Artist at Large Tattoo owner Dennis McPhail plans ‘creative look’ for his building

WICHITA — Artist at Large Tattoo owner Dennis McPhail is now also a landlord at large.

He has purchased the more than 8,000-square-foot building, which looks like three buildings, where his business is at the southwest corner of Douglas and Laura. That’s where Karma Konnections and Up N Smoke also are.

“I didn’t think I could do it, but we did it,” McPhail says of himself and his wife, Bunni.

“I just be creative and hand her the money,” McPhail says. “She makes me look legitimate.”

They were on a budget when they opened the shop eight years ago. More recently, they wanted to upgrade their space.

“I was getting ready to drop some money,” McPhail says. “I was just thinking, why should I do this on a place I don’t own?”

His landlord wanted to sell, and McPhail says he was nice enough to wait on him to be able to buy it.

“I always had it in the back of my mind,” McPhail says of owning his own space.

Brent Madison and Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

McPhail has a vision for his building, which attracts attention because of the gorilla sculpture atop it.

“This is the (Douglas) Design District. Maybe we ought to get a T. rex or a giraffe for the other buildings.”

He says the Karma Konnections owners would like a revolving peace sign.

“Yeah, I’m not that liberal.”

McPhail also wants to paint the building. There’s a mural of a circus side show in the works on his space.

“We’re going to try to make it a more creative look down here,” McPhail says.

The idea, he says, is “just try to make this area cooler.”