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    Let’s Be Frank. Das Frank That Is!

    Let’s Be Frank. Das Frank That Is!

    das frank retro camperBorn and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Frank was previously known as Ben Elliott. Oh how things change!

    Ben’s first influence in the world of art began when his third grade art teacher took him under his wing and had him doing special art projects during his lunch period at school. After impressing his teacher with an amazing butterfly print made from styrofoam. Ben was mentored with private lessons at his teacher’s home. Now, this was back in the old days. These days that would probably not fly! (insert laughing face here).

    Fast forward to the year 2003, Ben picked up and moved to Las Vegas and soon began an apprenticeship with some wacky characters at a shop on the fabulous Las Vegas Strip where he soon adopted the nickname Frankenberry. We’ll leave that one alone! They soon shortened it to Frankie. Later on while working at another shop across the street, a customer who was a regular from over in Germany started calling him”Das Frank” and it just stuck. We think Ben kinda liked the whole nickname thing. Why not, right? Well, there it is folks. We all wondered about this and now we know!

    This young man now known as Das Frank started tattooing full time in 2005 and has been at it ever since. He has a diverse portfolio covering a range of tattoo styles. An excellent painter when time permits, Frank is also recently married to a lovely Canadian lady named Sam and has an eight  year old daughter named Emma Gene. This guy has been married four, count ’em, four times so far. When asked if he planned on doing that again he emphatically replied “Sweet Jesus I hope not!” (insert another laughing face here).

    For the past seven years Frank, sometimes called Das, has been making the long trek in the hot month of August to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. He has been tattooing with the American Tattoo Society (sounds fancier than it probably is). This began when a guy named Reverend Bob from Richmond, Virginia recruited him. This year he towed his recently acquired 1964 Aristocrat Little Loafer the 2, 278 mile round trip without a hitch! Just kidding about the hitch. Pretty sure there was one of those attached.

    Das Frank’s hobbies include painting, sculpting and restoring his 1964 T-Bird. That T-Bird is going to look great towing the aforementioned Aristocrat trailer!

    When asked what the weirdest tattoo he’s done, Frank replied “I got paid $500.00 to tattoo (I heart Steve Madden) on some tourist dude who was on a scavenger hunt. That is weird! Don’t even know what to say about that one.

    If you are thinking about doing a session or two with Das Frank you might want to know that his favorite  part of the anatomy to tattoo is the outside of the calf. Das says “Nothing beats the good side of the calf!”. He actually has a good point there. Pretty sure most tattooers would enjoy nothing more than doing calf tattoos ’til the cows come home! No pun intended.

    When asked if it hurts when he tattoos Frank said with a smile, “Of course it does!”. He still likes to tell his customers that if feels like being licked by kittens. Not sure if we would all agree with that but Das Frank will always put his best foot forward and try to keep you entertained while those kitties are a’ lickin’.

    When Art And Sports Collide – Chad James

    When Art And Sports Collide – Chad James

    star wars artMr. Chad James, @chadjame5, is what one might describe as the atypical tattoo guy. With a passion for sports that involve inflated balls and those with stitches, Chad always looks like he’s on his way to the ball park. It’s not just the way he looks, it’s that this guy is the ultimate sports fan!

    Chad and his wife, Josielyn, have a son named Brooklyn (as in Dodgers) who is on his way to becoming a college basketball star! Mr. James’ entire summer is dedicated to shuttling Brooklyn around to basketball tournaments all over the west in hopes of getting a scholarship. We wish him the best of luck. Surely all that hard work will pay off.

    Like all of the artists here at Studio 21 Tattoo, Chad recognized his interest in art at an early age. In the fourth grade he won a Lake Erie art contest back in Columbus, Ohio. That gave him the confidence to continue drawing and painting.

    Much of Chad’s art was influenced by eighties Saturday morning cartoons. He loved watching Johnny Quest, Thunder the Barbarian and Scooby Doo. At some point he became fascinated with drawing his shoes. He illustrated his shoes like a mad man! Must have been great training because this dude can really draw.

    Like many artistic eighties youth, Chad became enamored with graffiti art. In high school he specialized in sports related graffiti. He was so inspired he decided to pursue a career in the arts. Chad attended Columbus College of the Arts in the early nineties where he aspired to have a career with Disney or Pixar.

    Eighteen years ago Mr. James decided to take up a career in tattooing. He tattooed in Ohio before relocating to Las Vegas. After a few years of working in a shop on the fabulous Las Vegas Strip he was offered the opportunity to join the team here at Studio 21. We’re all glad he did! His irresistible personality and good looks make him a perfect fit! 

