Interview with the Ingenious Melody Buca—Artist Extraordinaire

by Haley Yahraus

What were your first experiences with art?

Once I asked my mom to show me—because all the kids in school knew how to draw a heart, and she showed me how to draw an M and then a V, and I thought it was so incredible. Ever since then, I wanted to be able to draw what I saw, and that didn’t happen for a while. I’d have to copy pictures that were already drawn, and nobody really wanted to look at that. And then I took a class at the CIA. Then I could be able to see things differently—I’m not sure if I can describe it, but I could see the world in shapes and lines. Art came easier and I stopped drawing things that I saw directly—and I started drawing things the way I saw them, or the way I wanted them to be.

What do you hope to do with your art in the future?

Well, I used to want to be an animator, and do Pixar things, then my mom told me I should be a design engineer, since I also like engineering. At first I thought that was just a word she made up, but later I told people that’s what I wanted to be and they were impressed. Now I want to do something where I’ll be able to enjoy myself and I know that if I’m doing art then I’ll be happy.

What does art mean to you?

It’s a way for me to express my feelings, because I have the worst time trying to think about what to say, and how to convey my feelings. I told Mr. Parsons I need to work on what I need to say, and how to say it. (He agreed). The same moment I started seeing things differently art-wise, I started seeing other things differently, and wasn’t so concerned with what others thought of me. Before, I would focus on what others wanted to see in my art, but now I do it for myself because it makes me feel cool.

Are we human or are we dancer?

Oh. Oh crap. You’re a dancer if you want to be, I guess. But I think—you could—everyone has a little bit of everything in them, but the limitations they put on themselves from their environment—like when you set out to say that you’re a dancer, then you think a certain way. When you say you can’t dance you get rid of the possibility of being able to see the world differently. You get rid of the potential to live differently and enjoy what you can.”

What do you suggest to people who are new or think they’re not able to do art?

I don’t want to be the stereotypical ‘that’s stupid,’ but that’s stupid. I used to think I was just a science person, but now—well I wish I could do everything. Anyway, just push through it. Just practice. Most artists got to be good through practicing, and talent only gets you so far. To practice, I would imitate cartoons. You should keep drawing figures, and you’ll get muscle memory and those things with start to just pop out of your head. Draw what you want to draw. Skill comes from practice.