Newsletter 22 | July 2015 Feature
There is a sense of pride I feel when an African American woman or man can build their own greatness out of nothing and make it into something brilliant. Those with a passion to create and add beauty to the world. The power is in creation, and Ms. Mellyssa A. Diggs has it. I am immensely thrilled to have her as the Newsletter 22 Featured Artist for July 2015.
Meet Mellyssa A. Diggs
In her own words….
I was born in Chester, Pennsylvania (19 miles from Philadelphia) on February 28 th, 1990. I currently reside in San Bernardino, California since December 2013. I am a graphic designer and the founder of Ai -Konic Graphics who works predominantly in print and branding design, but includes advertising in my large-scale designs. I have a BS in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from Lincoln University of PA in 2012. I am currently attending the Academy of Art University Online for my Master’s in Graphic Design.
I did not get into design to be an ordinary artist. I work in the eye of the computer screen gaining an understanding of visuals that convey an effective and memorable message representing personal identity. I love working with people, images and typography. I pull layers across a sized canvas and combine my experience, and aesthetics to any design solution. I create stories that touch on our struggles, culture, and the world. I believe I have discovered a niche in the contemporary art world by creating graphic art and I want to create art that appeals to the meaning of life.
I always had this mindset that I can do anything I set my mind to. I did not become a graphic designer to allow people to do things for me but to pass along my concept that anything is possible and to bring creativity and possibilities to the minds and hearts of people around the world.
Q&A Session With Mellyssa A. Diggs
Q: What led you to your profession?
A: I have always been an artist since I was a little child. I have been drawing for years, but didn’t want to be a graphic designer until the 11th grade. I began doing small photo manipulations for social media. I really didn’t find my niche until college. I have a great attention to detail and that is what separated me from the rest. I have the passion and that is what you need to succeed in your profession.
Q: What struggles have you faced within it?
A: With every profession, there are always struggles. In order to keep my website up and running, I do have to work a part time job. Sometimes, it can get me down especially when I graduated from college a couple of years ago. I am told that I have one of the best portfolios by interviewers, but they do not hire me anyway. It is a struggle, because I have the qualifications. Yet, I keep my confidence.
Q: What or who has influenced your work?
A: Art is actually in my family. My dad used to draw. However, my dad is legally blind and somehow that fueled me to be an artist. My dad taught me to think for myself. I was bullied as a child and was always shy to speak up, but I found happiness in doing creative work.
Q: What are your favorite types of projects?
A: I actually like projects that challenge my intellect or have a purpose. I also love project that allows me to download fonts. I enjoy downloading a new font.
Q: What is a typical day for you?
A: My typical day varies. As a freelancer, I wake up checking messages and reading to gain inspirations for new projects or concepts. When I begin a project, I iron out all the details and beginning with idea creation or brainstorming. Overall, it depends on the client need and what I am currently working on.
Q: What would you suggest to younger designers?
A: The design market is competitive and it may be frustrating, feeling like all the ideas have been taken. This may be true, but remember that first ideas might not always be the best option. You can improve it and make it your own. Success is different for each designer. However, you need to have enough information about different design fields to accomplish the job successfully, but it is impractical to try to excel at everything. I tell people this all the time. Never work for free. If a client is unable to pay, don’t do the work. Just like everything in life, you need to earn respect. Respect and attention has a price tag. If you want to get respect and attention for your work, you need to pay for that by spending time, work and effort on your projects.
Q: If you weren’t doing what you do, what career would you has chosen?
A: Since I was a child, I have always been a creative person. Originally, I would have been more focused on becoming a singer and songwriter or the field of Information Technology. However, my mind is an open book and I can do anything I set my mind to. All I need is an inspiration and passion.
Q: What do you do in your down time?
A: On my free time I enjoy singing, writing, and working out. I also enjoy reading and dancing. It is a stress reliever.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 2025?
A: I see myself with a successful business firm serving clients from all over the world. By this time, I would have developed the expertise and trust of big-time clients.
Q: Do you have inspiring words you live by?
A: I do not have words I live by, but I can tell you I make my own rules and live my life to the fullest. Always have a backup.
Mellyssa’s Mini Portfolio
For more from this lovely artist, visit her official portfolio site.
Thank you all for reading, and thank you Mellyssa for sharing your creativity with the world.