Student finds passion in paint

COURTESY // Melanie Hernandez

Melanie Hernandez, a senior at Sonoma State University, is a painter who discovered her artistic talents at a young age.
“I have always loved art and been intrigued by every part of it,” said Hernandez.
Ever since she was a little girl, she was constantly dabbling in the arts. Whether it was crayons, paint or even nail polish, Hernandez could not stop her imagination. She recalls a time where she used nail polish in a coloring book, which did not please her parents.
Growing up, she was always asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, and naturally her response was an artist. During her senior year of high school, Hernandez took a painting class with some friends. Her friends admired her work and acknowledged her obvious talent. She did not think much of it besides that it was a fun hobby, not a lifelong occupation.
When Hernandez entered Sonoma State, she wasa communications major. A friend suggested that she minor in art to see what she thought. Her friend explained there is always an option to drop the minor if you truly did not enjoy it. The opposite happened, Hernandez fell in love with the minor and switched her major to art after two semesters of painting and also changed her minor to arts management.
“It is something I have been in love with ever since,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez values the idea that any piece will be admired no matter what. She knows that someone went out and made that themselves and that is what makes it art.
“Art is something so diverse, in its content and the artists that make it. No matter what it is, someone is going to like it,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez has her own personal favorites when it comes to all of the different mediums of art. Her favorites include painting but she also enjoys printmaking. She finds with each medium, she can incorporate techniques from each one.
“With printmaking especially lithography, it is essentially drawing, that is the main focus but the process of printing is really what draws me in,” said Hernandez.
Art takes time, patience and support. Hernandez explains that without her parents support she would not be able to find success. Her favorite part of finishing a piece is when she can send it to her parents and see they posted it on Facebook for all of their friends to see. Not only do her parents support her and notice how talented she is, but fellow classmates do as well.
“I really enjoy her work. She is a great painter,” said fellow classmate Yolanda Gillotte, a junior at Sonoma State.
Hernandez loves art but is not afraid to recognize the challenges that come along with it. She usually faces difficulties when it comes to content. Her work is mostly architectural, so she aims to connect the viewer to the work rather than them stare a painting of a building. She is continuously working on improving the struggles she faces with the content of the work.
Hernandez has many artists that inspire her to do her best work everyday. She owes her love of her art to a film her teacher played in high school called “The Radiant Child” about Jean Michel Basquiat. Whenever she is asked what artists inspire her, she has a hard time choosing but thinks back to this movie and remembers where she found her love of art.

COURTESY // Melanie Hernandez