The following article was published
in The Gateway
by Danelle Petersen
Omaha tattoo shop does everything
Viva la revolution: Local tattoo artists
join together to conquer the city with color
The doors to a new revolution opened Sept. 1, literally.
Revolution Studio, located at 50th and L Streets in Omaha, opened
its tinted glass doors to a new tattoo studio and new dreams.
Dreams of making the city more colorful, one person at a time. Dreams
of being their own bosses. Dreams of doing what they love, creating
The revolution was started with one common mission: to revolt against
the system. The system being their jobs with bosses telling them
what to do. They were tired of being held back from their careers
Lenny Renkin, Rob Pace, Isaac Armas and Chad Elsasser are all tattoo
artists. They have come together from different tattoo studios to
start their own.
Their art is people. Pace has been tattooing for hire for six years,
while Renkin, Elsasser and Armas started their tattooing careers
more seriously two years ago.
"We've been artists our whole lives, tattooing is just another medium,"
Some may argue that tattoos aren't fine art, but these guys are
ready to prove those people wrong. Elsasser, a junior in the UNO
College of Fine Arts, is one of the artists at Revolution.
"It's hectic juggling school and work at the studio, but it's kind
of a cross curriculum," said Elsasser. "I'm glad I can bring the
fine arts into tattooing and the tattooing into the fine arts world.
It's hard in the academic world to show them just how much of a
fine art tattooing really is, but I'm glad I get to do it."
Pace is just glad that he is able to own part of his own studio.
He had a lot of things to say about owning his own business.
"In one simple word, freedom. Plain and simple," said Pace. "I have
worked for people in the past and it was a disaster, an absolute
disaster. Friends become enemies. So in one simple word, freedom."
Freedom to make their own schedule and freedom to work at their
own pace. Freedom to have their own goals.
"My mission is to only create 100 percent the best of my ability
over anything just to create art. Creating human art, like tattooing,
is by far the greatest mission," Pace said.
Armas said his goal is to "be the No. 1 store in Omaha. Not in dollars,
but in artwork put out into the city."
While Renkin wants to "be a household name and constantly improve
and not move backwards,"
Elsasser tied it all together with his goal to "have their work
be all about the art."
They are also doing what it takes to have their art be safe.
"There are hundreds of things that we do that the client probably
never thinks of. Everything is disposable," said Pace. "Tools that
are not disposable get a liquid sterile then get hand scrubbed and
(are sanitized) through autoclaves."
They don't mess around with that one bit. "This is the peoples'
coming into our shops lives we watch out for, but it's also our
lives," said Renkin.
It takes a lot of work to open your own business. "Besides your
having your business licenses, tax I.D. numbers, your rent spots,
advertising and common sense things, it takes pure perseverance
and an insane drive to conquer," Pace said.
When asked about any fears in opening their own business, Renkin
simply replied, "We have no fears about opening the shop. If we
did, we wouldn't (have) open(ed) it."