Intuition, perseverance and the reflections of water.
Are you one of those who pursues their dreams? We know that achieving what we promise ourselves is a difficult task. Some get lost along the way while others get ready to face whatever it takes to achieve it. The visual artist and creative director Melissa Santamaria, is a clear example to talk about effort and perseverance in life. After dedicating his studies to Architecture, he decided to look for a path away from it and focus on what he truly longed for from the beginning: the digital.
I always wanted to study design or digital media but my mom still told me, ‘no. Study something real.’ And I said, what is something real? And later I decided on Architecture. Being already in the race, I didn’t like it, zero enjoyed it. I decided to finish it and well, I have always liked music and going to concerts, that’s why I got into Ibero 90.9 and I started to have a program, Radio: PKJU. That’s how I started interviewing bands that later became my friends. I graduated in the pandemic and said ‘well, what do I do now?’ That’s how I got on YouTube and started watching tutorials and it worked. I started uploading everything I did TouchDesigner. I did different exercises in instagram. There Sufjan Stevens He wrote to me and told me he had an album to help him with the visuals. I made them and that’s how I started making more visuals for artists.”
Mel He has been dedicating his life for three years full time to the creation of visuals and although it all started too quickly, he has been forging his creative ideas with different artists and musical projects such as Hiatus Kaiyote, U2, Thundercatto mention a few, as well as Andy Stottwith whom he longed to work from the beginning.
“Since I was little I liked Andy Stott, an ambient and electronic artist. I said, ‘it would be amazing to do visuals’. A friend connected us a year ago because he knows his manager. Andy I was going to travel to the United States to play in San Francisco, so they told me to go do the visuals for them. We got along very well, we started working and brought it to “MUTEK”.
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The Mexican artist not only dedicates her time to working with artists and bands, but also extends her talent to the image of different music festivals in Mexico and the world, for example, Hypnosis, Bahidora or, the Music Biennale in Venice 2023. However, it does not limit its capabilities to the music industry, but also with brands such as Apple, Adidas, Bottega Veneta; one of his greatest challenges.
It is complex to work with brands, especially when they do not have creative direction and are always making changes. If it is collaboration it is much easier, that is when I send them my visuals and they select. I really like that bands and artists let you do what you want, like they respect creative freedom a lot; “The opposite of brands, which sometimes hire you more as a designer than as an artist.”
Melissa Santamaria He has taken advantage of this time to grow not only as an artist, but as a person; because she is always surrounded by characters who always end up contributing something to her life.
“I always have a lot to learn from people, good or bad.”
☆ Tips ☆
If one day I want to direct my steps towards the visual, how can I do it?
☆ “I have never stopped. I have continued with that consistency since I started uploading my exercises to Instagram. That helped me get up every day and upload something different, with that I managed to have my aesthetic more defined.”
☆ “This is very intuitive. Use everything you are, your essence, take advantage of it in your favor and everything begins to flow.”
☆ “It’s a lot of trust in what you’re doing and doing it from an honest place. Don’t compare yourself either, that doesn’t work. Don’t categorize or judge what you do. Somehow people connect with that.”
☆ “Allow yourself to be surprised all the time. Question yourself who you are, what you want, come up with an identity and capture it. Be patient in everything you do, nothing comes so fast.”
☆ “Since I was little I have had an obsession with the reflections of water; the caustics. I try to play a lot with that, with the layers of light and color. Look for inspiration around you.”