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Art & Life with Melissa Alcazar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Alcazar.

Melissa, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in Highland Park, Los Angeles as a first-generation Filipina American. I was awarded an art scholarship for the home-study Art Instruction Schools program in Minnesota. I immediately dropped out by 13 once I got to mixing paints. During elementary school and high school, I was always the designated artist that would design our class banners, event programs, etc. Although my focus was piano and received my BFA and MFA from CalArts, I was always surrounded by progressive creativity, so art was always in my life, especially calligraphy. Painting was always a foreign medium until 2007 when I realized that I didn’t need an instructor to tell me what colors to mix. My painting journey has transformed ever since that moment and now morphed into a heavily influenced Kandinsky and Feldman hybrid of creativity. Everything I create now is based purely on intuition.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Most of my art pieces are aesthetic compositions called “Graphic Scores” and are meant to be performed live by musicians. When I start a blank canvas, I never have a plan. I paint purely when I’m inspired. Colors and strokes are chosen strictly in that particular moment. This phase of painting usually creates what I call the “soundscape” of the piece. Once I have let this piece rest, and I have reset my frame of mind, I create the actual score/composition based on the soundscape. My graphic scores are specifically written and inspired by the mood of the soundscape. Once the piece is written for the instrument, I compose the instructions for the performer on rules or guidelines. Overall, my graphic scores are created to capture the essence of “real-time” improvisation. The focus is using intuition as inspiration. Every person has a unique relationship with their intuition so every performance will have its own genuine mood. My art engages and unifies both music and graphic art creating a unique perspective on intuition and improvisation.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I definitely feel like artists are now more than ever pacing the way of our future. We now have a new responsibility to save this planet by continually exercising our creativity and thinking outside the box by coming up with new and creative ways to make this world a better and more beautiful place. As artists, we make things more beautiful, that’s what we do. All events affect my art. I get inspiration from the ever-changing range of emotions I get from all things that happen, including the rage I get from actions made by our president.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My artwork gets displayed at coffee shops in San Diego such as Krakatoa and Coffee and Art. I’m still looking for a residency that will be open to my medium. People can support my work by buying from my store directly

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Melissa Alcazar and Holly Rone Johnson

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