We had the good fortune of connecting with Mel Mo’Black and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks for me has been a significant reason for my success, in just about all aspects. I actually talk about this quite often, ” what’s the worst they can say? No?” I’ve said this so many times! In my adult life I’ve become very unintimidated with rejection, simply because 90% of the times that I’ve said “fuck it” and asked for exactly what I’ve needed or wanted it ends up working out. Being confident and having the drive to follow through, even if the situation isn’t text book, or things get pushed back, or you don’t get to work with the people you want, is really to me what will make things work out in the end.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I decided at a 16 I wanted to be a Tattoo Artist, and worked on my art until I was old enough to pursue it. Tattooing is a notoriously difficult industry to get into. I was able to get an apprenticeship at 22, and can honestly say that I’ve learned more about being a better artist from the other tattooers I’ve worked with then I ever did in school! The proudest thing for me as far as my art and my tattooing has to be the fact that I used to suck and now I don’t. Looking back at your art, its like damn! I sucked! I’ve always aspired to be great, and recognized by my pears, and with every year that’s happening more and more. My friendship with legendary tattooer Lyle Tuttle really changed my perspective of tattooing and what I could really do with my life. I met him in 2013, so I was still pretty fresh in my industry and in life in general. I had bought a plane ticket out to San Francisco with no plan or real purpose of going there, and ended up at his tattoo shop, and we hit it off. I like to thing were kindred spirits. I ended up spending the rest of my trip helping prime windows of his shop and just hanging out listening to his endless amazing story’s. I honestly think this trip started the fire inside of me to live the life I wanted, and to know it was possible! Me and him hung out and kept in touch up until his passing in 2019 I was even lucky enough to go out to Ukiah CA to the house he grew up in for his 84th birthday! A very fond memory. He is greatly missed inside and outside of the industry. Music has always been a prominent aspect of my life. I feel like I go to 80 shows a year, and its been like this for so long! In 2016 me and some friends started a band called India Tigers in Texas, it was my first band, and I didnt really play any interments hahaha but it made since! I’ve always felt so fortunate to be able to work with such talented musicians! It opened up this whole new world of creating for me, and really helped with my depression hahaha I was writing songs and preforming, Really pushing the ‘boundaries’ of my capability. I decided to try and throw a little mini festival down here in Galveston called Third Eyeland Party with some of my friends, Lauren and Charles Eddie and Jaron Hall, gosh if that wasn’t a learning experience! Hosting this event has been so eye opening and in the beginning was really scary to me. Needless to say my organizational skills and delegation skills have improved! I wanted Third Eyeland to be an immersive psychedelic art experience. Where you could come and listen to amazing bands and dance and there’s a liquid light show going , and vendors , and art and good food. Almost like you get to step out of your life for a while and just be happy with other people! I’m gunning for all of the senses! Galveston didn’t have anything like this going on , and it ended up being really successful in my eyes. We’ve done it for 2 years, and then there was COVID 19, so we respectively hit the breaks on 2020. We’ve been discussing maybe doing one this fall though. We host the event at Galveston Island Brewing, and the last year the made a beer specifically for the event ‘Third Eyeland Haze’ and this fall there canning it and debuting it! So fingers crossed we can throw another party in 2021!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would have to go to Seismique for sure, and that Van Gogh immersive experience! We would totally go to La Carafe . I’m sure we would spend a good deal of time in Galveston, going to Daiquiri time out, and Brews Brothers, The Proletariat, Gypsy Joynt. We would have to go to Cacao and Cardamom because we weren’t able to last time she came to visit!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All the Homies!
Instagram: @melmoblack @indiatigersintexas @thirdeyelandcollective