We had the good fortune of connecting with Melody Valenzuela and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melody, if you had to put a million dollars to work immediately, how would you go about investing it?
There are two investments I’d make if I had $1M today. The first is what I would consider a “social project”, building a fully indoor training facility for several different youth sports under one roof. This project would provide young athletes with a place to train no matter the weather. I envision that the facility would provide individual as well as team training options. The second project would be a personal investment. I would open a visual arts and music gallery in my area. Using paintings, photography, video and music, I would create rooms wherein each art exhibit was tied to the music playing in that room. The gallery as a whole would focus on highlighting local artist whose work is inspiring and insightful.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an aspiring photographer and future owner of a visual arts gallery. My passion started with trying to capture a moment in time that connected me to the emotion behind the lens; to be able to look at a still and be moved by it. I want to be able to have my work speak to the soul. The way a song moves you with its words, I want my art to move you, invoking emotion. I look back at work from when I first started and I’m proud of how far my skills have come. I’ve been able to refine small details that bring my work up a notch. I’m still working on improving my skills and learning new things but I’m most excited for the potential career that I’m building. Over the years I’ve taken on small jobs and projects. I’ve learned to refine my post production skills and even add manipulation elements to my work that really transform pieces. I has not been easy working on my dream career while maintaining a full time job, volunteering and raising a family. The only way I have been able to overcome obstacles is to simply, keep going. I remind myself that I’m not on anyone else’s timeline; with hard work and dedication to my craft, I will see my dreams come to fruition. I have learned not to doubt myself so much. Through all the small projects I’ve been a part of, my lesson always seems to be to keep finding ways to improve, keep pushing myself and remember that imperfections are still works of art.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
At the top of any list when you travel is food, right? What’s the food like, where are the hidden treasures? Well, I’d have to say a few of my favorite places to eat in Houston are: 100% Taquito – they have the best street style taco and chicharrones hands down! The chicharrones crackle as you dip them in the house made, warm salsa! The tacos are the perfect portion size as well! Squeeze some fresh lime on the tacos and sprinkle them with pico and you’ve got yourself a little burst of taco heaven! Even better is their “Chela-rita”, a large rita topped with your choice of beer, I’d recommend lining your glass with Tajin for an extra kick of flavor! You really can’t go wrong with 100% Taquito whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a late night snack. Next on the list would be Velvet Taco for the fusion tacos, and Pappa Yolk for some good country breakfast. I’d definitely hit the museum district and downtown just to check out the art scenes and nightlife! Galveston would also be a quick trip to take for the food and to check out the boardwalk! There are so many great places to see and eat in Houston!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shouts-out to my family, my husband and three wonderful young men I have the privilege of being mom to! They are constant reminders to keep going even, keep pushing myself to elevate and keep setting a good example – for them and those around me. Also, to the youth sports organizations I volunteer for, Pasadena PONY Baseball and PONY Baseball and Softball International. These organizations have helped me grow as a leader and an active member in my community. I have been able to help provide a positive outlet for youth in my city to keep them active and involved. Through these organizations, youth have an avenue that can teach them life skills they can carry with them into their futures. It’s so rewarding to see kids mature and grow into productive people and know that somehow your work helped them get there, just a little bit.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/realmedgevisuals

Image Credits
Real M-edge Visuals

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