“There’s always stuff to be made… switching between mediums really helps keep things fresh.”
Matt Santos AKA Mellisan is a man of many talents: a music producer, the lead graphic designer of New Something, clothing designer, and 3D render artist. How does Mellisan manage to create high quality work in all of these different artistic mediums? He explained to us that for him, each medium functions differently in his brain - meaning that if he’s exhausted with creating 3D renders he can switch over to his Ableton music software and have renewed creative energy. In Mellisan’s words, “There’s always stuff to be made that way… switching between mediums really helps keep things fresh.”
Matt’s journey into the arts began at age 9 when he first started taking guitar and trumpet lessons. As a high school student in Boise, Idaho, Matt played in the school band and was interested in studying music technology or audio engineering in college. However, he wasn’t taking many art classes during this period due to his rapidly increasing AP class workload. Matt got great grades in high school, and felt pressure from peers and family members to pursue a more “practical” degree. In some ways Matt felt obligated to study engineering, “I had good grades in High School, so I figured I should do Engineering, and chose environmental engineering because I wanted to save the planet.” Matt was accepted into the University of Colorado Boulder’s highly rated Engineering program, but quickly found himself unhappy and in need of a change. After a semester he changed his major to Advertising and purchased a DAW (FL Studio) so he could make beats as a creative outlet. Still, at this stage Matt still wasn’t satisfied with his academic career path as an Advertising major and was quickly becoming engrossed by music production.
Following this difficult yet important journey of self-discovery, Mellisan finally found his niche in college once he made his second major switch into the Media Production school at CU. Finally, Matt was able to use his creative brain in a practical realm, learning graphic design, video production, and best of all: 20-30 credit hours of music technology. Music came first for Mellisan, but he soon found himself using his Media Production skills to create visuals and cover artwork for his beats. He explained, “I had to have the Adobe Creative Cloud stuff for my classes, so it made it when I needed stuff for my music I could throw something together in photoshop.” Although his journey into visual arts began out of convenience, it quickly became a passion for Mellisan.
At the end of college, Mellisan teamed up with some friends who also make music and co-founded our artist collective New Something. The job as lead designer at NS has proved a great opportunity for him to get deeper into graphic design, video production, clothing design and his latest pursuit: 3D rendering. He’s the man behind most of the cover artwork for New Something artists and the majority of the visual content on our website and social media, and he also designed much of New Something’s apparel including our latest “It’s Cold Out There” Winter/Spring collection. Although he’d never been interested in clothing design before, “The process pretty much clicked straight away…” Matt explains, “I was super nervous to see how the first samples of my designs would look, but I was pleasantly surprised by how it all turned out.”
With all of this professional design work under his belt, this question remained for Mellisan, will visuals overtake music for him? “I’m still gonna focus on music, but I’m trying to progress them equally. As far as job stuff goes, it’s easier to make money off of graphic design than music. But long term, music.”