‘Saturday with Fat Daddy’ at Traffic Jams

Wisconsin pinstripe artist Mark Hagstrom shows off his talent at the shop as well as nationally

Complied by Amy Cushing

Hagstrom works on the tailgate of a rare Ford F450 Harley-Davidson edition truck. Here, he is demonstrating the “traditional hot rod style” of pinstriping, the most widely used style.

On July 22, Traffic James Speed Shop in Clinton, which is owned by Robert Yonkee, hosted “Saturday with Fat Daddy,” where pinstripe artist Mark Hagstrom demonstrated this intricate art form for several hours.

That day, Hagstrom, who also owns Fat Daddy Lines & Designs, worked his magic on both a truck and a car.

The truck was a Ford F450 Harley-Davidson edition – one of only four in the country. He added pinstripes around the door handles, up the side of the cab, on the tailgate, and around the wheel wells, as well as a hood piece.

“The style of pinstriping is called ‘traditional hotrod’, with thick and thin lines to add weight in certain places. It’s the most widely used style in pinstriping,” Hagstrom explained.

The other vehicle, a car, belonged to a woman who wanted custom art. Her nickname is “Mouse”, which her father gave her as a young girl, so Hagstrom chose to do a female version of Mighty Mouse on the car, showing that he can do more than add pinstripes.

Scroll style pinstriping is the type used with this car, which Hagstrom describes as “a series of loops and hoops in varied moves to create the look. Then I add little ‘feather’ style teardrop shapes to accent the design. It is all done freehand.”

Hagstrom said he usually does not do client work while at these demonstrations.

“I like to focus on my clients project without having interruptions,” he said. “I believe that when they are paying me to do their pride and joy, I want my full attention on it.”

Traffic Jams will be featuring Hagstrom every third Saturday of the month, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., so he can continue to share his pinstriping and artistic talents.


About Mark Hagstrom and Fat Daddy Lines & Designs

Mark “Fat Daddy” Hagstrom, pinstriping artist

Hagstrom, of Germantown, owns and operates Fat Daddy Lines & Designs. Fat Daddy features hand painted pinstriping, gold and silver leaf gilding work, graphics and cartoons, signs, and custom fine art. He has been practicing the art professionally for over 31 years.

Hagstrom joined the team of professionals at Traffic Jams Speed Shop to offer his skills to the Hot Rod community. He also works out of his studio in Germantown outside of the shop.

Some of his accomplishments include being a Roth Foundation approved official Rat Fink artist.

“I love the Rat Fink character,” he mused, “and do many paintings with him for my customers. The backstory is that in the early 1960s when Mickey Mouse hit the scene, Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth created Rat Fink, which became the anti-Mickey Mouse in that time. Many hot-rodders and bikers were anti-establishment and Rat Fink fit into that culture.”

Hagstrom was asked to be part of a traveling art show that focused on pinstriping as a fine art and is being featured at museums across the country. His piece is currently in Salina, Kansas, at the Garage Auto Museum. It’s named “Flyin’ Paint”. He describes it as a 36-inch high by 17-inch wide steel oval with a rolled edge painted metalflake with candy orange and dark oranges. The variegated gold leaf is hand gilded and “engine turned” with three clear coats and eight colors of pinstriping done in Hagstrom’s “Donut Boy” style scroll work. 

There are about 50 top artists from across the country who are also participating in this show.

While pinstriping is not yet recognized as an official fine art by the art community, their goal as

artists of the almost forgotten craft is to bring it into the art mainstream. The final showing will be the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. 

Hagstrom has also been chosen several times as a T-shirt design artist and has work featured on many of them across the country.

Pinstriping is his main love and passion. He said he paints nearly every day of the year. He pinstripes everything from cars and trucks, motorcycles and helmets to custom pinstriped wall art for the home, shop, or office. He has also striped things like toilet seats (but only new ones!), drink cups, water bottles, flasks, bottle openers, and, as he jokes, “just about anything that will hold still long enough!”

Hagstrom does a few shows in the area through out the general car show season and especially loves to do shows where they raise money for a charity. He attended the World of Wheels event with the Pinstripe Legends this past February at the Milwaukee Fairgrounds. He is also one of three people who run the Krazy Paint, Hot Rod Art for Kids Charity at the Piston Powered Auto-Rama in Cleveland, Ohio, each April. It is the third largest indoor car show in the country and they have been doing it 10 years running.  This September, they are going to Nashville, Tennessee, with Krazy Paint to run a charity panel jam for the new show “Triple Crown of Rodding” at the Nashville Speedway racetrack. These panel jams were started by pinstripers many years ago to “give back” to kids. Artists gather from all over the country and make art for a three-day weekend and then auction off that art, with all the money raised donated to a charity that helps children. Hagstrom says it is a time-honored tradition amongst pinstripe artists.

“We all travel to do these shows on our own money for hotel and food,” he said.

Mark Hagstrom of Fat Daddy can be reached at 715-292-0898, or by contacting Jamie of Traffic Jams Speed Shop for appointment times. He is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fat-daddy-brand and his own website is www.fatdaddylines.com.


About Traffic Jams Speed Shop

Traffic Jams Speed Shop, owned by Robert Yonkee, is a full service hot rod shop that offers everything from car restorations to engine building, body and paint work, interiors, electrical work, stereo installation, window tinting, full detailing and handpainted pinstriping and signs.

Traffic Jams boasts two locations – their main shop in Genoa City, at 726 Walworth Street, Unit 8, and their detail shop in Clinton, at 252 Allen Street.

Find Traffic Jams online at witrafficjams.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Trafficjams28, or call 262-745-2863.