TOKYO TEENAGER

I moved to Tokyo at age 14 and jumped heart-first into public school. I spent my teenage years learning Japanese language, navigating cultural nuances, napping on the Japanese subway system, and trying to perfect the bento lunchbox.

oceanic connection

My childhood was spent between the jungle and beaches of Maui where I learned to listen to the earth, love the ocean, and wear sunscreen.

educators should
be interesting

While living  and working in Beijing, I found my footing as a performative educator and expanded my ability to navigate a complex city, language, and culture.

I CAN PLAY

Play is one of those essentials that can get more and more restricted as we age. Whether it's playing with rocks in a river or conceptual ideas over a beer with a friend, play is integral to life.

People first

Following my interest to connect with people and cultures has led me to design and build a house for a struggling family in Cambodia. I also found myself facilitating play with hundreds of children who had just been affected by a devastating earthquake in China.

KIDS ARE THE FUTURE

I create the space to facilitate growth in cognitive understanding, physical ability, emotional awareness, responsibility, relational sensitivity, and ultimately for kids to know themselves and the world around them.

I MAKE STUFF TOO

It's important for me to create.

Making something brings an authenticity to my role as an educator using art and tinkering as a pathway to development.

 

I create art, photograph people, make videos, build interactive sculptures, and I love to make a mess.

 

Artwork: GabrielMellan.com

Photography: BeExplosive.com

MASTERS IN ART EDUCATION

I hold a current K-12 art teaching license ​and have a Masters Degree in Art Education.

I also blew fire as the graduation commencement speaker. Check it out here

I live in Santa Cruz and work with kids and families on both coasts of the U.S. and occasionally internationally.

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