Meet the Artists
Kelly has lived the majority of her life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She showed an early interest in art and spent many of her teenage years studying film and making short movies overseas. After graduating from Art Center College of Design with a BFA in film, she transferred her interests to illustration. Kelly’s art is inspired by nature, street art, comics, and animations. Some of her favorite subject matter includes surrealist takes on biology, astronomy, and folklore, as well as quirky characters in everyday objects and animals. Outside of the studio Kelly is an avid all-mountain athlete and enjoys trail running, climbing, snowboarding, and biking — hence her natural partnership with Melvin.
You know Kelly Halpin’s artwork, even if you don’t realize it– her deliciously evil genius created our dysfunctional family of Melvin characters, from the jacked and deadly Killer Bees to the racked and ready OG Melvin Man. Her roots with Melvin run deep. We sat down with Kelly in the studio for a behind the scenes look at how she created so much radness, what’s next, and what makes her tick.
John Hastings creates artwork under the moniker “RumTum” in visual art and music. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, John Hastings spent most of his time on the shores of Lake Erie enjoying natural elements and relating to them through drawing. During this time, he developed a close relationship with the balance of human, animal and plant life in this habitat–this spawned a broader love and connection for aquatic nature, marine life, and the vast landscapes they create. The natural geometric patterns in tropical plants and deep sea atmospheres found their way into his work — and the birth of new creatures and whimsical scenes transport you to a playful oasis.
Benji aka Ruckus was born in Seattle in 1977, the same year Star Wars was released. Born with epilepsy, his activities were limited, so his Dad taught him how to draw and he fell in love with art (and Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston, conceptual artists for Star Wars). At 11, he began a lifelong passion for snowboarding and by age 23 he was known as “Ruckus,” a nickname that stuck after a crazy night of partying and harassing bike cops on Greek Row at University of Washington. At 25, he followed the snow to Jackson, Wyoming and pursued art and snowboarding, combining the two passions — just like how Jeremy Tofte combined his love for the slopes with his passion for brewing beer to create Melvin.
Ruckus is the original creator of the iconic drunken elephant on the logo, earning him a permanent spot in the Melvin family. Find out how, given only four weeks to live, Benji beat the odds, got sober, picked up his snowboard and pencil once again and laid down some crazy ass labels for some crazy ass beer