Dallas Tattoo Artists Wrap Deep Ellum In Their Vibrant Designs
This winter, the Deep Ellum Foundation installed 10 new streetlight pole banners in the historic Dallas neighborhood. The banners are switched out every season to highlight fresh works from local artists. This round, however, is a bit different — one eye-catching banner features the work of Norman Dean Williams, co-owner of the neighborhood’s iconic Elm Street Tattoo.
I highly recommend you take the trip to see the banners in all their glory, but I’ve pulled together a deep dive into the current artist banner series below.
Besides the work featured by Williams, Elm Street Tattoo artist and Texas-native David Nash created a new banner design from his experience tattooing, painting, sculpting, and more artistic endeavors.
The son of Sharon and Jimmy Flatte, founders of Taboo Tattoo, Cody Biggs also contributed a banner. Mentored at the Deep Ellum mainstay since he was just 8-years-old, Biggs began tattooing at age 17. His design depicts a fiery dragon.
Fellow Taboo artist Kendall Kirkland is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. She’s been a tattooer for five years and created this cool unicorn piece.
Southern Cali-native Kat Freedman began her career as a calligrapher and also has experience in mural painting. She focuses on the American Traditional tattoo style at Taboo Tattoo.
Raised in East Texas, Chelsi Morrow has been a tattoo artist for nine years (including seven at Taboo). She also paints, as you can see in the shading of her flowery, bird design.
Dallas Tattoo and Arts Company’s Mike Duncan created a cool fantasy art design for his banner. A former teacher, Duncan has been tattooing for three years.
Rudy Hetzer is a bit of a local tattoo celebrity from Dallas Tattoo and Art Company. Specializing in black and grey realism and lettering, he also works with mural art and mixed media. Hetzer has been seen on the TV show “Best Ink,” as well as recently featured in Inked Magazine, International Tattoo, and Tattoo Magazine.
Also from Dallas Tattoo and Art Company, Damian Reign focuses on new and old school styles, creating bold American and neo-traditional tattoos with color.
Ham Rasul is the lone artist from the neighborhood’s Artistic Encounter, which is the Indiana-based brand’s most recent Dallas location. This Kabul-born artist specializes in lettering, black-and-grey style, and American Traditional tattoos.