Carmen Mondragón had an intense love relationship with Gerald Murillo, also known as Dr Atl, who named her "Nahui Olin", a symbol of Aztec renewal meaning "four movement", the symbol of earthquakes.

Her beauty is described as mesmerizing and erotic, and she was apparently the first woman in Catholic Mexico who wore a miniskirt. She became model of several notable painters and photographers, among others posing for some of Diego Rivera's murals, for Tina Modotti, Antonio Garduño, Roberto Montenegro, Matías Santoyo, Edward Weston and in 1928 for Ignácio Rosas at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes.