Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mailara is a design graduate of the Central for Visual Arts High school and completed an MFA at Towson University, Maryland in 2001.
In 2003, she returned to the island working as Art Director in a variety of projects, from shorts to local films, Hollywood movies, and New Media Series like A&E’s KINGS OF SOUTH BEACH, FRIENDS WITH KIDS (filmed in New York), episodes of the series ROYAL PAINS and THE BIG C, the series MAD DOGS, and as Assistant Art Director in the series CROSSED BONES and the movie FAST & FURIOUS 5.
In 2007 she co-designed the movie MIENTE with Director Rafi Mercado, this being her first local Production Design opportunity, and later wrote and designed the short “204”, a project that traveled to Hollywood’s Latino Film Fest hosted by Edward James Olmos. Later in 2011, she designed the local movie AMERICA, staring Lymari Nadal, and produced by Isla films and Edward James Olmos.
In 2017, Mailara becomes Production Designer of STARTUP’s Season 3, starring Mira Sorvino & Ron Perlman, opening the door to her Production Design position on the second season of Sony Picture’s series THE OATH in 2018. Santana went on to design the movie "Axis Sally", a period movie featuring Al Pacino and Meadow Williams, based on the true story of Mildred Gullars in Germany and Washington during the 1940s (currently in post-production), followed by "Blue Miracle", "Force of Nature", and "Chick Fight". Her latest design work is "Arthur the King", filmed in the Dominican Republic and starring Mark Wahlberg, in a story based on Mikael Lindnord's rescue of Arthur (a stray dog) while competing in an adventure race in Ecuador.
Mailara is a proud member of the Art Director's Guild (ADG), the IATSE 494, and the Production Designers Collective.