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El Camino: The Path to the American Dream

Melanie Calan
Melanie Calan Sanchez
Faculty Adviser(s)

As a child of immigrants, I have grown a deep appreciation for my life here in America and take full advantage of the opportunities available to me. Throughout the years, my parents have shared their experiences with me about the life they left behind in Ecuador, and it is something that made me view the world through a different lens. What is the best way for me to highlight their lives and show my appreciation for the challenges they overcame?

Unfortunately, there is an audience that shows little empathy towards immigrants and views their entry to the U.S as a threat. Many have hatred in their hearts due to ignorance and stereotypes portrayed in the media. What better way to teach others about their lives than through storytelling? Graphic design is all about visual communication.

I have created a concept and graphic identity for a series of illustrated books highlighting my family's story. Using the design principles and marketing side of graphic design, I have created a cohesive campaign. My design process emphasizes balance and proportion, uses color and value wisely, and creates unity.

I think this is a story many can relate to, and I would like to advocate for their human rights. I believe another important misconception I would like to break-down is that moving to the U.S. will automatically make your life better. It is a long process with its own set of challenges. Sharing these stories will contribute to the honest representation of the Latino community. 


Melanie has always had a love for all things creative, and due to her academic and artistic capabilities she was declared the 2021 Davis Art Scholar by Salem College. This award granted her a full-tuition scholarship and has greatly motivated her in her career path. Melanie is also very involved at her church Iglesia Bautista El Calvario as a Sunday school teacher for small children, choir member, and graphic designer. She has promised to dedicate her life to the Lord and finds great satisfaction in doing so.


I look forward to seeing your poster tomorrow and to see your designs! What a compelling story you have to tell!

Submitted by Paula_Young on Tue, 04/11/2023 - 19:29 Permalink