Helio Pacheco is a muralist, designer, native of Pawtucket and resident of Fall River. He’s about as animated as any artist you will ever meet seeing as he went to the Art Institute of Philadelphia and left with a bachelor’s degree in animation.
A former fan of graffiti, Helio experimented with that style in college, but now does murals to his client’s specs. “It’s all about what they want,” he says. He has never changed his style, despite exposure to other kinds in daily classes while in college.
“My style is realism,” he adds. “I want to make you feel like when you’re looking at the mural, it looks so real that you just want to step into the wall.”
His most seen piece is the portrait he did of Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia DiRossi, which he mailed to her studio. “It took a month to finally see it on her Instagram and it got over 500,000 likes. Ellen and Jennifer Aniston presented it on her show just a few weeks after that, and it’s hanging in her office now,” he adds. “I must be doing something right. How many artists can say they have had their artwork shown on a popular, national talk show?”
Helio will come to you to paint your walls, your ceiling, your rec room, the public space under highways. He mixes supplies in a small room in his house that he calls his laboratory. “Sometimes I feel like I’m a mad scientist who wants to be a famous painter,” says Helio. “I have pictures of the murals I’ve done in the past and newspaper clippings of community murals I’ve done in the area. It’s my motivation to keep plugging away at my dreams.”
Helio has even designed for a Johnston based jewelry company which hired him as a full time jewelry illustrator. “I jumped at the chance,” he adds. “I got really good at it and freelanced doing that for a few other companies.”
He is best known locally for his murals, but he also tries to make a difference. He has painted murals for community rooms and gotten involved with kids to get grafitti off of walls in neighborhoods and on businesses. “I live, eat and breathe art. I have an incredible support system in my parents, my wife and now my newborn daughter Emma,” says Helio. “They remind me to hustle harder every day and keep chasing my dreams. I want my art to wow people.”