Tattoo artist knows where to draw the line

McClatchy Newspapers

FRESNO, Calif.

Tattoo artist Megan Massacre (whose real name is Megan Woznicki) will draw the line when it comes to drawing lines.

“If I have a young couple come in and they want to get a tattoo of each other’s name, I will talk to them first. It would be different if they’ve been together 20 years. I’m not going to let someone get a tattoo they’re going to regret,” says the star of the TLC series “NY Ink” and “America’s Worst Tattoos.” New seasons of both shows launch Thursday night on TLC.

Most of the time, Massacre can be found at The Wooster St. Social Club, located in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, the setting for “NY Ink.” That’s where she gets to show off the artistic skills she’s cultivated since she was old enough to hold a pencil.

On “America’s Worst Tattoos” — a show that depends on people regretting their tattoo decisions — she converts unwanted tattoos into something more acceptable to the client.

“That’s really 10 times harder than creating a new tattoo because some tattoos are hard to cover. And I don’t get to be as creative as when I’m coming up with my own designs,” Massacre says.

She loves her job, and that’s one reason she’s willing to say no. She wants the tattoo experience to be good. She won’t tattoo someone who’s been drinking — even one drink — because the alcohol thins the blood and makes it more difficult to work and to heal.

She also tries to talk young people out of getting tattoos on their face, neck or hands. In her business, these are known as “job stoppers.”

“There’s a trend right now for someone who’s just turned 18 to get a tattoo on their face, neck or hands. That means you will never get a normal job. I will interview them and ask them where they see themselves in 10 years,” Massacre says.

She says that if you want to see some really bad tattoos, look at the legs of tattoo artists. Many use their legs for practice while going through an apprenticeship. Her first tattoo wasn’t even completed, and Massacre had to color it herself.

Massacre — a name she picked as a jab at the overly violent fans of hard-core rock shows that stuck — grew up with a passion for all forms of art. She became so good with a calligraphy pen that while she was in high school, she made money doing wedding invitations. Her first interest in tattooing came when she was 14, but she didn’t have the $4,000 needed to pay for the apprenticeship. It would be four years later before she got her first job and six months after that before she got her first tattoo — an anime female cheetah on her leg.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.