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Meet Melanie Danoviz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Danoviz.

Melanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My full name is Melanie Flor Danoviz and I was born in Córdoba, Argentina on January 18th, 1999. In 2004, when I was five years old, my family decided to move to the capital of Argentina: Buenos Aires. A city full of life and chaos.

Although I lived in Argentina for almost ten years, I still remember the street I had to cross with my mom when walking to school. There wasn’t a traffic light nor a crossing guard, and the cars were always going at full speed. Every time we got close to that street, my mom would hold my hand tighter as we timed an opening to make a run to the other side of the street. Needless to say, my life was very active and fast-paced when I lived in Buenos Aires.

I think art was a way for me to slow things down. I would spend hours drawing or making sculptures out of colored clay that my parents would give me. Art served as a way to destress and pass the time. I never gave art a second thought about becoming something more than just that.

Fast-forward to my new suburban life in Irvine, California, I am now striving to make art my means of living through a career in Graphic Design.

I didn’t always know what I wanted to do when I grew up. At first, I thought I was going to be a veterinarian because I liked animals, but when I realized that it meant seeing animals in pain, it broke my heart. Then, in high school, I took the AP education route and hoped that somewhere along the way, I’d find my calling. Sadly, it never came. Instead, stress completely drowned upon me.

However, one day while eating lunch at a CPK restaurant, my parents asked me what I wanted to do with my future. When they saw my blank stare, they asked me what were the things I liked to do. I started listing things like drawing, photography, editing, painting, etc. Then, after a few moments of silence, my mom and dad uttered the words “graphic design.” I immediately asked what that was, and since that moment, I have not looked back, nor ever doubted, what I wanted to be when I grow up: A Graphic Designer.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being a part of the AP pathway in high school proved challenging to me in the way that I believed art wouldn’t be considered “smart” enough if chosen as a career. Although I leaned towards being more artistic, part of me always wanted to go into the STEM route following my parents’ footsteps as software engineers, just to make them, and everyone else, proud. However, I found out over the years that people are proud of me no matter what, especially for my art. I have slowly learned to be proud of my talent and my passion for creating art as a career, not just as a hobby, and have learned to be confident when people ask me what I study at my university. I know that graphic design is what I want to do for the rest of my life and I plan to live with that passion for art without the need of others’ approval.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Melgrafixs is the brand I use for myself when presenting my design skills. It simply started off as a user handle for Instagram, but then slowly built up all the way to the name you will see on my website and my business cards. The name originated from the word “wonderlust” since I love to travel. Before I was melgrafixs on Instagram, I was wonderflxr (a combination between “wonderlust” and my middle name “flor” with an “x” substituting the “o” in “flor” for aesthetics). I have been blessed with working with many different clients throughout my Melgrafixs brand journey, and I hope to expand my possibilities even further.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Coming from a person who used to be so shy that even ordering my own food forced me to practice my lines, I think communication is actually the most important characteristic for success. When I first moved to the United States (Tampa, Florida) in 2008, I was scared to even say hello because of the strong accent I used to have. Not speaking to anyone meant having no friends, and having no friends meant never getting the chance to practice speaking English. I relied on Rosetta Stone and after school tutors as well as a translator from Spain to follow me all around school, even when it was lunchtime. Obviously, no one wanted to sit with the girl who always had an adult breathing down her neck. That kind of life for two years turned me into the shyest, most introverted person you’d know, but thankfully, once we moved to Irvine in California, I was finally able to grow. Middle school was difficult because I was scared of expressing myself. I no longer had a translator following me everywhere and, in addition, I was attending a school where uniforms were not required. For the first time in my life, I had to attend a school with my normal clothes.

Although many fight for freedom from school uniforms, I was a little bit terrified that I had to wear my own clothes. It felt like I was exposing myself even more when all I wanted was to hide and not say a word. Because of that, I always wore the same jeans and striped jacket to school. I had different shirts under but I would always have my jacket zipped up to my neck so as to not show anything. However, when high school came around, I began to feel more confident in my own clothes and the language barrier. I also was able to make friends and joined clubs that allowed me to become more vocal and a little bit more outgoing when attending big events by myself to represent my club. Once I got accepted into CSUF (California State University, Fullerton) and started commuting, I learned to not fear strangers as much as I did years ago. I’ve made friends while riding the train and meaningful friendships in my classes that I intend to keep for a lifetime.

All of this has helped me to not just improve my English but also to no longer be afraid of talking to people and getting to know each other. These skills I learned are important factors to building trust between people. Having that kind of trust is what helps any business relationship flourish, and knowing how to talk to people has helped me be more confident when asking for clarifications or constructive criticism in any kind of art I make. Being open-minded and willing to listen to others for improvement is one of the most important characteristics to being successful, in my opinion.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.melgrafixs.com
  • Phone: 3105989689
  • Email: melanie.danoviz@melgrafixs.com
  • Instagram: @melgrafixs.art

Image Credit:
Nicolas Danoviz, Melanie Danoviz

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