Throughout his life Mel has both struggled with and celebrated his multi-cultural identity – Filipino, British, Latino, Mexican, Spanish, exile, economic migrant, Roman Catholic, protestant. His work explores the joys and difficulties of living with this complex mix of, often clashing and unbalanced, influences. These struggles and lack of balance have led to problems with both his physical and mental health, which also inform his work. Mel was born in West London in 1977 and currently lives and works in West Sussex. He graduated with a Batchelor of Arts with Honours, in Design Studies. Mel was a shortlisted finalist with the Royal Society of Arts in 2002.