Erin Petersen

The Tattooed Kingpin

By - Jun 10th, 2010 04:00 am
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This weekend, thousands of body mod enthusiasts will descend upon the Harley Museum for another installment of the Beer City Tattoo Convention. Hosted by career tattooist and Milwaukee native Troy Timpel, aka The Tatooed Kingpin, the three-day expo is chock full of demos, wild performances — think suspension shows ( if you can stomach it) and vaudevillian burlesque troupes — and of course, plenty of talented artists ready to lay down some ink.

You work under the name “Tattooed Kingpin” — how long have been in the inking business and where did you get your start? has been a clothing and publishing company since 1998. I started the company to use my own artwork on clothing and books. I have been tattooing now for 17 years, and am a former MIAD student.

Do you have a specialty, or perhaps a signature style about your work?

I specialize in doing traditional American and Japanese styles mixed and I also like doing photo realism.

The Beer City convention is just one of many that Tattooed Kingpin hosts across the country. How long have you been putting these on?

I started running tattoo conventions in 2004, starting with Philadelphia.  The next year I decided to expand my events to include my hometown, Milwaukee. The Milwaukee tattoo convention has been running for 5 years now, and has grown to be one of my favorite events.  I love coming back home and seeing family and friends.

What sort of events and activities are slated for this year’s convention?

The Milwaukee beer city convention has become a great show with a lot going on. We have Sideshow acts and suspension performances where a girl and a midget suspend from hooks pierced through their bodies. There are live bands, and a cute 1920’s era Burlesque show, tattoo contests and of course live tattooing. You can come down and get tattooed by world renowned tattoo artists from all over the country.

Any last words for outsiders who might be curious and, well, a bit intimidated?

Even if you are not looking to get tattooed, come down and check out the show. It’s an eye full!

The Beer City Tattoo Convention takes place June 11-13 at the Harley Davidson Museum, 400 W. Canal Street. For more info, check out

Categories: 5Q

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