UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
My name is Claudia Zelaya, and I am a designer and illustrator based in Dallas TX. My creativity was nurtured by my mother and family. Growing up, I was surrounded by the prowess of her green thumb, with all the lush plants at every window. My father played guitar and sang, and my older brothers had imaginative skills. Creating art has been constant in my life, though I discovered my interest in design later on. My high school art teacher challenged me to explore another form of art, and I chose collage-making. I immediately fell in love with the idea of making a unique piece, forming a narrative, and experimenting with many materials. Since then, my enthusiasm for visual design has grown. I strive to create meaningful, well-crafted solutions to elevate everyday experiences as a designer. Branding, packaging, and editorial design are what excites me the most. This past year, I received recognition from Salute Student Design Competition, Graphex52, and DSVC National Student Show. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, listening to Kaytranada, eating dumplings, and spending time with my four cats.
IF THERE WERE NO BARRIERS AND CONSTRAINTS, WHAT PROJECT WOULD YOU WANT TO WORK ON?
I would really enjoy rebranding a neighborhood restaurant named Tino’s. It was one of our city’s first Tex-Mex restaurants back in the ’70s. My dad was a waiter there for many years, and I have fond memories of eating there. These memories have been bittersweet since my father’s passing. It has a special place in my heart.
WHAT ARE YOU READING/LISTENING TO/WATCHING?
I am currently catching up on the Mandalorian and rewatching Rilakkuma and Kaoru as my comfort tv. 1
IF YOU WERE GOING TO WRITE A BOOK, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
The loss of my father, exploring his past. Particularly how he escaped the Salvadoran Civil War, and how I used art and design to get through one of the most challenging times in my life.