Melinda Kendle

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Tuesday – Saturday

12pm – 9pm




            Melinda Kendle was born in Seattle, Washington in 1980.She is the 3rd generation of artist in her family, from a long line of painters and crafts. Her grandmother did oil paintings of landscapes and her great grandfather who was an accomplished Florist. She began drawing at the age of 2 years old. Seeing her talent for the arts at a young age, her mother had taught her to paint by the time she was 7 years old. Her mother encouraged her art and helped her try different mediums like glazing pottery, and ceramics, her mother placed her in extra curricular art classes in elementary school; Began local competitions like the “Reflections” programs at the age of 6 taking 1st and 2nd place until she 15 years old. At the age of 8 she began to show a interest in science, because of a genetic disorder she was diagnosed with, when she was younger. The disorder is called “Moniletrix” meaning “beaded hair”, it gives the appearance of being bold; Because of this, it sparked a major interest in medical science, and earth sciences in general. As she grew up, with her parents encouragement, the art and science became her passion. Between the ages of 7 and 15 she took up as many mediums as she could get her hands on. Starting with soft medium sculpting (clay and pottery) at 10 years old. Floral arrangements with her mother at 11. Large acrylic mural painting at 13. Experimenting with mixed media like, colored pencil, ink, acrylic paint, and watercolor at 14. Melinda loved doing anything with her hands like simple carpentry with her father like bird perches and playgrounds for her first pet parakeet. Later she fell in love with Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi art and movies. Her parents had unwittingly exposed her to horror movies when she was 7 years old, sparking a love for the scary and magical creatures that filled her imagination wich strongly influenced her art. Discovering artist like Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, H.R. Giger and Frank Frazetta. Music was also a positive influence, artist like Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Slayer; All of these played a role in shaping her artistic style from a young age. She left public schools and the age of 15 and was placed in a private Alternative school that has advanced art classes, like pottery and glass work , along with traditional art classes. The teachers, realizing she was advanced gave her the freedom to roam over the art classes, meaning she didn’t have to do the normal curriculum with the other student, she could do what she wanted opening the window to try even more mediums than before. This continued until she left the alternative school (headmaster issues) to graduate from a community collage at the age of 17. Her interest in the science remained a hobby while her art took priority. During this time she investigated different careers and shadowed a few professions that she was interested in. Like Graphic Design, Illustration, and Medical science; Even

          Geology, and Volcanology ( study of Volcanoes). None of them had seemed to fit very well. When she was younger she would draw pictures on fellow classmates with pens; They told her she should be a tattoo artist. She of course didn’t listen to them, thinking that tattooing wasn’t an actual recognized form of art . Until her older brother showed her a tattoo magazine when she was 15. She read the articles out of curiosity and realized that tattooing is a combination of art and science……a perfect fit…

          She realized that tattooing would be a perfect career for her , but soon came across a new problem; The problem being “How do I learn it?” and “Where do I start ?” For a 17 year old who was not allowed in Tattoo shops this became a huge problem. Though she wasn’t wanted or ” allowed” in any tattoo shops because of her age , she still went into them anyways. Innocently trying to get simple questions answered; Some questions being ” How do I learn this safely?” With it being the mid 90’s Tattoo shops were not that friendly, often getting answers like ” It’s a dream kid , get out” or ” Your a girl, you’ll never make it . ” But with a strong perseverance she never once gave up . She booked herself a Bloodbourne Pathogens class with OSHA at the age 17, making her the youngest kid in class ; This class took two weeks to complete. Still not having a ” apprenticeship” she finally walked into a tattoo shop owned by a woman….The woman gladly took Melinda in, her name was ” Lady Raven ” she was amazed that Melinda already had a Bloodbourne training at the age . Melinda showed she cared about her clients and their art, and had the drive to complete an apprenticeship. But working at this shop was short lived, the shop was closed before her apprenticeship. But working at this shop was short lived, the shop was closed before her apprenticeship was completed, and the Apprenticeship could not continue. Brokenhearted she went to other small jobs for about 6 months or so, doing things like telemarketing, she liked these jobs because she could work on her art while doing her job.

          In 2000, Melinda now 18, moved to Denver, Colorado to be with her dad , brother and sister , who were transferred because of work a few years before. She kept studying anything that had anything to do with tattooing in mean time and pushing her art to new levels . It took almost 2 more years for her to get back into a tattoo shop. Getting turned down for apprenticeship at multiple local tattoo shops finally she was taken in at a shop in Lakewood. The owner Paul McDonald quickly realized she had a good amount of training , and was able to freehand draw anything from reference or imagination, and picked up were she left off in Seattle. Graduating her to professional at the age of 21. She stayed at this shop for almost a year, only taking some time off to have surgery , then went right back to it. While at this shop, began working for another local shop on Broadway in Denver, part time . After a few months of working there, moved to a shop who needed a full time artist in the Capitol Hill area, the owner moved her from the Capitol Hill shop to the Golden store multiple times. Melinda became manager and stayed at these shops for 3-4 years. She started competing in tattoo conventions in 2005. Taking 2nd place for a freehand back piece she did, got into a spot in some of the larger Tattoo publication, like ” Savage ” and “Tattoo” Magazines. At this time she moved to a shop in north Denver, Thornton area called “Davian’s Tattoo’. Continued the convention competing for a few years and git many awards; The most prized being the “Black and Grey” Large category where she was up against 100 other artist and took 1 place in 2012. She has been at Davian’s Tattoo shop for 9 years and still going strong. She specializes in Fantasy, and Realism with a flare for anything imagination based. Color or Black and Grey generally a well rounded artist who can handle almost anything a client brings her with confidence.

          When she is not until shop tattooing, she enjoys riding Motorcycles and customizing them, as well as going Camping, Hiking and Fishing in the mountains. She climbed her first mountain in 2014. She still paints in Oil on canvas, goes to local art shows to sell her original artwork and prints. She also does commission Graphic Design work for local small businesses. Melinda also does Airbrushing, specializing in large custom mural work. Her husband taught her to tool leather, which is an old, hands on technique using tools to sculpt and carve the leather into a desired shape. She taught herself how to pin-stripe using the hand painted method and enjoys pin striping cars and motorcycles in her free time.