Melissa “Meela” Palomo grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago. Always having an inclination toward the arts, at 12 years old she won an art scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, Summer Youth Program. She attended Kanoon Magnet School which had an extensive Mexican culture and mural education emphasis. During her high school years and as an alternative to gang affiliation, graffiti became an artistic outlet. After her parents transferred her from Kennedy Public High School to the private all girls, Maria High School she focused on athletics, singing in a band, working as a lifeguard for Chicago Park District and developed her artistic aptitude with her most influential art teachers Mrs. Maureen Mares and Mrs. Kelly Parra-Banos.
After attending Freshmen year at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and not being accepted to its 30 student Graphic Design program she completed her Bachelors of Fine Art Degree from Columbia College in Chicago. She kept in touch with her Chicago women artists forming the first all female graffiti crews in Chicago, Females Can Too with Delilah “Zena” Salgado and collaborative projects with SYNERGY crew. Selected as a Creative Intern to Y&R Chicago through the Chicago Advertising Federation, Partnership for Success Summer Internship Program. She continued her Graphic Design career working in various ad agencies throughout Chicago.
After the birth of her son in 2008 and leaving her boyfriend of 10 years. Meela transformed out of necessity to find herself personally and change the focus of her life to a positive one. In 2009, to evolve her career with technology and learn about industry of marketing design, she enrolled in an online course to complete an Internet Marketing Masters of Science Degree from Full Sail University.
Going through years of counseling therapy she strives to live a healthy positive life and provide the best environment for her son. Giving him all the “things” she never had. Leading her life by example to him of how to be a good person, thoughtful and grateful for all of their life’s comforts. She brings him to art shows and he is usually on the sidelines cheering her on one of her many Sprint Chicago Tri-athlons or on participating in one of Chicago’s 3K or 5K fun races.
Working as Graphic Designer since 2008. Meela Paloma currently works as a consultant production artist for Walgreens Corporation. Setting up 1,000’s of digital design production files for the online website, in store kiosk, and the mobile app from the Well Wishes Photo department in the downtown Chicago office location.
Otherwise she is working as an Internet Marketing Graphic Design Artist from her studio at Bridgeport Art Center. Promoting her “Chingona” brand or supporting a non-profit cause. She continues to involve herself in community projects that focus on positive youth initiatives. She is proud collaborative artist of Mujeres Mutantes, an all female focused art collective in Pilsen Chicago. Through her art and life story she hopes to promote a positive lifestyle, especially to young women and all people who may not come from privileged backgrounds, to pursue their dreams and learn to appreciate life’s journey.