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Las Vegas artist finds success after battles with addiction

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Updated: 7/22/2013 7:45 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- A Las Vegas man is making a name for himself by transforming pieces of metal into works of art. But it wasn't until he transformed his own life that he realized his true talent.

Artist Chris O'Rourke said his love of sculpture and metal work developed at an early age.

"I started in high school, in all the metal shop classes, machining … out of high school, tool and dye work,” he said.

It was later in life that his love turned into real art. His latest project, a 28-foot sculpture titled "Go Figure," was commissioned by LA Fitness in Oro Valley, Ariz.

O'Rourke’s creations are in demand now but things weren't always easy. He is a recovering addict.

"When it came to my addiction, the biggest problem was realizing I had a problem,” he said.

Now 17 years sober but still struggling, O'Rourke says when he feels an urge, he channels those desires into his work.

In a way -- he says -- his art saved him.

"My personal opinion is that everybody is built on purpose, for a purpose,” he said.

O'Rourke said he hopes to have his own gallery someday. For those dealing with addictions, he offers this piece of advice: "Find what you're good at, find something positive to focus that energy on, and exploit that every opportunity you have."


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