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A lot of us have stared in awe at the art work of people living abroad and often times we fail to notice the raw talent that surrounds us within our very own community. And these are plenty and the talent comes in every form and shape. Tonight we want to highlight the work of a young Orange Walk resident who is finding his way up in the world of art. The following is a look at the work of twenty seven year old Jesus Melendez who not only paints but also tattoos and then some.


Dalila Ical – Reporting

Screen_Shot_2014-10-08_at_8.06.57_PMJesus Melendez – Artist

“Everyone looked up to me for drawing until 1st, 2nd form and I went to art club and that is when Mr. Bennett taught me a little about painting and then until then I just stopped because I was looking more into an educational field and I never thought that art would be my way of living.”

Meet 27 year old Jesus Melendez AKA Chumz – barber, tattoo artist, painter, and body piercer. When we stopped in for a chat with him, we were greeted with the mellow tunes of Bob Marley and instantly noticed his work on display on the walls of his shop. It was certainly not his plan but today he has turned his hobby into his job. His interest in art began in primary school but it was not until when he was unable to pursue a bachelor’s degree that he turned his attention to it fully. He started small with barbering, a trade he took interest in, in tertiary school.

Jesus Melendez – Artist

“I had a plan in my mind that someday I moved on from barbering becaue with barbering you have a lot of free time you don’t have to worry about working hours or stress.”

Three years ago, he took an interest in tattooing.

Jesus Melendez – Artist

“I use to see my brother does it a lot but I use to be afraid and I didn’t use to like the smell but then I tried it and bought some equipment then I noticed that I could do it good. I buy all my stuff and I continue working as a barber and as a Tattoo artist little by little but then after two years ago I decided to go on my own.”

It’s all art for Chumz – each tattoo and painting, especially, hold some meaning for him.

Jesus Melendez – Artist

“When I’m painting that is like when you get connected to the canvas and the colors it just have this feeling but it is good. Each tattoo is a different work of art and I see it as a work of art everything tattoo, paintings and right now am looking into doing more and more and more.”

And he knows his art. Tattoos for one require focus and precision and this tattoo artist takes pride in his work.

Jesus Melendez – Artist

“Tattooing is like canvas much, much, much more complicated than doing something like this because it is skin and each skin is different you always have to adjust depending on the skin, the speed of the machine and the depth and there is not much room for error but you try as minimum sometimes people move and you have to be patient.”

Today he works at his shop, Chumz Designz Barbershop which he opened in October of 2012 at the corner of Jamaica and South Mejiba Streets. He’s been slowly getting his equipment together and when it comes to tattoos, he means serious business – safety is a priority.

Jesus Melendez – Artist

“This is how the machine looks without the parts, this is just the mechanism and I have others that serve different purposes. This is nine needles, many needles compact together into a fine point and tis is used for lining and this is seven needles that is arrange in a different manner and it is parallel so that it can cover different area so you do shading and like each one has his own tips and this goes here and you always change these and you always use glove and safety first and new paper and everything has to be clean.”

Today, Chumz offers professional barbering services, tattoos and piercings, acrylic and oil paintings and his newest addition is airbrush temporary tattoos and paintings. I had the privilege of getting a free test trial of his latest service. After a few minutes, this was the result which should last for at least three days said the artist.

His small business continues to grow and Chumz has garnered several customers. He has even been selling his art pieces to visitors and even companies like BSI. He remains faithful to his clientele, he stated, and is optimistic that his reputation will gradually grow.

Jesus Melendez – Artist

“I love all my jobs right, I love barbering because that is the reason I am still here in Orange Walk because I don’t want to leave my customer because they depend on me, they want to look good and they want a design or anything and that is what keeps me here because tattooing and painting you can travel out.”

The cost of tattoos varies but start at fifty dollars. His paintings are priced based on its complexity and size as well. The piercings and airbrush art are much lower in price.


Anyone wishing to find out more about his skills can visit him at his barbershop or contact his on his Facebook page under Chumz Melendez.

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