Melissa Zuniga

Melissa Zuniga

Cedar Hill, MO, US



Architecture is a release; it is a therapy that helps battle my illness.  Design has become a sacred thing to me, my lifeblood.  Among other things, I am an architect, an artist, and a designer, and through these channels, I am able to talk about this lifelong illness and perhaps explain what it’s like to live with it.  Even if I can’t verbally explain them, let me show you what mania, paranoia, and hallucinations are like.  The people surrounding me inspire me.  Known and unknown to me, I yearn to tell their stories through color, shadow, movement, and structure.


Most of my architecture and art is composed from the mechanics and gestures of live models.  I prefer to use live models to other methods such as photographs; expressions, gestures, and moods are more genuine and reflect a more tangible sense of being.  At the start of a creative venture, I do not always begin with a big idea.  It will start with a simple gesture or mood, and this will bloom into a rush of context and significance.

I am open to many mediums.  I work in 2D and 3D: sculpture, oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, printmaking, photography, and digital art.  Learning software comes as easy to me as drawing.  I am not confined to a studio.  Art, for me, can exist in almost any place or at any time.  I do not have a particular style I frequent.  I feel there are too many emotions to be nailed to a single style; I learn more from the figure while experimenting in different mediums and styles.


I began to study the human figure at the age of fourteen.  What began as simple paper cutouts turned into a lifelong obsession with the human form.  It is an ongoing battle to understand the essence of the human form, the human gesture, and the human thought and how to incorporate these ethereal truths into a meaningful design that describes and begins to comprehend the plight of the human through time. 


Feeler Scheer Architects, LLC, Chesterfield, MO, US, Associate Architect

Responsibilities at architecture firm include preliminary drawings; construction drawings; demolition drawings; door, window, and finish schedules; red lining; and guided design work.

Oct 2011 - Mar 2012

Turnell Corp., Chesterfield, MO, US, Marketing Specialist

Responsibilities at engineering firm include marketing, software research, engineering reports, preliminary drawings, and construction drawings.

Aug 2011 - Mar 2012


University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, US, BArch, Fay Jones School of Architecture

Aug 2006 - May 2011