After inking bodies for years, a Fayetteville tattoo artist is expanding his art to murals.
Adam Chelluk, 30, a Boston native, discovered his passion for art in an unconventional way.
“I grew up in foster homes and residential programs, so I didn’t really have a family so I just kind of dug into art,” he said. “I got into some trouble, went to prison for a while and then when I was there I really focused on realism portraits and selling those for commissary. When I came home, I just got into tattooing.”
In prison, he learned how profitable his artistic skills were.
“I would charge like $10 a portrait, I do like four portraits a week so,” he said. “So $40 in commissary is like hitting the jackpot. It was really cool.”
Before and after his time in prison, Chelluk experienced homelessness but his art helped him escape it. After prison, his friends recommended that he get a job as a tattoo artist. He’s been tattooing for about five years after taking their advice.
Chelluk has lived in Fayetteville for more than two years and currently tattoos at Sin Parlor on Brighton Road.
Even though he feels talented with tattooing, Chelluk said he doesn’t see himself doing it long-term.
“I like to have big canvases like whole arms and legs and back and stuff but I like the walls,” he said. “You can kind of go crazy.”
At Rowan Park there are multiple artboards where people can display their artistic talents. As he started to break into muralism, Chelluk started practicing there.
“Whatever I’m feeling in that moment, I just kind of start using a color and start drawing and stuff,” he said. “Something will pop up and I just keep going, it’s whatever I feel like. That’s the freeing part about the paintings.”
Chelluk said children at the park will approach him wanting to learn.
“They’ll be like ‘oh, how do you do this? How do you do that?'” he said. “And I like teaching people stuff. It’s how I get better.”
Chelluk has found it difficult to break into muralism because he said it often costs more than it pays.
“It costs me like $300 to do a mural depending on how much paint I use,'” he said. “Sometimes I don’t use all the paint, I still have to buy all the colors.”
Chelluk also wants to collaborate with other artists to establish a muralist community in Fayetteville.
“That’s why I’m trying to pursue it because nobody really does it,” he said.
His main goal as he transitions into muralism is to be happy.
“I want to do something that makes me happy and I can do,” he said. “I still want to tattoo, I just want to do it during the winter and then during the nice time — the summertime, springtime — I just want to paint.”
His latest mural can be found at Rowan Park, depicting a colorful woman.
Staff writer Akira Kyles can be reached at [email protected]
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