Meet, Liz Montague
Bright, brave and wise beyond her years, Liz, the first-ever female Black cartoonist published in the New Yorker (not to mention the youngest!), shares with us her thoughts on BHM, her first drawing memory, and the details of her upcoming novel. Plus, how she hopes to inspire more in-depth conversations, self-reflection, and real progress through her work.
" Even though it often feels like it only impacts some of us, gender and race are group experiences. We’re all responsible for the state of things."
When did you first start drawing?
The earliest drawing I have (and my mom has kept them all) is from when I was six years old.
Style of Illustration?
Very unpolished and accessible, I try to communicate as much as possible with as little visual information as possible (art minimalism!?)
As the first female Black cartoonist published in The New Yorker, what did that moment feel like when they decided to run one of your pieces?
At the time, I was 23-years-old and just beside myself with excitement that anyone even took me seriously!
Do you hope to inspire other young Black women through your work and achievements?
Yes, but I try not to put too much pressure on myself. At the heart of it, I try to do my best and create work I’m really proud of!
What does Black History Month represent to you? And how can we better tell this story?
I think, given the events of this summer and all that we’ve collectively experienced lately, that this will be a very honest Black History Month. Overall, I appreciate the effort because trying counts for something, and all you can ask of others is that they try.
Your work nods to gender and race; how do you hope to bring social and self-awareness through your illustrations?
I hope that my sparks more in-depth conversation and self-refection because that’s the only way real progress happens. Even though it often feels like it only impacts some of us, gender and race are group experiences. We’re all responsible for the state of things.
Can’t wait for your book to come out; what is the concept?
I’m working on a young adult graphic novel and a picture book about Jackie Ormes (whom I did a Google Doodle about back in September!). Both are for Penguin Random House.
What do you love?
My boyfriend, my cat (Cleo), and slow Sunday mornings
Favorite way to spend the day?
Outside in the sun
Sagittarius sun, Sagittarius rising, and a Virgo moon
One hope you have for the future?
I hope there will be less cynicism.
A quote to live by?
“Nothing is wasted.” - Julie Andrews.
Something you want to learn?
How to say “no” and not feel guilty about it
A daily ritual?
Mindful breathing, a chocolate croissant (if it’s a really, really good day), a moment to sort out my thoughts and feelings before I start scrolling through everyone else’s thoughts and feelings
Something that changes everything?
A good night’s sleep