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Storied: San Francisco

Feb 6, 2024

Part 2 begins with how Melan thinks of herself as an artist. "Art is therapy," she says. It's how she knows herself. "If I cannot create, I cannot be myself."
She's been creative her whole life. She wanted to be a tap dancer early on, pointing to Shirley Temple as inspiration (by the way, Temple was originally from Santa Monica, but died in Woodside). Melan even did drag for a while. But she found painting around four years ago and decided then that she's not doing anything else after that.
She cites her mom's love of cooking and baking shows as another inspiration. Back in the day, before Food Network and competitive cooking shows, it was just PBS. Melan watched a lot of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Martin Yan. She says that she watched these shows more than the Saturday morning cartoons most kids her age were glued to. She also loved cookbook illustrations and says they've been a big inspiration for her.
Melan talks about the "Muni Raised Me" show at SomArts last year, which she was part of. In the podcast, she describes her Muni paintings that were part of the SomArts show ... they involved dim sum, burritos, and Irish coffees. Then our conversation evolves into a discussion of Muni and what it can mean to life in The City.
Plans for 2024 include hibernating. She says she needs to paint, that travel in 2023 pulled her away from that. She's looking for new things to paint, so if you've got ideas, drop her a line.
We end the podcast with Melan riffing on our theme: "We're All in It."
Follow Melan on social media: Instagram/TikTok
We recorded this podcast in Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley in December 2023.
Photography by Jeff Hunt