Hitting the big time
Bobby “Fuse” Green’s drawings, as a child growing up in east High Point more than 30 years ago, have led him today to an association with Nike Inc., professional basketball star Kevin Durant and tennis sensation Serena Williams.
Green, now living and working in New York City, contributed designs to the clothing and shoes for the Nike Black History Month campaign dubbed Be Bold Be True. The marketing highlights not only the athletic accomplishments of Durant and Williams, as well as international soccer player Didier Drogba, but their philanthropy and contributions outside the arena of sports.
For the 39-year-old Green, who grew up in the J.C. Morgan housing community in east High Point, the campaign represents the widest mass audience for his work that’s inspired by hip-hop music and culture.
Green knew from the time he was a child that he wanted to design when he blossomed into adulthood.
“I always tell people when they ask that I could always draw before I could write. That was my early language,” he said.
Green spent hours at his home as a youngster perfecting his first drawings, learning new ways to use shapes and colors to express ideas. As he grew up, his family and others around him noticed his talent and encouraged his pursuits.
“J.C. Morgan is dear to my heart. People were there for each other. Everyone I grew up with supported me at an early age,” said Green, whose family remains in High Point.
Green was in the first class of young men who went through Brothers Organized To Save Others, a mentor group launched and run by community leader Hank Wall. Indeed, when Green was 13, his first design that appeared on a piece of clothing was for a BOTSO promotional shirt.
Green also received support as a youngster through the High Point YMCA Black Achievers program and as a little brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“It’s been a passion for me since I was a kid,” he said.
Today, Green has the opportunity to become involved in the Be Bold Be True campaign from the notice he earned during previous work with Nike.
“There’s a sense of black history already in my work. My aesthetic in general interested the art directors there,” Green said.
Green’s ideas and designs show up in all of the graphics on the shoes, jackets and shirts as part of the Be Bold Be True line.
“It’s about being bold in the way you play as an athlete and the statements you make in life, and being true to that, to what you believe in,” Green said.
The campaign has allowed Green to come full circle to his youth. This weekend he’s at the Nike corporate headquarters in Portland, Ore., as part of the Be Bold Be True campaign during February. Green will take part in a fundraiser to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters, one of the groups that meant so much to him as a child in his hometown.
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