Teens in Print student writers come from neighborhoods and schools across the city. Meet one of our "Tipsters," Melanie Baez!
Melanie Baez, 18, joined TiP when she picked up a copy from school and realized it was missing something—a comic!
Today, she is more than just a comic artist but both an artist and a writer. Melanie approaches the writing process in the same way that she approaches drawing. She begins with something attention grabbing and lets the rest flow, leaving the editing for later.
At first, Melanie said she wasn’t interested in journalism, but now she admits that she enjoys writing articles. The article she is most proud of is, “Headbanger music, Spanish style.” In it, she translated a Spanish song into English to reveal the authenticity and cultural meaning of the lyrics.
TiP has helped Melanie create a new flow of inspiration for her writing and art. Never having been influenced by “real life stuff”—as she calls it—Melanie now uses her writing to create new artwork: “I feel like my art and TiP have really connected.”
Motivated by “spreading the word,” Melanie uses her writing to talk about issues she is passionate about. She finds her voice when she focuses on topics related to LGBTQ rights and women’s rights.
TiP, she says, has taught her many imp ortant tools that will help her in college, such as editing and how to find valid sources online and in person.
She laughs as she says, “One big thing TiP has taught me is that I always need to check my work,” admitting that she was guilty of throwing something on a page and declaring it “done.”
After high school, Melanie plans to go to college to study animation and graphic design. She aspires to one day work for a major animation studio like Disney or Pixar.