Featured Artist: Timmy Tatts of King Cobra Tattoo

Timmy Tatts owns King Cobra Tattoo along with his little brother, lower case j, on 127 E Beaver Avenue in State College, PA. His shop consists of himself, his brother, Mickey, and Jake the Kidd

Timmy Tatts owns King Cobra Tattoo along with his little brother, lower case j, on 127 E Beaver Avenue in State College, PA. His shop consists of himself, his brother, Mickey, and Jake the Kidd will be back soon piercing and inking full time after a year long break.

Timmy started tattooing in 1994 when there was no internet and the only way to learn was from someone else. He was lucky enough to meet a guy with a shop and eventually moved on to other shops as the years passed. At one point, he moved to Florida for a bit. He closed his shop there and moved to a shop full of tattooers where he began to learn from everyone around him. During that time, he met respected people in his industry who helped him along and grow as an artist. He credits being able to accept their critiques and criticism as the reason for his development.

As someone who loves his craft, Timmy enjoys a more traditional tattoo, from a historical perspective, but he would get bored if he had to do nothing but those types of pieces all of the time. He also states that it’s not commercially viable, because nobody ever walks in and asks for for a classic tattoo from 1916. It was an honor to be able to tattoo during that period and he wants people to know that traditional inking doesn’t mean a big needle liner and 3 colors.

Others took notice of approach to respecting tradition and he has made a lot of friends because of it. He also enjoys black and grey and realism and takes every opportunity to still learn and grow. That’s a large part of who this guy is as an artist and what tattooing means to him personally. In order to not get stale or bored, he constantly pushes himself. One way of doing this is by reinvent old designs to continuously make them relevant. “Everything that I do is dead, but it is important to me, because of the ethics involved.” I’m one of the only artists around that still hand paints designs.”

Now that he is 25 years into his career (20 of those with me as a client.. we decided that I was old.), Timmy claims that all of that experience has led him to specialize in people and not a certain style of tattoo. He has styles that he enjoys creating and applying, but the end result is not about what makes him happy. It’s about what other people want and enjoy.

I personally have been going to Timmy for 20 years and I have over 50 different tattoos from him. Visit him at the shop on 127 E Beaver Ave or give them a call at (814) 237-6940 to schedule an appointment.

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