Year Graduated: 2018
David Saldaña-Rico (with a Spanish pronunciation) was born in Sioux Falls, SD on June 23rd, 1992. David is a bilingual student who is graduating from the University of South Dakota, receiving a degree in Fine Arts specializing in Graphic Design and a minor in Psychology. His passion for art was inspired by his primo (cousin) at the age of 14. David started his design career playing with abstract ideas and creating positive, motivational, and spiritual designs. The inspiration for his work comes from people he loves, his Spanish culture, and observations of his surroundings.
David is involved with both the campus community as well as the town community. He has made digital designs and street art for multiple non-profit organizations and clients. He was active in many organizations on campus including serving as the lead designer for National Student Advertising Competition, working as a Residential Assistant, and teaching students at art camps. All of these activities helped him form his diverse artistic perspective. David is pumped about taking this newly gained perspective and submerging it into the art field. His first adventure will begin this June as he starts his internship at 5J Design.
My goal is to achieve meaningful illustrations that will empower the viewer. The title of my work is called, "Ride Your Fears" The illustrations show how to overcome fears by using expression (confronting fears and utilizing them in a positive way). I used several elements, including anthropomorphism (giving animals/insects human-like characteristics), a street art aesthetic, and a Spanish heritage twist. All of these elements together create a design that can be placed on skateboards or posters to show the characters ride their fears. The exhibition features; a fly riding on a skateboard that is in the form of a fly swatter, a worm on a bird feather, a rat on a mouse trap, a cat on a water bottle, and a rooster on a butcher knife.