Chuck Styles: Artist and Founder of Chuck Styles LLC
Hi, My name is ChuckStyles, professional artist entrepreneur based out of the Philadelphia area. Well, I’ve always been into creating things since I was a kid, shit, drawing Peter Pan and Ninja Turtles on my bedroom walls and not getting a beating was the first sign of me knowing I was pretty good! I didn’t just draw pictures though, I sold portraits of my classmates in 4th grade for lunch money, designed girls’ prom dresses for $20 because back then drawing dresses that exposed more skin was a hit in high school! LOL. For me it was just as exciting selling the art as it was creating it. I helped put myself through Art Institute of Philadelphia while pursuing to become a professional barber, unfortunately their request for a $30,000 loan led to a long break and a new direction into full time barbering.
I dedicated 10 years after that to becoming one of Philadelphia’s most creative and decorated barbers at the time. Working at one of the best barbershops in the city, cutting celebrity musicians, NFL & NBA clients, winning 1st Place competitions nationwide, and even ending up on television with Cedric the Entertainer. Still with all the success as a barber I sharpened my traditional art skills knowing that I one day wanted to retire as an artist. In 2016, I took the leap of faith and left my successful barber career to build my name and art career as a professional artist. Building relationships have always been key for me. So I attached myself to Urban Art Gallery’s Non Profit Organization, ArtBuds, where I teach free art classes to kids in Philly on Saturdays…because you know, Chuck loves the kids! Since then, I’ve done work for Cadillac, Revolt TV, Hollywood’s Annapurna Pictures and more. As my business continues to grow, I plan on expanding my presence on social media with tutorials,business and marketing tips to help aspiring artists of color reach their goals.
Q: What does your Creative Process Look like?
Chuck: It’s funny because the toughest part of being an artist is finding your voice, your purpose, and your distinct footprint. My process has constantly changed throughout the years. Hell, I’ve devoted 10 years to barbering not fully allowing my artistic voice and skill to develop. At one point I only cared about making “cool shit” on some culture vulture shit. Then I was tired of being broke, so my process looked like “Ima create artwork that I know rich people will buy”. That worked! But it didn’t fulfill my soul at the end of the day. As I matured as an artist and business, I started to understand my responsibility as a millennial black man, who was a father, a husband, a community leader, an inspiration to many others that look like me and how my process with a purpose would then create more meaningful art pieces. So now my process looks like “what songs move me, feed my soul and energy, and what does that sound feel like through my hands and onto the paper.”
Q: What has been one of the biggest obstacles for you throughout your career?
Chuck: A few of my biggest obstacles has been unlearning a lot of the bad habits I developed as a barber. Now understand that barbering looks a lot different now than when I started cutting at the age of 19! All CASH! NO BANKS! NO TAXES! You see where I’m going. So now I’m running a legit business, trying to get my personal and business credit in order and it really it just about developing good banking and tax habits. But its not all bad, barbering taught me how to HUSTLE AND SPEAK UP! Nobody wants to be the wack barber with nothing to say in the shop!
Q: If you could get your dream commission and create one piece of work, what would it be?
Chuck: Damn, thats a tough one! My dream commission . . . at the current moment would probably be designing an official movie poster for Marvel Studios like an Avenger Poster! I love movies and entertainment and was raised on comics and superheroes growing up. To do an official globally known piece of work for a big Marvel project would be a dream come true. Think about it, larger than life billboards in Time Square and Hollywood, in the hallways of your favorite theaters, popping up on your Netflix homepage! Yeah . . . thats it. See you soon Marvel!