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Art & Life with Melissa Montoya

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

Melissa, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m originally from Peru. My family and I moved to San Diego, CA when I was a baby.

Although I was very young when I left Peru, I think coming from a different cultural background always made me an observer and curious to learn about other people’s backgrounds. This sparked many travels in my life, as well as different dwellings. I’ve lived in Boston, Paris, NYC and Peru (again). I have made my way back home though, San Diego that is, and I love it here!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Ever since I was little, I loved taking photos and going through family photo albums (over and over and over again). My grandfather was a photographer. He passed away before I was born, but in a way, it’s like I get to connect with him when I take photos. I love taking portraits and landscapes; it’s like having a silent dialogue with my subjects. Portraits are something I respect very much, because it is a second in time you can never repeat, but only preserve. I’m always looking for that raw + real moment. That is what I want to share with others, as I continue on this visual journey.

In regards to my professional photography (weddings, family portraits, etc), I want families and couples to have something tangible to look back on and remember certain moments in their lives. The candid laughs between takes, the resemblance of children to their parents, the shy smiles couples give one another as they become more comfortable with a camera in front of them. I want them to remember how they felt and who they were at that time.

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 think the role of the artist is simply to share their perspective on a subject in whatever medium they use. Current events may influence an artist to explore new avenues of self-expression.

If I’m passionate about a current event, photography provides me with two means of expression. I can use photojournalism, documenting the actual event as it unfolds; or I can create a body of photographic art that represents my opinion on the matter. Same tool, but you are either the observer or the creator.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You may visit my Instagram and website. You may also purchase prints from my website.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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