Pushin Ink Tattoo – Middleborough, Massachusetts
By Darin Burt
Meg Crowley is well on her way to her goal of having a tattoo empire.
Meg purchased Pushin Ink Tattoo six years ago after apprenticing at the Middleboro, Massachusetts studio under Jason Wheelright, another artist there who would also join her in the new venture. Later on, they would apprentice Nick Apromollo who now makes the third member of their little tattoo family.
Being located in the historic district of downtown Middleboro, Meg kept the name (partly to avoid a huge sign fee), but turned the once cluttered old school shop into a bright and welcoming studio. Some visitors say the new light green paint reminds them of a dentist office, but Meg doesn’t mind that perception because she and her staff have the utmost pride in cleanliness and safety and providing their clients the best experience possible.
Meg, Jason and Nick are good friends and like to collaborate on different kinds of artistic projects outside the tattooing realm as well. That could be anything from commissioned portrait paintings, murals and sculptures, creating their own illustrations for apparel and galleries, and even designing logos for other local businesses. One of their coolest projects involved joining other area tattooers, and even some tattoo fans, in painting designs on used and recycled skateboard decks, which were displayed and sold at this year’s Levitate Music and Arts Festival.
Not only did the custom decks show off another side to their artistic talents, but according to Meg, the project brought together tattooers and artists who will hopefully participate in more art shows down the road. Pushin Ink has hosted other art shows — last Valentine’s Day, the studio played host to an adult-themed event called, A Night for Lovers. Meg’s entry was a table featuring a close-up image of a vagina that she dubbed “One Night Stand.”
“Alot of it is just about trying something new,” Meg says. She adds that another benefit is local publicity created from such events which exposes tattooers and their talents to potential new clients.
“We’re all artists first who became tattoo artists,” Meg adds.
Portraits are Meg’s absolute favorite tattoo subject. “I love to tattoo portraits of people but I also have a lot of fun doing animal portraits,” she says. “I also enjoy tattooing realism tattoos — anything with architecture or girly fantasy stuff, such as gems and unicorns!”
Jason is a bio-mech/ bio-organic tattooist. Bio-mech, and bio-organic are styles of tattooing which takes inspiration from machinery and nature to create an abstract tattoo with a main function of looking awesome and complimenting the natural flow of a persons’ body. Both styles place an emphasis on texture and depth to make some really cool looking tattoos.
Nick likes tattooing mostly illustrative pieces that he can have a lot of freedom with the design. His style is a graffiti inspired twist on new school, traditional and neo-traditional tattooing. His favorite tattoos look bold with vibrant, saturated colors.
A quality tattoo in Meg’s opinion is one that, if you saw it on somebody walking down the street, would make you turn your head to admire it. The artists at Pushin Ink all have their favorite tools, but Starbright is the go-to ink. For aftercare they promote REDEMPTION™ Tattoo Care, the first and only USDA Certified petroleum replacement. They all work with rotary tattoo machines. Jason recently got a Bishop machine, and Meg and Nick use Xions from FK Irons.
One benefit from maintaining high standards is trust within the local community. As many as ninety percent of the current client list at Pushin Ink are members of the local police department. Pushin Ink gives back by donating paintings to an auction to benefit Captain Jack’s Quest for a Cure, started by a local officer whose daughter suffers from Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.
Looking at the big picture, Meg hope one day to be “Pushin Ink” at more shops and spreading the love and the art with as many people as possible.
“It would be fantastic if all the shops are as close knit as we are here,” she says. “I treat my artists the best way possible and hopefully that will bring in the best artists to work at the shops. If the artists are happy then the customers are going to be happy too.”