ Mona tells us of her courtroom art.
However, the artist did confess that she has a hidden connection to the Kardashian-Jenner family – revealing that her children attended the same school as Kris’ youngest daughters Kendall and Kylie.
But she insisted that she does not have a personal relationship with the family beyond ‘knowing of them’, adding that she has never watched their reality show.
As for the expressive nature of her art, Mona explains that she looks for ‘personality’ not just a ‘silhouette’ while sketching in the courtroom.
She shares that she not only looks at the ‘way the fabric flows,’ specifically referencing Khloe’s flowy trench coat from Day Two of the trials, but also looks closely at ‘body language’, which she tries to express in her work.
Impression: The artist’s impressions of the stars – including Kim (seen left in the family’s newly-released Hulu series and right in her sketch) – left many fans scratching their heads as to who was who on Tuesday
Unrecognizable: Khloe is seen on their Hulu reality show (left) and then as she appears in her court sketch (right)
Keeping up with Kylie: The beauty mogul seen pictured above this month (left) and as she appears in the court sketch (right)
Comparisons: Some critics noted that Kris (seen left last year and right in her courtroom sketch) got off lightly because she was wearing a face mask
Mona explains that she ‘gets an emotional feeling’ from her subjects – pointing to her sketched from the infamous college admission scandal case, explaining that she tried during that court case to capture Lori Loughlin’s ‘defensive’ nature.
For the third day of the Blac Chyna trial, Mona reveals the Kardashians all wore various shades of beige and taupe, explaining it only added to their ‘very dramatic’ nature.
This isn’t the first time that Mona has drawn Kim in court; she also drew the SKIMS founder during her divorce hearing with Kris Humphries in 2013.
At the time, Mona sketched a pregnant Kim who was wearing black dress that hugged her baby bump; the reality TV star was expecting her oldest daughter North at the time.
On a separate day of the trial, Kim wore an intricately patterned white dress that hid her bump.
Mona drew Kim Kardashian during her divorce hearing with Kris Humphries in 2013, pictured above
The reality TV star was pregnant with her oldest daughter North at the time and hid her baby bump with an intricate white dress as pictured above
Before pursuing courtroom art, she worked in fashion and illustrated 11 books on fashion design illustration.
She also has co-authored eight children books and done artwork for major department stores and manufacturers.
Art has always been her passion and something that she excels at. She trained the Art Center College of Design, where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors.
As well as boasting her own credentials and qualifications, Mona also teaches classes at UCLA and Trade-Tech, L.A., and she regularly donates her artwork to various charities.
Mona decided to turn her focus to courtroom art after she saw courtroom sketches in the news that she described as very ‘wooden’ and ‘blocky’ and felt she could do better.
She jumped into the field head first and was hired to sketch Lee Marvin’s palimony trial in 1972.
Throughout the course of her extensive career, she has covered all kinds of trials from those dealing with gruesome murders to celebrity drama.
Mona explains that she ‘loves the courtroom and the drama’ that comes with it.
The Kardashians all wore various shades of beige and taupe on Day Three of the trial, with Mona sharing it only added to their ‘very dramatic’ nature
Mona explains that she ‘loves the courtroom and the drama’ that comes with it and has sketched many ‘very high-profile cases’ like this one of Blac Chyna on Day Two of the trial
All in all, the courtroom artist finds her career ‘charming’ and said that she is ‘proud of what I do.’
There was a time that the artist thought her career was in jeopardy. The media flurry that went down during the OJ Simpson put the spotlight on paparazzi and photographers.
‘After OJ we all thought that was the end of courtroom art,’ she shares, worried at the time that artists would become obsolete in favor of photographers.
However, she has noticed that artists have the perk of anonymity. While photographers are quite noticeable with their cameras, oftentimes the subjects can’t see her notepad and don’t even notice her.
She has even discovered that people prefer to be drawn over photographed.
Blac Chyna has sued the Kardashians for $108 million in damages after her show Rob and Chyna was suddenly canceled, accusing them of ‘intentional interference with contract.’
The model and rapper claims that she would’ve earned $44 million from her TV show, club appearances and the internet over the past five years if it had not been canceled in 2017.
The rest of the $64 million accounts for what she could’ve earned in the future if Chyna hadn’t been ‘essentially blackballed by Hollywood after they (the Kardashians) defamed her and got her No.1 hit show canceled.’
The artist shares that she’s required to be ‘very fast’ when she draws in court with a pen – not a pencil, drawn on Day Two of the trial
She has uploaded her drawings from all three days of the Kardashian and Blac Chyna trial to her social media, including these sketches from the second day of the legal proceedings
Blac Chyna has sued the Kardashians for $108 million in damages after her show Rob and Chyna was suddenly canceled
In the most recent trial instalments, Chyna denied threatening to kill Rob Kardashian as she pointed a gun at him. She claimed the gun was pointed upwards and that her finger wasn’t by the trigger.
‘I did not point it at him. I was joking… I would never shoot Rob,’ Chyna told jurors in Los Angeles Superior Court.
She did admit to smashing a TV and gingerbread house the day after the incident.
‘I could not take the abuse any more of him accusing me of doing all kinds of things,’ she said. ‘I was so angry because he wouldn’t give me my phone back.’
Meanwhile, the Kardashians’ lawyer, Michael Rhodes, shared they were extremely ‘upset’ about the incident, claiming, ‘That is not the kind of thing they want to play out on the shows that they produce…’
‘The thing that got broken on December 14 was their relationship,’ he added. ‘The relationship was over. There is no Rob and Chyna show if there is no Rob and Chyna.’
Rhodes also pointed out that Chyna ‘has no contract’ with the Kardashians. ‘Her contracts are all with E!.’
Since the Kardashians were paid executive producers of Rob and Chyna, Kris and her daughters, the decision was partially in their hands but cancelling the show cost them money as well.
‘They were acting against their own financial interests to protect someone they love (Rob),’ said Rhodes.
The trial started on Monday, April 18 and is now three days down.
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