Wondering where stick and poke tattoos come from and whether they’re safe? Read this article to find out more about this ancient form of inking.
Over the past few decades, the general vibe around tattoos has changed. Instead of being seen as pieces that only punks and misfits wear, these intricate designs are becoming mainstream, with people of all ages and backgrounds supporting their own. But, there are different tattoo methods now available to choose from that provide varying end results.
One of these methods is the hand poke or stick and poke tattoo. Here, we’re going to give you the low down on the stick and poke, its history, and the benefits of buying a professional kit if you’re thinking of creating your own designs.
Where Did Stick and Poke Tattoos Originate?
While the stick and poke method dates back centuries, it became most popular in the 70s with the punk movement. Unfortunately, many of these tattoos were made with supplies such as sewing kits, giving them a bad reputation for their lack of health and safety considerations. Luckily, there are now a variety of professional stick and poke kits now available to choose from but, we’ll discuss this in more detail shortly.
What Is a Stick and Poke Tattoo?
The stick and poke style varies greatly from that of a machine. Instead of being powered by electricity, hand poke tattoos are created using individual punctures that are, of course, poked by hand into the skin. This form of dot work opens up a realm of opportunities, from shading to lines, the placement of each puncture dictates the outcome of the design.
Of course, machine tattoos also create dots but, because the individual punctures are made so quickly, it’s easy to forget that these tattoos are created this way. The machine also offers far less control when it comes to dot work and is best for line work.
Are All Hand Poke Tattoo Artists Self-Taught?
The short answer is yes, most stick and poke artists teach themselves how to tattoo. This freedom gives them the chance to experiment more openly, allowing them to find their own unique style. By steering away from conventional ways of learning, stick and poke artists can push the boundaries and develop new and innovative techniques of tattooing.
How Can You Make a Professional Hand Poke Tattoo?
The key to creating a stick and poke tattoo is to invest in professional tattoo equipment. Too often, you see people creating tattoos from the comforts of home using sewing needles, pen ink, and wet wipes. These materials are not only toxic to the human body but also don’t provide the same results as professional tattoo materials.
Once you have a professional stick and poke tattoo kit, it’s all down to practice. Many artists opt for practice skin which allows them to get familiar with the equipment and the sensation that the stick and poke method provides. They then practice on themselves and friends once they’re ready to create their first designs.
How Many Artists Start With Professional Hand Poke Tattoo Kits?
Professional stick and poke tattoo kits are relatively new so it’s difficult to say how many professionals start with a kit. That said, those dedicated to making it in the industry opt for tattoo kits because it allows them to not only get a feel for the equipment but also make a name for themselves as a dedicated artist who takes their craft seriously.
The Benefits of Getting a Stick and Poke With the Right Tools
The benefits of getting a professional stick and poke tattoo kit to create your designs are endless. A professional kit allows you to:
- Minimize the risk of spreading bloodborne pathogens
- Reduce the chances of infections
- Achieve high-quality designs
- Practice on fake skin before tattooing yourself or friends
Also, by using a professional tattoo kit to make your designs, you’ll be able to create tattoos that last as long as those made with a machine. This is because those using sewing needles, for example, don’t puncture the skin at the right depth, leading their tattoos to fade over time.
What Equipment Comes in a Professional Stick and Poke Tattoo Kit?
The equipment in a stick and poke tattoo kit varies greatly depending on the company you buy it from and the amount of money you want to invest in your kit. Typically, a basic kit should include:
- Surface coverings
- Tongue depressors
- Tattoo needles
- Tattoo ink
- Ink cups
- Nitrile gloves
- Alcohol wipes
- Tattoo wipes
- Stencil paper
- Stencil lubricant
- Aftercare balm
- Protective film
All of the equipment should be sterilized and individually packaged to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
Are you thinking of ordering your first professional stick and poke tattoo kit? If so, check out our online store today! We offer a wealth of tattoo kits, all of which come with the basic equipment listed above and more.