Melvin Robinson, Jr. ~ a Chicago native whose God-given creative talents were encouraged by both Parents, Family members & recogn- ized by others at the early age of 5. He later graduated from the very talent-filled Glenville Senior High School in Cleveland, with special- ized emphasis in Fine Art & Industrial Arts. He was voted Most Artistic Graduating Senior by his peers. During the Summer he then completed coursework to receive Certificates in Graphic Design & Technical Illustrations at The NASA-Lewis Research Center. He then majored in Industrial Design at The Ohio State University, (Ω) while a Varsity Letterman as a member of the OSU-Varsity Track Team. After several years he combined his formal education, training, and prior job & entrepreneurial work experiences along with his natural talents leaving school early when a unique employment opportunity came and he negotiated his own business terms to fulfill his ambition to become a full-time Professional Visual Artist.
The Artist commonly known as “Melle Mel”, is a widely exhibited, Award-winning, Multi-skilled Visual Artist with over 25+ years of direct Professional experience in Art & Graphic Design, widely known for his prolific array of Original Art Paintings, creative Graphic Art Logo Designs, Screen Print, Air-Brush Apparel, Merchandize lines & Artifact accessories, Digital Photography & innovative network of Marketing, Advertising & Promotional work. Works utilized in various Media Publications and as Set Props which received nationwide exposure and appeal as Designs modeled in local TV & National Cable Commercials. When he served for over 5 years back in the mid-80's as the most highly sought after premier Graphic Design Artist & Advertising Graphics Specialist of the highly successful multi-million dollar Columbus-based Artistic Sportswear & Leisure Apparel 22-Retail Chain stores of the now 'infamous' ~ “Just Sweats, Inc.” (See the book 'Insured for Murder' or 'America's Most Wanted' most watched TV episodes for more on that infamous-real life drama.)
'Melle Mel' moved on to become Co-owner of the Customized Cultural Designs of ORIGINAL ARTIFACTS ~Specialty Shop & Bookstore, Along with his business partner Keith B. Key. Both were former OSU Student-Athletes (Track-MR/Football-KBK) who while in College became close friends, (Ω) Fraternity Brothers and actively engaged in Leadership, Service, Social, Philanthropic, Activist & Cultural activities on campus and some local and National levels. These men later combined their talents, abilities, experiences & visions into a complimentary framework, which became Original Artifacts. Their Campus store had the unique pioneering effort & history making accomplishment of being the 1st-ever African American owned-&-operated retail business battling its' way into Columbus' highly competitive OSU Campus/High St. Business Area. It's mission was to help fill the void of a Culturally-oriented business focusing on the Africentric needs & Culturally Diverse population at Ohio State and it's surrounding Urban communities. This store became one of the earliest creators & successful companies of Original Art/Logo Designed Sportswear, based on Original Art-&-'Facts' creatively applied upon Africentric-inspired apparel, Hip-Hop/Urban clothing, accessories & authentic Cultural Artifacts. Thereby, offering original products, innovative ideas, unique services and introducing the OSU & local Columbus Urban market for the first-time various new merchandise and new regional/national trends with emphasis on positive Culturally diverse interaction & re-education. Their products spread throughout the Nation's College Campuses, Urban Cities, Pan-Hellenic Councils on paraphernalia at Fraternity/Sororities' Events Regional & National Conventions, Expos, Festivals, Sports Classic Events and Hip-Hop Fashion Shows. Also worn in some of the popular Music Videos of Chubb Rock, Public Enemy, George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars' customized concert apparel, X-Clan ~BlackWatch Movement, R&B Recording Artists ~Jade, on Super Model ~Iman, also appearing in 'There are No Children Here' an ABC TV-Movie produced by Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.
