Kevin “mr.soul” Harp has been a member of the artistic worldsince a very young age. Growing up in Cleveland he learned to not let anythingturn him away from his purpose. After moving to Atlanta, he has made a name forhimself as one of the most sought after graphic artists around. He stilladheres to what his childhood taught him, that the only person stopping anyonefrom achieving anything they want is themselves. Now as an experiencedbusinessman, his life speaks to perseverance, faith in oneself, and proves thatthe gifts you’re born with never leave you. In his case his gifts are expandingand changing the art and graphic design world one project at a time.
As a young man mr.soul was exposed to the familiarinfluences that have claimed the lives and freedoms of many urban youth. Thelure of fast money gained through drug distribution, theft and other criminalactivity was the norm, but not the driving force within him. He becameaffiliated and a member of Cleveland’s most elite graffiti crew, D.E.F. (Doin’Everything Funky), which was headed by the city’s proclaimed “king” SANO. Hisdesires to make something of his self enabled him to break out the circle ofcomplacency, deterred him from the many negative influences, and form astraight line to his goals. His first major opportunity came when a day’s coldcalling landed him the chance to work with Patchwerk Recording Studios, whichgave him exposure to Atlanta’s music scene. A chance run in with Sleepy Brown at Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall meant hewould go on to collaborate with some of his musical idols, the Dungeon Family,designing the collective’s official logo. Years later that same logo is stillused by them. A vision he once had, became the reality he lives.
The name “mr.soul” first came about when one of his loyal Clevelandclients gave it to him before moving to Atlanta. His client’s name was DJCentipede, and he would always refer to him as "mr.soul," since thename of his company at the time was Visual Soul. mr.soul never thought much ofit as he had a pen name at the time, but when he moved to Atlanta and startedworking with Patchwerk Recording Studios, the guy who gave him his first shotthere, BJ Kerr, also used "mr.soul" as the shortened version of hiscompany name. It was at this point that mr.soul decided to keep it because hefelt it defined his style of work, the musical influences for his work, andalso his personality. The “216” was added as a reference to his humblebeginnings back home in Cleveland.
Today he has an exclusive and impressive clientele listincluding Beats By Dre, Serena Williams, Interscope Records, Ludacris, and AEGWorldwide, to name a few. mr.soul is simply the chameleon of graphic designers.Whatever the job calls for, he delivers. With aspirations to further his careeras both a graphic artist and fine artist, there's no limit to the doors thatwill open up. Better yet he will continue to create his own space. “I’d like tobe remembered as the dude from Cleveland’s Lee and Harvard community, thatdidn’t allow anyone or anything to keep his wings from soaring to the sky. Iwant to be remembered as an artist or designer who put a great deal of time,energy, and more importantly, soul into his work. I want people to rememberwhich one of my artistic creations, or what set of words or phrases, inspiredand motivated them the most,” states mr.soul.
With strong influences such as artist Kevin"WAK" Williams, TP Design, the only African American design companyhe came across during his humble beginnings, andhis City Of Ink art collective, he is reminded what sacrifice looks like. Eachof them, as well as others, serve as examples of what sticking to a plan andnot accepting defeat is all about, much like his life. mr.soul’s story is a testament to the power of a visionand putting in hard work to bring it to life. He has followed the journey mappedout for him, while adding his own style and design along the way. Where he willend up is left up only to him and his creations.