    A versatile tattooer always stays busy in Las Vegas if he is willing to work hard at it. Chad says “I like to work” which is another reason we believe he’s found the right environment here. His “New School” art style is apparent in the numerous paintings he has on display here in the studio. But wait, there’s more! Chad can proficiently execute traditional style, portraits (black/grey and color) and pretty much anything you bring him. A well rounded, hard working artist is what you will find in Chad James. A no bullshit, get ‘er done kinda guy. That’s our man Chad.

    To view more of Chad’s artwork visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/rocket5art/

    To check out Chad’s tattoo portfolio https://studio21tattoo.com/artists/chad-james-tattoos/

    Charlie Spencer

    Co-Owner/Tattoo Artist

    Studio 21 Tattoo Gallery, Inc.

    Tattooing Whiskey Emerson, West of Hell First of Trilogy

    Tattooing Whiskey Emerson, West of Hell First of Trilogy

    Back in February of 2017, I had a shot at tattooing Whiskey Emerson. Interesting name, right? Well, it”s actually a pen name for a very talented young writer from Portland, Oregon. She was visiting a close friend her in Las Vegas when they decided it might be a good idea to get a friends tattoo at Studio 21 Tattoo. As luck would have it, I was chosen to tattoo Whiskey!

    I feel fortunate to be able to sit with interesting people from all walks of life. Sometimes you meet someone and right away realize this individual is special! This is the way I felt when I met Whiskey Emerson. One can always find common ground with others if you just take the time to show interest in what they have to offer. Whiskey enjoys motorcycling, which used to be one of my passions. If I were her age, I would still be enjoying the sport. Whiskey also shared some of her stories about her love for the great outdoors, something that I also enjoy immensely!

    Our conversation eventually led to the fact that Whiskey was working on a book publishing deal. She told me she had done a kickstarter to finance this deal and was close to being published on Mascot Books, a publisher out of Herndon, Virginia. Whiskey had mentioned at some point in our conversations she was a history buff. “West of Hell”, is a historical fiction that takes place in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City in the late 1800’s. I wished her the best of luck with the publishing deal, finished her tattoo and said goodbye.

    A few weeks later, I received an email from Whiskey. She wanted to know what I thought of the illustrations someone had sold her to use at the beginning of each chapter. A quick look at what she had was just some crappy clip art someone had sold her, I felt she had been taken advantage of so I told her I’d be glad to do illustrations for her that would be more presentable. Knowing that Whiskey had put a tremendous amount of effort into writing theis novel, I knew West of Hell deserved some quality illustrations to adorn the pages.

    This was the beginning of a relationship that will now lead to my being able to help her with illustrations for her next novel, “East of Hell”, which is currently in the works.

    Here we are, a little more than a year has passed since the first time tattooing Whiskey. “West of Hell” was published and is now for sale just about everywhere books are sold! She sent me a signed copy which I am very proud of. I have read my copy and have to say, it’s a really amazing story and a joy to read. Whiskey hooks you in right from the start and created some fascinating characters. The best part is, there’s more to come as West of Hell is to be the first part of a trilogy.

    “West of Hell” Book Signing at Studio 21 Tattoo Gallery will take place April 7th, 2018, 6pm – 9pm, Author, Whiskey Emerson…writer, adventurer, renegade.

    If you are interested learning a little more about Whiskey Emerson visit her website https://www.whiskeyemerson.com

    Charles Spencer – Co-Owner/Tattoo Artist at Studio 21 Tattoo Gallery https://studio21tattoo.com


    Schedule of other book signings for “West Of Hell”

    March 25, 2018

    Vroman’s Bookstore (Just outside Los Angelos,CA)

    April 7, 2018

    Studio 21 Tattoo Gallery (2 miles west of the Strip, Las Vegas, NV)

    May 12, 2018

    Barnes and Noble (Just outside Portland, OR)

    Studio 21 Tattoo Represents Las Vegas

    Studio 21 Tattoo Represents Las Vegas

    Team Secret WallsTeam Las Vegas Secret WallsSecret Walls Team Las VegasTeam LA Secret WallsTeam Las Vegas Secret WallsTeam Las VegasTeam Las VegasSecret Walls Las VegasYo Yo Yo!

    This weekend Studio 21 Artists Mike Biggs, our buddy “Just Another Day” (Freddy) and I hit LA on Friday for the Secret Walls Battle of the year! The very first Los Angeles VERSUS Las Vegas Team Battle consisted of 2 Teams, 3 Artists. Each team givin’ the opportunity to rep their city via the walls of the Start Los Angeles Gallery. Artists were given black paint , a massive white wall roughly around 60’X 18′ split between 6 artists and 90 minutes to paint.

