The plan was to meet Tony at his Art Studio in the Arts District. I took in all of the art the building has to offer while awaiting his arrival. As I walked around the complexities of the building I scanned the different offices, galleries and shops. They're all tucked and hidden away in different hallways. It's unique, quirky. When you first walk in the door you know where you are. The place is filled with creative minds. I immediately fell in love. An artist at heart, I was in my comfort zone.
Tony came up the stairs to meet me and I first noticed his height. A tall guy, nice smile, his eyes sparkle when he grins. He's far more quiet then I had expected him to be, I mean, have you seen his work? Bright, bold colors, huge canvases, projects on the side of buildings for crying out loud and he was quiet. I pondered the thought that perhaps his voice is heard through his work. Loud, exciting, precise and to me... absolutely amazing, it speaks, it has a voice.
Tony Castillo, "ToneCastle" and his partner Derek Douglas, "SNIPT", created the fine art and mural company, The Wall Saints. They specialize in business and in-home mural installations as well as interactive installations for events, music festivals and all kinds of other projects. Not just in Vegas, but nationally. They're creative, they can create something off-the-wall (pun intended) Have you seen their stuff? I'm sure you have if you've been to the downtown arts district areas. Pretty sure you've admired at least one of their installations in one place or another. If you haven't yet, get a move-on! Their work can be viewed in locations like, Nightmare Toys on Commerce, at SoHo Lofts; a really dope 3D art installation, crazy fun wall art at SerVehZah in the Arts District, Rocket Fizz at Area 15 and their work is even in the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium! Tony is part of the HUGE Art Project that Raiders owner Mark Davis along with international artist and Vegas local, Michael Godard created to support the Las Vegas arts community. Davis wanted to bring together the history of the Raiders as well as bring in the Art community of Las Vegas to tell the story. This is such an interesting story, I've added the link to the YouTube video at the bottom of this article, this is a must-see.
Tony's 20-Question answers:
Q: How long have you lived in Las Vegas area?
Tony: I’ve actually one of the few born and raised native!
Q: Are you married? Do you have kids?
Tony: I’m not married but I do have a new baby girl who’s 9 months old.
Q: Do you have any pets?
Tony: Yes I have a little Yorkie who’s sorta my unofficial support animal, she was my first baby haha.
Q: Did you attend college?
Tony: I did one semester in pursuit of an arts degree, but I quickly learned that traditional schooling wasn’t for me. I have a hard time focusing and I learn by being hands on and not listening to lectures.
Q: Are you a a business owner?
Tony: Yes, me and my business partner Derek run a mural company called the wall saints here in Las Vegas but we work nationally. It's just our first year in business under that name.
Q: What do you do for work?
Tony: Most of our work is through the murals with The Wall Saints, but I also do studio artwork that I sell privately.
Q: Tell me something people might not know about you?
Tony: I had a serious drug addiction for a large part of my life and if it wasn’t for art I’d probably be dead or in prison.
Q: Favorite food / favorite Vegas restaurant?
Tony: I don’t know if I have only one favorite type of food but I eat vegan and I love ramen. I frequent Tacotarian a lot because it’s right by my art studio and the food is so good.
Q: Do you you have any hobbies?
Tony: All of my attention really goes into being creative, I spend a lot of time experimenting with new mediums whether it’s photography, videography and of course painting.
Q: If you had a super power what would it be?
Tony: That’s a tough one, it would be great to be able to fly!
Q: What's your favorite cocktail?
Tony: I’m a whiskey guy so, either straight up or even just a jack and coke, I’m good
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
Tony: I honestly don’t watch sports at all haha, I’ve always gotten grief for that from my guy friends it just never interested me to watch other people play sports.
Q: If you won a 10 million dollar wheel of fortune jackpot what would you do with the money?
Tony: First I would set up an account for my baby girl, and invest some of it into my company. I’d also like to invest back into the local community that’s done so much for me, and I’d like to donate some but since I don’t trust some of these charities due to the scandals I might just set up my own so I know it’s actually going to help people that need it.
Q: What is the best job you ever had?
Tony: If you’re not including my current dream job of mural work I did stagehand work for years and I really loved being on that side of the stage and the experiences that came with that.
Q: What’s the last gift you gave someone?
Tony: I gave my sisters some framed painted portraits of their dogs.
Q: What do you wear to bed?
Tony: Usually nothing haha
Q: Toilet paper over or under?
Tony: I used to be an over guy, but then I read this thing about the toilet paper industry knowing that more toilet paper is used on average when it’s done that way so they purposely push ‘over’, so I’ve been trying the under method lol
Q: Do you gamble?
Tony: Occasionally, but I never win so not really. I have a lot of vices but that’s not one of them.
Q: If I looked into your fridge what would I find?
Tony: Vegetables, Vegan meats, hot sauces and a lot of take out boxes haha
Q: If you were on a reality show which one would you choose?
Tony: I don’t watch reality tv but I imagine it would be a show like skin wars where I can be creative and paint or a tattoo type show even though I don’t tattoo.
REALLY...CHECK THIS GUY OUT!!!
ARTIST: Tony Castillo
The Wall Saints
107 E. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV Studio #220
Raiders Stadium Project (video)
Vegas Life Magazine
fb: Vegas Life Magazine
On The Rocks Photography