'Melle Mel' went on to establish ORIGINAL FLAVOR® ~Design Studio / Art Gallery to further Artistically expand upon his skills and compliment the business concepts he had at Original Artifacts. While utilizing this time he expanded his abilities in Design, Print & Fabrication Production work of Residential-Commercial-Corporate Signage for an established Columbus-based Graphics & Sign Company. By 1995 'Melle Mel' was again highly sought after to further transition his Artistic career into the standardize procedures, rules & regulatory guidelines of Graphic work specifications required for County Government Graphics & Signage. With his Department Office/Workshop now located Downtown Columbus inside Franklin County Courthouse Government Complex in Public Facilities Management. PFM received numerous local and national Awards for it's exceptional performance in the stewardship of County Facilities. Working under the auspices of the Franklin County Commissioners, Mel served as the only Franklin County Signs & Graphics Technician. Duties included the Design, Production, Maintenance, Installation and departmental Supervision of all 28-County buildings, grounds & and project sites, Single-handedly bringing his department's work area up-to-date, under budget, and into more efficient production skills & turn around time equal to or better than most outside private sector Graphic businesses. Thus bringing PFM undertakings into the latest upgrade standards into the 2000/Millennium. Eventually moving to other work for a stint with the State of Ohio. All the while staying abreast and in-tune with Computer-based Graphic Design and as well as the Fine Art markets. After several more years he began to collaborate in conjunction with another former Chicago-based (formerly of Afrika West Bookstore) entrepreneur & friend, Kwodwo Ababio to help in the formulate & development of the NEW HARVEST URBAN ARTS CENTER in Columbus' newly revitalized Linden Business Area.
As a painter Mel has currently forged into the progressively upscale markets by launching into the Fine Art arena of Residential/Corporate Commissioned Original Paintings and production of several Quality Signature Limited Editions Print Collections & Posters. Original Artwork to be sold directly from our Artists, Art Agents, Dealers & Sales Reps. from our Home Office/Gallery Collections or in Upscale Specialty Shops, Cafes, Coffee Shops, Art Galleries, Art Exhibits/Shows or Private & Public Art Auctions. The procurement of Unique Custom Home Furnishings, Imports, Cultural items & 'One-of-a-Find' Accessories. While collaborating with and marketing the works of other Artists, Designers, Craftspersons, Models, Actors, Playwrights, Authors, Spoken Word/Poets, Singers & Musical Talents of the Arts & as an ever growing Multi-Media Group. All based from within this ever-evolving facility, which also serves as a Urban Community Garden Hub & Farmer's Market.
* Professional Artist-Memberships: New Harvest Urban Art Center 501(c)3 (Art Director/ Board Pres.), Urban Cultural Arts Foundation @ William H. Thomas Gallery (Board of Directors/Member) @ Inaugural African Village Arts Festival, Youth Job Leader @ Neighborhood House, Inc., Nommo Society (First World Artists Collective), NAACP~ACT-SO Youth Artist Mentor (Award Winning Art Mentee), A.C.E. Gallery (Art for Community Expression), Ohio Art League, Fresh A.I.R. Gallery & Artists Circle, Columbus Museum of Art~Society of African-American Art (Charter/Membership), Omega Graphics -M.A.P. Committee (Marketing-Advertising-Promotions), Art panel judge for several Community events, Art Centers, and active involvement in countless committees activities, committees and Fraternal offices of Social Action, CommUnity Service, Cultural Events and Youth oriented causes ongoing to date. Special Donor/Artist of Arts & Culture in the Republic of Cameroon also serving as Scholarship Co-Chair ofs "GoldBoots On The Ground" for the "ROOTS & RECONNECTION" African Diaspora Pilgrimage/Tour from Europe: (Brussels, Amsterdam & Valeurs d' Afrique- Pagnes & Boubous/Black Paris Tour in France) then into Central Africa: Camroon, Douala, Dschang, Bonedale, Yaoundé, Beau, beach resorts of Kribi, Lobe Falls & Limbe, Ekom Falls, Edea, Mbo, Bafia, Bafang, Bamenjinda, Bafut, Bamenda, Maknon, Bana, Foumban Royal Kingdom Palace House of Thorne Musesums and the and Ancestral pilgrimage to the recently discovered Enslave Site at BIMBIA in Cameroon
