The 2022 Savannah Tattoo Festival will take place Oct. 21-23., at the Savannah Convention Center.
The event will have an estimated 300-400 tattoo artists, both local and international, including a few world-renowned artists, as well as stars from the television series Ink Master.
Villain Arts is the company that brings these tattoo conventions to sites around the country.
Troy Timpel is the owner, promoter, and organizer of Villain Arts, and is in charge of all of the conventions, including the Savannah convention. He founded the company in 1999.
“I started the company, and it was kind of a side project for me. I’ve been a tattoo artist for 30 years and decided to kind of do a side project back then. I started it as a clothing label. I helped Philadelphia Eddie start the first annual Philadelphia Tattoo Convention in 98, and I helped him with that until 2003. When he retired, I took over the Tattoo Convention in Philadelphia with Villain Arts. Then I just started to expand into other markets, and every year we’ve grown in another city or show over the last 25 years,” said Timpel.
“Philadelphia Eddie” is a very famous tattoo artist who passed away six years ago.
Villain Arts opens 25 shows per year from Portland, Maine to San Diego, California. They are coast to coast.
“It’s an opportunity for tattooers to travel, interact with each other, learn, see the new equipment, and tattoo the public. It allows the public to get tattooed by artists from all over the world that they would no longer otherwise have access to,” said Timpel.
While there will be artists from all over the world, Timpel made it clear that he and his company also support local artists.
“We promote the local environment and encourage local artists to participate in our events as well,” said Timpel.
A large majority of the tattoo artists participating in the event reached out to Villain Arts themselves.
“We’ve been doing this for 25 years, artists find us at this point. We’ve been doing so many shows for so long that tattooers come in and enjoy traveling to different cities and seeing what different cities have to offer,” said Timpel.
Special guests include Kyle Dunbar from Ink Master Season three and four, Aaron Is from Ink Master Season five and nine, traveling artist Candy Dunbar, Ash Mann from Ink Master season 12, Julian “Tito” Zambrano from Ink Master Season 12, Mark Longenecker from Ink Master Season five, Al Fliction from Ink Master Season one, Trocon Talhouk from VH1, and Charles Whitfield from VH1.
“I’m friends with a lot of the guys that were on the show Ink master, before and after they were on the show. It’s a good show, and it shows the public what tattooing is really capable of. I think it expanded people’s interpretation of what tattoos are. It’s a positive thing. I like to support good art. There are a couple of other, random TV show people that pop in and out of our events,” said Timpel.
The tattooers are separate contractors and charge their own prices for tattoos. It’s a competitive marketplace for getting a tattoo, with a large group of quality artists.
Appointments can be made online by contacting the artist directly, or by walk-in. The event will also have a variety of unique vendors.
“We have a lot of handcrafted art vendors. People that make handmade art, handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, and things like that. It’s kind of like an art fair built into the tattoo festival. We also have a lot of really good world-class entertainment. We have Guinness Book of World Record holders, sword swallowers, and live human suspension, where people pierce their bodies and hang from the ceiling, for the public’s entertainment. A lot is going on. A lot of really, really cool, interesting entertainment,” said Timple.
“We have a juggler and a lot of really cool entertainment all weekend long, all family-friendly. Bring the kids, get tattooed, kids can’t get tattooed, but you can certainly bring them and enjoy the event. You have to be 18 and over to get tattooed. It’s a really interesting, fun event. You’ll see things you’ve never seen before. You know, at 20 bucks, you’re losing money not coming.”
Timpel is excited to bring his convention to the Savannah area. After Savannah, the convention goes to Tampa, Florida, and then Asheville, North Carolina is the last convention of the year.
“I like Savannah. Savannah is a cool little town. I went there and met up with friends a couple of years ago. I said, ‘wow, this place is great, I should do an event here,’ and a couple of years later, here we are,” said Timpel.
More information and tickets can be found at villainarts.com