One in an occasional series of Q & A profiles of “wannabe” Italians
Melissa Muldoon is a freelance graphic designer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through her firm, Melissa Design, she creates graphics for Web and print. Raised in the Midwest, she studied studio art and history at Knox College. At the University of Illinois at Champaign, she worked as a teaching assistant and earned a Masters degree in Art History. Deciding she’d rather be “doing” art rather than “talking” about art, she pursued a career as a graphic designer. She is married to Patrick Muldoon and has three boys and a beagle. Her passion for art opened the door to Italy for her. During college she participated in a study abroad program in Florence and discovered a country full of history, culture and tradition, yet overflowing with contemporary style and quirky idiosyncrasies. Her love for art brought her “home” to Italy for the first time.
Q: Living “Italian”. . . Is it a great way to live or the greatest way to live?
A: Ma dai! Non c’e’ un modo migliore! Come on! There is no better way to live!
A: Let me just start off by saying I am a classic type A personality. I am impatient, competitive and a list maker. I don’t know what I like better, adding things to my “to do” list or checking them off. I’m usually up late finishing a project or starting the next. I zoom from one appointment to the next and despise sitting in traffic or wasting time at stoplights. Now, while a type A lifestyle is great for getting things accomplished and moving ahead in life, it may not be the sanest way to live.
Fortunately for me, I found Italy and discovered how to “live Italian.” Italy is my alter ego. It balances out my yin and yang. When I am in Italy, time slows down and I relax. I let go and go with the flow. My senses are reawakened and my creative side is nurtured and flourishes. I savor meals and notice things like the multi-colored marzipan pastries elegantly displayed in the panetterie and bars, or the wheels of cheese stacked up like oversized building blocks in the corner markets. I feel the cobblestones, worn and rounded by time, under my feet. I hear the clang of the church bells and the ronzare of the Vespa bikes. I meet the most interesting people, Italian locals and fellow travelers, and develop long lasting friendships.