Born in Toronto, Menelik is headed into his final year of high school in September at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute. As a boy growing up surrounded by video games and other visual inspirations, Menelik was never far from a pencil and paper."I started off with Mario because that was the first video game I was playing. I just kept going with it," he says of his early memories drawing characters. "When teachers asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, I'd say,'I want to be an artist' and they would just say, 'Oh, interesting', " It's the one thing he really enjoys and makes him happy he says.
When he was asked to participate in the Live Art mural project with other artists and murals in Mel Lastman Square, Menelik jumped at the chance. Its a way to get him exposure even though most of his art is sketching, though he is moving more into digital art.
MENELIK FUN FACT: When he was seven, Menelik was shared a room with his older brother. In a bedroom with bunk beds, there's not a lot of room to save and protect little treasures kids are fascinated by. His brother, and his mom would often come across collections of dead ants he would keep. He cannot recall now why he was so interested in these tiny creatures, but he thinks it kind of grossed him mother out! Note to friends: He no longer has that particular interest in entomology!
|PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN|