“Sometimes we do tattoos that literally make us forget we are doing our job. And that is perfect.” —Mikey Wheeler, Mercy Seat Tattoo
There is a shared passion that naturally exists between most married couples. Though it’s not typically work-related. And if it is work-related, it’s probably not the art of professional tattooing. Unless that couple is Megan Mac and Mikey Wheeler. In which case, their shared passion is also their profession.
Megan and Mikey met at Kansas City’s Mercy Seat Tattoo Studio and can be found there tattooing professional types and punk rockers alike. When their clients seek them out, as they regularly do, it’s because they want to collect a piece of art, but the medium is skin.
When you ask Megan and Mikey what it’s like to work in such a permanent art form, they’ll tell you that it’s like any other medium. It takes practice, commitment and discipline. “The first few years were nerve-wracking. Because you can’t erase it,” Megan said. “Over time, you learn to work within the parameters you are given and make everything beautiful.”
“The physical act is a very strange thing until muscle memory takes over,” Mikey added. “After years and years, it becomes commonplace. You just know your game plan and you execute.”
And like most artists, Megan and Mikey have interests that inspire them. Megan has a love for vintage poster art and Mikey is a musician who geeks out over comic books and architecture. But when they’ve got tattoo machines in their hands, what really inspires them is the person they’re tattooing. “What inspires me most is developing something that fits that one person,” Megan said. “Their tattoo should be timeless, not trendy.”
“It’s our passion to honor the people that bring us work,” Mikey continued. “We have nothing to do and nowhere to go without the people.”
The artistry and authenticity that Megan and Mikey bring to the community aligns with the BALDWIN commitment to integrity and craftsmanship. “Mikey brings passion and incredible detail to his work, he truly inspires me,” said Matt Baldwin. Mikey and Megan are close friends of the Baldwins’ and Mikey has been Matt’s personal tattoo artist for years.