Written by UWaterloo Faculty of Arts

Melissa Honours Arts and Business | Fine Arts

Melissa Honours Arts and Business | Fine Arts by UWaterloo Faculty of Arts

Melissa, an Honours Arts and Business student majoring in fine arts, has built an extensive art portfolio through her University career. Some of her works have been presented with awards and exhibited in shows as the Wardrobe International Film Festival. A turning point in her process took place because of professors challenging her creative thinking and opportunities to experiment in her fine arts courses.

Her decision to enroll in the Honours Arts and Business program came easily to her because of the practical aspects the program offered compared to other arts-based programs. The built-in business component as well as the co-op work experience would better serve her long-term career goals.

Melissa credits her professors and the innovative Fine Arts courses with helping her grow and shape herself into the artist she is today.

“There have been many professors that have challenged my way of thinking and really helped with my professional development while I have been here. One of them was Bruce Taylor. Every Fine Arts class I had with him, he has turned my whole world upside down. He really pushed my improvisational skills. Of course, all the professors in the Fine Arts Department are great. They don’t stop me or limit me in any kind of way. They ask me questions that expand my ideas.”

Screenshot of Melissa's Portfolio

One of the courses that Melissa has grown fond of is the third year open studio course. “Before the course, I felt like I was confined within traditional art making methods and media. With the open studio course, I felt like I could do whatever I can think of. It made me realize that with my own professional career, the more I push the envelope, the better. It really got me into that mind set.” For the third year art show, the 42 Exhibit, she created an ambitious 16-piece video installation; a challenge based on the limited amount of time she had to create the piece. The installation can be viewed on her website: http://melissajohns.com/series.html

Melissa with her art installation displayed on her laptop

“At its core, every co-op job I’ve had has revolved around design, but lately it has grown and evolved from that.” At her last three work terms, Melissa has been working at Humber College as a Project Assistant. As a result, Melissa started handling more projects and more responsibilities than a normal co-op student would have. From managing her department’s social media channels to implementing brand guidelines and redesigning the viewbook for Humber’s School of Applied Technology, it’s safe to say that Melissa has made an impact to Humber College’s digital media presence.

Humber College viewbook before and after

At the start of her university career, Melissa was uncertain about what career path she wanted to pursue. Through her experiences with co-op and her program, she has found her true calling in arts education, where she hopes to challenge students and contribute to their artistic growth.

Visit the Faculty of Arts website or visit the University of Waterloo’s undergraduate admissions site.