    Both Teams selected a song to make their WWF style  grand entrance into the arena!  Team Las Vegas broke through the fog cloud to  AC/DC “Thundrstruck”, matching jackets and hats looking REAL FLY.  Mike Biggs and I were fresh off the Level Up Mural Project so we were stoked on keeping the ball rolling. With Freddy’s help we killed the wall in a little over an hour. Just enough time to grab a beer for the final crowd cheer.

    I’d say 500 plus kids were smashed into the warehouse to watch the drawing match. We were blown away. Supposedly this Secret Walls turnout was the  largest turnout yet.  Team LA was great! They really brought some serious talent and positive vibes. In the end Los Angeles beat us with a bad ass mural with some hilarious Las Vegas puns and even a dash of DUMP TRUMP imagery. Well done LA, congrats and cant’ wait for round 2!

    Thanks for all the support.

    Austin Spencer

    Artist/Owner Studio 21 Tattoo Gallery


    EVENT LOCATION @startlosangeles

    Team Las Vegas Artists:

    @onmydong Austin Spencer

    @biggsstudio Mike Biggs

    @justanothrday Freddy

    Team Los Angeles Artists:

    @ryanthefoe Ryan Beckman

    @joon_the_goon JOON

    @tewsr Mike

    Level Up Murals at the MGM Grand

    Level Up Murals at the MGM Grand

    mgm2mgm3mgm4mgm5mgm6mgm7mgm8mgm9Las Vegas Artsits unite to create an amazing instillation of Street Art and Graffitti at the MGM Grand

    Your Studio 21 Artsits have been real busy! Ending the 2016 year with one of our BIGGEST Projects EVER. Austin lost his mind and decided to get everyone on board for a HUGE Street Art/ Graffitti Mural collab with the MGM Grand and Hakkasan Nightclub. Together their new pet project “Level Up” is  right here in Las Vegas in the old Rainforest Cafe location atthe  MGM. In less than 2 weeks Austin and Mike put together  an amazing group of Local Artists and a few new strangers to take over the MGM!

    Working with Hakkasan and MGM Grand was kick ass. We were fortunate enough to recieve all the artistic freedom in the world and an endless amount of clean new canvas. A total of 16 murals were completed in the Level Up Bar and Gaming space. At the start of the adventure it really wasnt aperent how much the art was actually going to be the main focal point of the bar. As we finished up the project, it was incredibly impressive how visually impacting the illustrations  were.

    Mike Biggs was brought on as Austins right hand man, bringing a great amount of talent and knowledge to the table. Mike and Austin worked together flawlessly as always, completing the 4  largest murals in Level Up.  The super sexy “Disco Chic” with the afro was the first installation they completed. This piece was roughly 65 feet long and 15+ feet high! HUGE. Finished in three days, they moved on to the “Birds with Freakin’ Laser Beams” mural that was around 60 feet long and about the same height. Interesting thing about this piece, it was around 18 feet up in the air! This gave the guys the opportunity to spend a couple days about 25′ in the air on some Ahern scissor lifts. That was fun.

    The bar was constructed around 13 square Pillars ranging in hieghts of 10′ to 27′ high and 3 feet in diameter. Austin pulled together a great group of super talented artists to attack these. Travis Jackson, an old friend of ours came on board to put together an always impressive super clean mural wrapping around his pillar. Travis’ girlfriend Kristina Collantes was also stoked to get involved and painted a super ellegant skelaton and flowers around her pillar that was pushing  13′ high. One of the crowd favorites was Casey Weldons crazy cat lady pillar! He did something like 55 cat portraits on this super colorful insane piece. The cats were peoples personal cats that had been submitted to Casey after they had donated to the NSPCA. Super fun interactive idea. So rad. Our very own Das Frank and Jay Swarm got involved too! These guys threw down some super cool vintage illustration styles refelcting classic comics and traditional american tattoo designs. Very simple touch that was impressivly impacting.

    Overall the project went smooth as can be! We learned a lot and ended up walking away proud of what we accomplished along with two happy clients, couldnt ask for more. Thanks agian to all the artstists that participatied and worked thier asses off. Thanks to MGM Grand and Hakkasan most improtantly for giving up the chance to show you what tallent lies locally in this amazing Las Vegas Valley.  You shoud be sure to check this spot out, not only if your visiting, but if your local! Its a really cool concept bringing the Downtown vibe to the Las Vegas Strip. Games, Beers, Gambling, Music, and ART can’t go wrong!


    Austin Spencer

    Mike Biggs

    Casey Weldon

    Travis Jackson

    Kristina Collantes

    Spencer Olsen

    Das Frank

    Earl Funk



    Kiwi Burt

    Tyson Taumaoe

    Jw Caldwell

    Kd Matheson