Artist Interview: Melody Smith

Cruzin Day of the Dead by Melody Smith

Cruzin Day of the Dead by Melody Smith

Artist interview time! Melody Smith is our interviewee today, she’s originally from California and holds a BA degree in Graphic Design. After years of Art Directing and Designing, Melody and her family moved to Queen Creek Arizona where she teaches art and sells her paintings at various shows, festivals, and galleries. Her style is Urban Eclectic – a mix of modern pop art and urban designs in acrylics, watercolors, and 3-D shadowboxes. Check out her art at Xico in the Dia de los Muertos exhibit through Nov. 8, 2011. Or visit her in Queen Creek where she runs Blackbird Music & Art Center with her husband. Or visit her website.

Did you grow up with El Dia de los Muertos?

No, I am actually from LA. I was an art director for 20 years and loved the multi-cultural aspect of Los Angeles. I started teaching art and fell in love with all the traditional aspects of this wonderful celebration.

What’s your favorite Dia de los Muertos symbol?

My art is extremely colorful and I love to paint sugar skulls and marigolds.

What mediums do you work in? Which ones would you like to try? How are they similar and different?

I normally work with acrylics on canvas and on custom cut-out wood pieces. I call myself the “Impatient Painter” so I like how fast acrylics dry. I would like to try oils some day.                         

How does culture influence your art?

I find that leaning about different cultures is quite fascinating. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in such a diverse area and love the fact that I can teach others about the incredible art from around the world at our studio. It’s really fun to create a fusion of cultural styles as well.

What are you working on right now? What are you doing next as an artist?

Right now I am still working on some additional pieces for several Dia de los Muertos events.

I love pop art and urban trends. Many of my pieces have a graffiti/tattoo look. I am working on some big pieces for ASU Gammage and several other art shows. You can always see my work at