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COANG Guardsman turns wrenches by day, creates masterpieces by night

Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Squadron, talks with Civilian employers of Colorado Air National Guard members about the F-16 Fighting Falcon, July 9, 2011.  The employers are taking part in the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve day with the 140th Wing located at Buckley Air Force Base.  Air National Guard members nominated their employers to take part in the ESGR day events, providing the employer an opportunity to experience what their support allows the guard to do as well as a chance for the wing to show their appreciation to them.   (U.S. Air Force photo by: Tech. Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)(RELEASED)

Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Squadron, talks with Civilian employers of Colorado Air National Guard members about the F-16 Fighting Falcon, July 9, 2011. The employers are taking part in the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve day with the 140th Wing located at Buckley Air Force Base. Air National Guard members nominated their employers to take part in the ESGR day events, providing the employer an opportunity to experience what their support allows the guard to do as well as a chance for the wing to show their appreciation to them. (U.S. Air Force photo by: Tech. Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)(RELEASED)

Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Group, aspires to one day be a chief master sergeant in the Colorado Air National Guard, but he is also pursuing his love for art. While off duty, he creates a wide variety of artwork, from murals to sketches, and even airbrushing for his family, friends, and coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick)

Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Group, aspires to one day be a chief master sergeant in the Colorado Air National Guard, but he is also pursuing his love for art. While off duty, he creates a wide variety of artwork, from murals to sketches, and even airbrushing for his family, friends, and coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick)

Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Wing Maintenance, explains how the ejection seat works in the F-16 to Colonel Sana Fadel Ali Al-Sarhan and her Royal Jordanian Air Force troops.  Females from both the Jordanian Army and Air Force visited the Colorado National Guard as part of an exchange under the State Partnership Program.

Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Wing Maintenance, explains how the ejection seat works in the F-16 to Colonel Sana Fadel Ali Al-Sarhan and her Royal Jordanian Air Force troops. Females from both the Jordanian Army and Air Force visited the Colorado National Guard as part of an exchange under the State Partnership Program.

Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Group, aspires to one day be a chief master sergeant in the Colorado Air National Guard, but he is also pursuing his love for art. While off duty, he creates a wide variety of artwork, from murals to sketches, and even airbrushing for his family, friends, and coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick)

Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Group, aspires to one day be a chief master sergeant in the Colorado Air National Guard, but he is also pursuing his love for art. While off duty, he creates a wide variety of artwork, from murals to sketches, and even airbrushing for his family, friends, and coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick)

Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Group, aspires to one day be a chief master sergeant in the Colorado Air National Guard, but he is also pursuing his love for art. While off duty, he creates a wide variety of artwork, from murals to sketches, and even airbrushing for his family, friends, and coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick)

Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, 140th Maintenance Group, aspires to one day be a chief master sergeant in the Colorado Air National Guard, but he is also pursuing his love for art. While off duty, he creates a wide variety of artwork, from murals to sketches, and even airbrushing for his family, friends, and coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick)

BUCKLEY AFB, Colo. -- On the 140th Wing's flight line, everybody knows Senior Master Sgt. John McCallick, the high-speed production superintendent responsible for making sure the F-16s are ready to launch every day; however not many people know about his hobbies off-duty.

Few would be able to guess that apart from being a well-respected enlisted leader in the 140th Maintenance Group, Sergeant McCallick is also a talented artist.

From a young age, McCallick excelled in art and graphic design. However, knowing that pursuing a stable career in art would be a struggle, and lacking guidance and proper preparation for college, he decided to join the Air Force.

McCallick followed in his older sister's footsteps and became an F-16 crew chief on active duty for almost ten years. While he loved his job, he wanted to put down roots and decided to join the Colorado Air National Guard.

While McCallick has always had a passion for art, during his whirlwind years as a young Airman, he did not make much time for the hobby... until recently.

"I started again by painting a mural on the wall of my daughter's bedroom and realized how much I missed doing art," he said. "I absolutely love it."

McCallick will often spend countless hours working on a project, sometimes late into the evening, without even realizing how much time has passed. "Time flies when you're doing something you love," he said, and recalled times during his Air Force career when time flew by in the same way.

Now that McCallick is getting towards the end of his Air Force career, he is looking forward to having more time to devote to his art. He and his wife have even developed a business platform called "Lil-Mela Creations" to launch a second career doing what he loves.

"I plan to do a wide range of art including paintings, murals, and even airbrushing," he said, "and of course I have a few special projects in mind for the 140th Wing."

To see Senior Master Sgt. McCallick's work, check out www.lilmelacreations.com.