(WFLA) – You can find his paintings in the homes of countless NFL players with LSU ties. Patrick Queen, Joe Burrow, Devin White, Glenn Dorsey, and Marcus Spears are fans of Chuck Braud and his artistic creations and, ironically, Braud has always been a fan of them.
“I like sports so you kind of paint what you like,” explained Braud. “I like guys and women, who played at LSU. I am more a fan of them versus being a hardcore fan of a team. I really don’t have one favorite team.”
Braud was born outside of Baton Rouge, the home of the Tigers, and he currently lives in Denham Springs. The two Louisiana cities are separated by about 15 miles.
He said he has been interested in art since he was a child but he only started taking it seriously over the past decade.
“As I got older, I started realizing God gave me a talent,” said Braud, “so I started progressing with it.”
The moment that pushed him to think of himself as an established artist occurred in 2011 when Patrick Peterson, a cornerback at LSU, declared for the upcoming NFL Draft.
“They did a draft day video or something and one of my paintings was at the very beginning of it,” recalled Braud, who had previously created that piece for Peterson, “and I was like, ‘Oh, that is pretty neat.’ It was on the NFL’s website.”
Braud admitted he crept toward the idea of pursuing his passion tentatively but, eventually, it hit him.
“A couple of years later, it was, ‘What am I doing?’ so I started painting a whole lot more,” he said, “and I tried to get my stuff out there.”
Thankfully, Braud has friends – who are friends with a handful of athletes – so he did not have trouble connecting with the appropriate clientele.
“It is more word of mouth now, you know, and you just have to stay humble and be appreciative,” said Braud.
Devin White, star linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is one of his regular customers. A mutual friend connected them when White left LSU for the NFL.
“We have been connected ever since,” said Braud.
He sent White a congratulatory text message after the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in February and that message led to a lengthy order.
“He fired back with some pictures he was wanting,” said Braud, “so it kind of got started that week after the game and they were all three foot by four foot in size pretty much and I just worked on them and got them done recently.”
White asked him to convert five different photos from the Super Bowl into oil paintings. Braud estimated he spent about two weeks or 35 hours on each piece, which is impressive considering Braud has a full time job as a supervisor for a freight company.
“There is always time if you like what you are doing,” said Braud.
Although he stated he enjoys creating every painting, he found the paintings with the confetti to be the most challenging.
“It was a lot of confetti,” he said with a smile. “The depth and the confetti, yes, I just had to figure it out and go for it from there.”
He actually took a road trip with his father to deliver those pieces to White on Saturday.
Obviously, White appreciated all of the pieces. He shared them on his Twitter, which is how I spotted them.
“He is a good, down-to-earth guy. He really is, real nice and humble and I appreciate his work ethic, how he performs on the field and all of that, how much work he puts into it,” said Braud. “I try to put work into my paintings and all even though it is completely different, football and painting, and I am trying to up my work ethic to compete with some of these guys.”
If you would like to order a piece from Braud, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.