“A4CB was really interested in helping me out, even with my damaged credit.”Felipe Funderburg
“I’m just a free spirit. Any painting I do isn’t for me; I give my gift in hopes of enlightening somebody else,” remarked Felipe Funderburg. A gifted creative, he remembers painting and drawing at his mother’s kitchen table on Chicago’s West Side. However, Felipe’s love of art faded as he got older because he never considered art a viable career path.
Unsure of what to do, Felipe experienced an especially difficult time in his life. He battled homelessness, had several cars repossessed, and built an unfortunate credit history. Eventually, he found a way to channel his artistic gift into a business by becoming a tattoo artist.
He began tattooing at barbershops, a basement of a furniture store, and his apartment. Business was going so well that in 2007, Felipe decided it was time to open his own shop. While he found great success tattooing in his shop, he started to feel burnt out and began looking for additional opportunities to support his creative energy.
Felipe started to paint again and remembered his true passion. After an inspiring trip to Ghana, he decided to follow his heart and establish his own gallery. In early 2016, he opened Legendary Art Gallery, a community space, artist studio, and gallery.
In search of working capital to maintain his new space, Felipe went to his local Fifth Third branch, where he was referred to Allies for Community Business. Felipe then applied for and received a $2,500 Allies for Community Business loan to help him rebuild his credit while growing his business.
Felipe hopes to build partnerships with local schools and make a positive community impact. “There is a kid on the West Side who has gotten in to the wrong crowd but is an incredible artist without anywhere to go” Felipe described. “We can be an outlet in the community for kids and adults. You have people from all walks of life who have this gift and just need it to be nurtured.”