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Where The Wild Things Are Tattoos and Typewriter Tim

Story and Photos by Michelle PG Richardson

Type Tim, performance artist, sculptor, wild thing.

For a wild thing, "Typewriter" Tim Jordan  (Type Tim for short) has a soft side he's not afraid of showing, all over his fuzzy body.  Yes, I've gotten to see most of it, and it is quite hairy, but then, so are his tattoos, appropriately so.  Wild things and scenes from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are wrap around Type Tim's body and get to do what most people don't.  They brush his teeth with him, sleep with him, skateboard with him, shower with him, play (yes play) the typewriter with him, blowtorch vintage typewriters into sculptures with him (are you starting to get why they call him Type Tim?), and most thrilling of all, they even get to ride at speeds of 150 mph on motorcycles with him (safely covered in protective gear, of course). 

Where the Wild Things Are dragon, from "and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are"  

20 year veteran tattoo artist, and long time friend of Type Tim,  Tyrone "Red" Cooley, of West End Tattoo in Atlanta, Georgia, is the creator of these wild thing tats.  These tattoo art replications of one of the most beloved children's books  took three years to complete. From 2010 through 2012 Type Tim sat through 18 sittings, 3-6 hours each, for a total of 80 hours.  The pain, he says, was relative.

I wanted to do images from Where the Wild Things Are because it is my favorite book and I love the imagery. We started with the back and decided each placement relative to what was done before. And it kept growing...but now we are done!

If you want to see his tattoos in person, going to one of his shows is a must.  That's also where you'll find out one of the reasons why he's got a typewriter in his name.

What Type Tim wants most out of his performances is to reach a reciprocal connection with his audience. And what better way to connect with someone than through a reminder of the familial inner child. It's a connection that all of us have with each other. If we only stop to listen and to feel, we'll see that it is there.  And so you'll hear bits of Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and always, always, you'll get Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are reverse image without max from: "the night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind"

Now, don't go thinking that his shows are going to be all warm and soft and gentle.  On the contrary, children's stories and verses make up only a small part of his shows, and even then they are performed with a hard edge. In reality, his performances are filled with lights, sounds,  wild, funky, and with crazy (the good kind).  And all of this is happening with a typewriter and various musical artists.  Type Tim describes them as

"Ever unique, funky, stream of unconscious performance art happening with a typewriter player that needs to be experienced to be believed."

What's the craziest thing he's ever done at a performance? 

PG answer - While performing the "Wild Rumpus" (part of the book) at my last show at KU, fresh out of a body bag, naked in Lawrence KS, the KU drum corp played tribal drums from the back of the room, and a Harley Davidson fired up and rolled out onto the dance floor as my 15 piece funk band, joined by stripping women onstage, jammed with the drums spreading out all over the room...at the end of the show hundreds of people lined up on stage to give me a hug goodbye... 

A rumpussing Max, whose wolf suit tail wraps around to the front. 

from the front cover of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are

island and trees from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are back cover. 

wild things in a wild rumpus

 More wild things rumpus from the center plates of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. 

 "till Max said, "BE STILL!" and tamed them with the magic trick" 

Type Tim Bonus Material

My first typewriter was my Mom's Royal "Quiet De Lux" and is the model I tend to use. They sound great, hold up to a beating, and are lightweight. Everybody wants me to play them all the time but without a band with me, it gets kinda old pretty quick...The typewriter, for me, is a concept and art, less the tick-tick sound it makes...
I play a Royal Mercury from the 60's right now. It is my 6th one (I play them so hard I tend to break them...)that has been rigged for direct sound by John Higgins, a local guitar tech/restorer.

Wild rumpus in session, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.


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