An article about one of our favorite Chicago based artists by Hawaiian writer ESTRIA

Here’s a classic example of graffiti doing something positive. Melon is a writer from Chicago who from the age of 12-20 was in gang life, and because of graffiti, was able to get out of it. In Chicago gangs and graffiti crews don’t mix because the gangs don’t want the heat that comes with tagging. If you are in a gang and you tag, you get an SOS (smash on site). He took a beat down to exit the gang and pursued writing from then on. Melon feels that if it wasn’t for graffiti, his life would have continued down a bad path.

He started writing in ’91, mainly bombing at first, then moving into more elaborate pieces. He didn’t start incorporating characters until ’02. Inspired by Cove and Fonzo, Melon didn’t know where to begin with characters, but his wife simply told him, “Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.” He started by drawing his brother and himself. Today he continues with his faceless stained glass women, and men with crowns.

Puerto Rican & Guatemalen, as a child Melon couldn’t pronounce Guatemalen, saying watermelon. Hence the name, Melon. His artistic style is heavily influenced by the Chicago scene, and secondly by the styles in Hawaii.

Melon was in our Chicago battle this past August. He and his wife are first class all the way. They are the kind of folks you can’t wait to hang out with again. He is from Chicago and lived for a time in Hawaii, so the Hawaiians consider him a local writer.