Lady Tattoo Artists We Love: Michelle Myles

michelle myles

Michelle Myles isn't just an expert tattooer who has been tattooing for 19 years -- she is filled with knowledge of the history of tattooing. And Daredevil Tattoo, the shop she co-owns with Brad Fink, isn't just a spot with a roster of extremely talented artists creating beautiful tattoos -- it's also the home of the Museum of Tattoo History.

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As Michelle shared, modern tattooing was invented just a few blocks from Daredevil's shop in New York City -- so it makes sense the museum is there within the shop. Those getting tattooed -- as well as those curious about the craft -- can learn more about the first tattooers and the instruments used. Admission is free and during the shop's hours. 

Michelle came to NYC to attend the art school Parsons -- and her talents along with her love of history make tattooing and museum-keeper a perfect fit. She has a beautiful love story to tell involving her being a tattoo artist, and she also shared some of her gorgeous works of art.

michelle myles tattoo

How did you get into tattooing?
I got my first tattoo when I was in high school and kept getting tattooed whenever I could scrounge a couple dollars together. Tattooing was illegal in New York City when I started out, so there were no shops for a regular apprenticeship then. I found someone who helped me get started and kinda fumbled along the first couple years. 

More from CafeMom: 20 Fantastic First Tattoos You'll Never Regret

michelle myles tattoo

michelle myles tattoo

michelle myles tattoo

What was the first tattoo that you got?
I got my first tattoo when I was 17 in Texas. I wanted to get a black panther but I only had $25 so I got a little black cat instead on my shoulder. It's pretty much a blur at this point. 

michelle myles tattoo

michelle myles tattoo

Share a good story about a tattoo that you have done. 
My most sentimental tattoo would have to be the tattoo I did for my husband [pictured with Michelle below] when we met. He was friends with a mechanic I knew who was working on my car (I had a 1966 Buick Riviera). Kevin would stop by when I was over there and he was so polite and respectful, I really started liking him. He wanted me to tattoo him and I realized I had a crush on him but he hadn't asked me out. He wanted a Statue of Liberty pinup girl, so I drew her up and gave her blonde hair, and when I showed him the drawing, I said, "You like blondes, right?" He couldn't even look at me, he was blushing like crazy. Later he said he didn't want to ask me out until after he got his tattoo so he was very surprised when I hit on him. We went out, got married six years later, and have been together 15 years this year. That tattoo had a very profound effect on my life and it's still a good story. 

Have you ever tattooed yourself?
I never tattooed myself. My favorite part of getting tattooed is having a chance to have that connection to another artist. It's a good chance to meet other artists or to connect with a friend. I don't have any of my own artwork on my walls either. 

More from CafeMom: Lady Tattoo Artists We Love: Meredith Little Sky

michelle myles tattoo

michelle myles tattoo

michelle myles tattoo

Who and what influences you in work/life?
My business partner Brad Fink has always been a big influence on me as a tattooer. He's got a style that's all his own and his work has always stood out. He has a tremendous work ethic when it comes to drawing and is a real inspiration to me. I think my mom made me a better businesswoman. She raised me by herself and put herself through school and got an MBA. I don't know where I'd be without my husband. He makes the shop possible. He built the shop; he's a contractor and Daredevil would not be what it is without him. There's no way we could have managed the space we have without him. 

michelle myles tattoo

michelle myles tattoo

 

Images via daredevilmichelle/Instagram

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