We had the good fortune of connecting with Mel CK and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mel, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Before the summer started I quit my essential job being a paint maker. Went full freelance. I’ve been working a day job at a young age so it was a scary jump. Considering culturally in my family art is not considered a livable job choice. But depending on my art is less stressful. More independent work. However it has it’s downfalls. Sometimes you have work and sometimes you don’t. So I do delivery to help the gaps in slow months.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Uhm, the only thing I can think of is I’m the only street artist from Panama in the game. I’m bring my culture colors to the community. Being a woman is more comforting. I started spray painting 11 years ago. I’d go and watch the guys paint in the winter and summer time starting out. I didn’t think being a girl would make it harder to prove my worth. I just kept painting and observing till I was accepted. It made me more passionate about expressing who I am later on. I’ve learned skill is important, but standing by what your art is just as important. The lettering became more story like, vivid color. Just know anything you put your mind to and makes you happy don’t give up. Making art is beautiful and heals people.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
During a pandemic I feel that street art will always have a reason to be important. Because of the few things we can do, we can always go outside and look around. Five points has many pieces to look at. Broadway is filling with people painting all the time. The golden triangle is opening up to the world as well. Even neighborhoods throughout Denver have something to show. We get lost in technology so much I’ve seen a pulse for what more life has to give and the individual creation from people in our community.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is a more recent thank you to Knobhill Urban Arts district in Colorado Springs. Not too long ago Muji Rieger reached out to me to enter the era of street art in CO Springs. It’s nice to have the city agree to welcoming culture into the streets. For a conservative city they’re having a change of heart to expression. It’s a big deal for me and for artists from there or live there. I’m happy it’s finally starting to be okay and not looked down on to be a street artist. It’s a beautiful change.