SHOP: Dare Devil Tattoo, New York City
Living in New York City comes with perks, especially if you're a well-known tattoo artist like Michelle Myles. Surrounded by media, entertainment, and celebrities in the city that never sleeps, Myles— owner, with business partner Brad Fink, of both Dare Devil Tattoo and Fun City—has seen and done it all. She's inked superstars like Joan Jett, Whoopi Goldberg, Boy George, and Vincent Gallo, has tattooed live on MTV's TRL, and appeared on The View. “I said hi to Barbara Walters in the green room but she looked at me like I had nine heads,” says Myles. She was also cast on the TLC show Tattoo Wars, where she tattooed in Boston for the traditional American challenge.
Myles moved to New York City from St Louis in 1989. “Tattooing had been banned in 1967 and wasn't legalized until 1997. I started tattooing in 1991,” she says. “There were no signs out front of the shop and most of my work was through word of mouth. I got into tattooing because it was the cool, punk rock thing to do, a world of tough guys and lowlifes. That's not the case anymore!”
Her shop Dare Devil opened the year the ban lifted, and has since been featured in several shows, including Law & Order, CBS Sunday Morning, and Rescue Me.
Myle's specialty is traditional work, tattoos with solid lines and bright colors that will look good over time. Pin-ups, however, are her all-time favorite. “I feel really lucky living in the city that created modern tattooing,” says Myles. “That history is always present here and still influences the style of tattooing around us.”