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Local artist places his stamp on a different art world
Emily Hill/Staff photo - Little Elm artist and resident Asael Arruda III stands with some of his paintings at the July Author, Business, Craft Fair at the Little Elm Public Library. Arruda has his artwork displayed in tattoo shops all across the world.
Little Elm has its fair share of local, talented artists and Asael Arruda III of Rogue Ink is one that stands out. He has his own unique style that is featured in unlikely places for typical artists.
Arruda, a Little Elm resident, is a Brazilian-born artist who paints tattoo-style and traditional Japanese style art paintings as he tries to make his mark on the world of art, especially when he sees his two young daughters.
"The future -- that's what I'm trying to do as an artist," Arruda said. "Enrich our culture and put my stamp on it, if you may."
Thanks to eBay, Arruda's stamp on the art world has been in tattoo shops across the world in what are called "flash" sets, drawings of tattoos on walls of shops to give walk-in clients ideas for tattoos. His artwork also is included in shops across the Metroplex.
Arruda walked into a shop in Addison and was surprised to see three flash sets of his artwork on the wall.
"That was pretty cool," he said.
Arruda first took interest in his own version of the tattoo-inspired style when he was around 7 or 8 years old. He and his family were in a restaurant when he spotted a man covered in tattoos whom he promptly talked to.
"I was so amazed by all the ink he had," Arruda said.
Arruda got his first and currently only tattoo almost a decade later when he turned 18. It's of a Brazilian flag he drew when he was 12-years-old. He plans to eventually be covered in his own artwork.
"It's art that lives forever with you," Arruda said.
As he grew older, Arruda honed the style of his drawing skills by hanging around artists at a local tattoo shop. He took no art classes nor went to art school, but has been painting professionally for five years.
Arruda and his family, a wife and two daughters, have lived in Little Elm for only two years, moving in with his sister and her family and his parents in one house after his father had a stroke. In Brazil, it's common for families to take care of each other, even if it means sharing a three-bedroom house.
"Some of my best work has been on the kitchen table with a little lamp at 3 a.m.," Arruda said.
Arruda lived in Brazil until middle school when his family moved to the United States.
"I have fond memories there [in Brazil]," he said.
Arruda said his scariest moment when he first moved to the United States was stepping on a school bus.
"It was stepping on that yellow school bus, and knowing not one word of English," Arruda said.
It took Arruda only six months to learn the language. He moved back to Brazil before returning to the United States at the end of his high school career.
Once, a man asked Arruda to paint him something to go with the décor of the man's house. After the painting was finished, the man decided it didn't go the décor and didn't want it anymore. Instead, the man's friend offered to pay Arruda twice as much for the painting, saying he loved it.
Arruda said he paints while listening to music.
"It changes the mood; it changes everything I'm working on," Arruda said.
His favorite band to listen to is Pink Floyd, but he is a big Blues fan as well, including B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn, to name a few.
"Music motivates me, my family inspires me," Arruda said.
Arruda's oldest daughter, who is 7 years old, has expressed interest in art, even winning awards at Chavez Elementary for her artwork. When Arruda sets up to paint, he puts on his earphones and his daughter sits next to him with a TV tray, coloring.
"She can sit and draw, paint and color all day," Arruda said.
His favorite art to paint is Japanese floral artwork. Arruda uses ink, charcoal and watercolor as his favorite mediums.
"It seems so effortless," Arruda said. "I can paint anything with just a few brushstrokes. It's simple but it's so deep."
He said sometimes he will not paint for weeks when suddenly he will be inspired by something and will stay up for days with art just pouring out. Other times, Arruda will be inspired and sees himself painting but the idea sometimes dies and the motivation is gone.
"It's crazy how that works," Arruda said. "I'm compulsive, so that doesn't help, either."
Arruda named his "shop" Rogue Ink because he works with all kinds of mediums and has had no formal training. Not only is Arruda able to create paintings, but murals and art recreations as well. To see more of his artwork or to purchase paintings, visit www.stores.ebay.com/RogueInk.
"I think we're going to have a future in Little Elm," Arruda said.
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