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Check out Melynda Valera’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melynda Valera.

Melynda, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I originally began ‘designing’ clothes when I was a kiddo–My grandmother is an excellent seamstress. She would indulge me and help me make whatever drawing I came up with. As I got older, she would explain things more to me and helped me gain an understanding of the construction of the garments, and even letting me sew some.

Once I was in high school, my school had a special program that encouraged the arts. It had several ‘majors’ you could enroll in, each called a ‘focus’. This took a huge amount of effort on my part to convince my parents to allow me to enroll in this program, as I was already in several extra-curricular and honors/AP classes, and art didn’t really fit into the plan they had created for me. After the input of my other grandmother [Grandmas ALWAYS have my back], I was enrolled in the program.

I had decided to do a ‘dual focus’, in graphic and fashion design. I excelled in the program and fell in love with fashion all over again, now understanding that I could end up making a career out of this. I ended up putting myself through art school and in my graduating quarter, I was invited to show at Vancouver Fashion Week, where my work was shown in Vogue UK. Doing that show kind of catapulted me to do several other shows and meet people all over the West Coast.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I focus on Women’s couture garments; however, I recently started a line of onesies inspired by Hip Hop sayings. Hip Hop is a huge factor in my work, for all of the things it stands for. My most recent collection was inspired by a Mexican Proverb that says, ‘They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds’. This proverb inspired me to make an inclusive collection featuring different cultures, genders, and sizes, as I wanted to reflect the REAL composition of people in the country we live in, not just those that have been represented fairly. All of my pieces are inspired by music, and each has many details that aren’t intended to be noticed by the consumer, but once they see them, they are appreciated.

What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
My advice is to keep going. When you feel like stopping, go harder. Things happen the most once you feel like you are going to quit. Push through it, and always try to encourage and support others– a candle loses no flame by lighting another candle. Also, as uncomfortable as it may be, networking is EVERYTHING. Always represent yourself well and keep business cards on you, because you never know when you might meet someone. And of course, always be kind and be genuine: one because you don’t want to be a terrible human, and two; because people will look out for you the same way you look out for them.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have a website, MelyndaValera.com as well as an Instagram: @ Melynda_Valera. I also have a kid’s line for sale at MeztliKids.Etsy.com, and the Instagram @MeztliKidsa.Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dani Pinon

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