by Mel Sandoval
Mel grew up in the mountainous regions of Colorado and the scenic oceanside of Washington State before finally arriving and settling back home in sunny California. At a young age, Mel began drawing cartoon characters on Valentine’s Day cards with colored pencils, but naturally, being surrounded by beautiful landscapes influenced her artistic style. During high school, Mel began sketching and painting from photos and experimenting with watercolor. The bright color intensities made it easy to paint realistically. In college, Mel studied abroad in Italy for a semester and further honed her skills while sketching on site at different historical landmarks in Rome, including the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and others. Pen, ink, and watercolor eventually became her preferred medium.
Upon graduating UC Berkeley with a dual bachelor’s in Architecture and Art Practice, Mel was employed at Henning Larsen Architects. She worked in Copenhagen followed by Hong Kong, where she was offered a role to help jumpstart the regional office there. Mel is fascinated with Asia’s rich history and culture and draws inspiration from everything ranging from nature to colonial buildings to ancient temples to modern day skyscrapers. Taking advantage of Hong Kong’s geographical location, she traveled through Asia and was captivated by the unique landscapes and architecture at these unique destinations. Her sketches are a diary of the places she has walked through, sat at, and climbed over.