'Melle Mel's Original Artwork in his paintings reflect a highly personal, unique, yet versatile style of images created to depict the essence of a captured moment and Spirit in Time & Space. (Past, Present or Future) Some Art reflects a never ending action-packed image. Either of which enables the viewer to have a highly visual encounter & experience with the subject matter or peek into some of the incidents and influences that has formed parts of his personality in his various Artistic expression. “Melle Mel's” Jazz-inspired & other popular themes of Commissioned Art & signed prints are in various Private Art Collections throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and several countries in West, Central & South Africa. Once while working in the window of the storefront, Mel was observed by a Concert Promoter. This promoter and Band members commissioned him and later presented his Artwork as a 1988-Birthday gift to the Jazz Legend, Miles Davis. During this literal 'once-in-a-lifetime' meeting, Mel took this opportunity to discuss with Mr. Davis that he was not only an avid young Jazz fan, but also what he had been slowing developing with Artwork in conjunction with Live Jazz Bands and Miles' current & past recorded music. During this discussion Mr. Davis impressed upon him how he thought his work was unique, also that he had recently begun to dabbled in some spontaneous Art sketches and made painting of his own which help put him at peace, and to further inspire his own Musical creative energy flow in composing and arranging Musical works for himself and his band members. 'Miles' said how much he liked the originality of Mel's idea and the potential of this innovative 'Jazz-Art-Fusion' endeavor he had begun. 'Miles' advised and encouraged Mel to strive forward to continue to further develop his innovative Artistic idea into a more genuine level of an Art form. Thereby, Mel became the originator of a progressively innovative Original Art creation style genre he dubbed, “LaJazArt™” (Live ~Audience ~Jazz ~Art) which is Original Artwork-in-progress being rhythmically created Live simultaneously on stage in sync with a Live Jam Session or Jazz Concert performance.This eventually led to 'Melle Mel' creating 'LaJazArt™' live on stage with such great International Jazz Headliners as Ms. Mercedes Ellington (Grand-daughter of the late Jazz Legend 'Duke' Ellington) 'Symphony & Swing'~Music & Dance Troupe, The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra, and the Top-10 National Jazz Recording Artist and Saxophonist: "The Saxtress' Ms. Pamela Williams (Heads Up Productions -Red Ink -Shanachie Record Labels) Including all the finest Top Local Jazz Bands, Vocalists & Musicians @ Salvi's Jazz-Flight~106.3 FM-WCKX Weekly Live Radio Broadcasts & Jazz-&-Eggs, Gene Walker's Generations Band, (the now late) Hank Marr, Jim Rupp, Jim Mantz, Bobby Floyd Trio, Mary McClendon, Earl Love, Jeanette Williams (Brewer), Jimmi Hammonds, Tommy Moore, Pharez Whitted (Motown~MoJazz Label), Jazz Patrol, by Special Request with 30-East Jazz Band @ Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.~4th-District Convention Founder's Banquet, Moxie ~featuring Mary Daniels, Urban Jazz Coalition (currently #11 on the Smooth-Jazz Chart), The Governor ~featuring Dolly,Vicki, Candi & Darcell, Ken Weaver Trio & Nex Level @ Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.~Annual Jazz-Fusion, Michael T. Branner Conceptet @ Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. ~Annual Evening of the Arts Auction, King Arts Complex ~Annual Heritage Concert Series @ Mayme Moore Park, etc. Thereby, helping to bring both Art Lovers and Live Jazz Band admiring audiences together as they see, hear, meet face-to-face, touch, feel & simultaneously share the Live experiences of these spontaneous improvisational expressions of 'Works-in-Progress' being created and expressed Live.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Original-Flavor-Design-StudioArt-Gallery/435890666490088https://www.facebook.com/MelleMel