About Melissa Cicero

Born and raised in Edison, New Jersey, I discovered my love for the arts and painting a bit later than others in my field. I wasn’t born with a paintbrush in hand, in fact it wasn’t until I discovered Japanese manga comics from a friend in middle school, that I gained a desire to learn how to draw. I loved the detailed and beautiful imagery I found in these comics, and spent hours in school doodling on the sides of my handouts and essay drafts.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school, still doodling in my binders, that I decided to pursue art as a career, and while I was still geared more towards Japanese style drawing, I wanted to learn more about all categories of artwork, and so it was my love for manga and anime that sparked my love for the art world as a whole. Through this new goal and a building desire to learn all I could of different mediums and techniques, I began honing my skills and disciplining myself to study art during my free time.

After graduating high school, I entered the Fashion Institute of Technology to pursue Illustration, graduating in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, a minor in Art History, and extra courses on animation and 3D modeling under my belt. With all the teachings, advice, and guidance of my prestigious professors at hand, I’m currently working as a Graphic Designer part-time, and the other part working on my personal pieces to sell and build a portfolio. I am currently aiming to work in Visual Development for film or television shows, and I working primarily in watercolor and digital, with mixed media works including ink and colored pencil as well.



                       Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

                                              Associates in Applied Science (for Illustration)

                                              Bachelor of Fine Arts (for Illustration)

                                              Minor in Art History

Work Experience:

                       Graphic & Package Designer / Website Manager                          American Linens, Edison, NJ

                                              Duties: Created print-ready packaging designs for products, created downloadable item catalogs for customers, shot &                                                          edited photos for web and IPad catalog use, designed designs for website, maintained website item pages include                                                                    adding/removing product pages and writing detailed descriptions.


Artist Statement

            A recent Illustration graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology, I’ve spent so much of my time, art experience, and exposure in New York City, but having been born and raised in Central New Jersey, I’ve wanted to present my work and my Jersian-creativity alongside other artists here. Having discovered The Alfa Art Gallery and their passion and respect for the arts, I entered my work for their Water Color & Mixed Media show in hopes of displaying my creations in their halls.

            For my work, I strive to tell stories, and express different emotions within others when they view each of my pieces. My art is geared more towards usage in illustrated books or Visual Development, with each painting or drawing showing snippets of what would be a bigger story, and as I love to do with art, I allow the ambiguity of the story within my paintings to drive each viewer to come to their own conclusion, to start or finish the story in whatever way their mind creates for them; I want my art to invite others to create with me, to get their own creative thoughts flowing.

            I have used a myriad of mediums in my works, from oils and acrylics to clay and block printing. Currently, my main mediums in my pieces are watercolors, ink pens, and colored pencils, and digital painting.


Phone: 732-668-7553

Artist Website: maryclarkladd.com

Email: melissa.cicero16@gmail.com