INSIDE THE WORLD OF CELEBRITY TRIALS
ART BY MONA SHAFER EDWARDS
TEXT BY JODY HANDLEY
PUBLISHED BY SANTA MONICA PRESS
Los Angeles native Mona Shafer Edwards started off as a fashion illustrator. “One night on the evening news I saw some courtroom sketches I thought were pretty stiff, and thought I could do a better job,” she recalls. Armed with equal parts talent and chutzpah, Edwards, an Art Center College of Design graduate, took her fashion portfolio to several local television stations, and was finally hired by the art director at KNBC in 1978 to cover the infamous Lee Marvin “Palimony” trial. With the
exception of a brief hiatus to raise her two children, Mona hasn’t stopped working since, primarily for KABC-TV in L.A., sketching legendary trials such as those of Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, and Michael Jackson. Her work has been seen on magazine shows like Extra and Access Hollywood.
Working with pens and markers on vellum paper, Edwards has a unique perspective in creating her rapid-fire sketches. “I look for a landmark, something on their face, body language, emotions, and try to give the drawings a human quality, to focus on something that will bring attention to what they are doing or saying in court,” the artist explains. “I feel I’m telling a story, that first and foremost, I’m an historian.”
Mona’s book, Captured! Inside the World of Celebrity Trials, published in 2006, is a spellbinding collection of her work, featuring portraits from the aforementioned trials, as well as of celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Snoop Dogg, Winona Ryder, Dolly Parton and Dustin Hoffman.
For more information, visit www.monaedwards.com