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What is a handpoke tattoo & should you get one?
'Handpoked' is the term given to this type of machine free tattoo technique where ink is poked into the skin with a needle.
Handpoke tattooing is an alternative option to a machine tattoo.
This technique in its various forms has been around since ancient tribal times and is still practiced in many cultures, before Sailor Jerry and prison tats were a thing....
This is the original tattoo ritual.
I use vegan tattoo ink and the same single use sterilized needles that are used with machine tattooing. The needle is attached to a beautiful wooden wand with a quartz crystal embedded in the top (see above) This wand was specially made for me at the beginning of my tattooing journey. The whole length of the wand is covered in disposable protection during the process.
I have created hundreds of tattoos with this magic wand, it is very special to me.
I charge it regularly in the full moon.
The process is slightly slower than that of a machine depending on the amount of linework or dotwork shading. The design is built up in 2-3 layers and over the course of the session it literally starts to emerge from your skin....a very interesting process to watch. Lines are formed with dots, which I find to be a very satisfying and meditative process. You can swim and surf within days of getting a handpoke tattoo. Great for travelers!
There is much less trauma to the skin with the handpoke method and the healing time is much, much faster. It is not completely painless, but is gentle and less invasive/intense on the skin than tattooing by machine. Less trauma the skin means less pain during and after. That said, everyone is different with how they experience pain in different areas of the body. A common misconception is that hand poke tattoo hurts more. Every artist is different but in my experience my style hurts less, heals fast and ages well.
My advice would be to find the artist who's work you want on your skin forever and put up with the pain, it only lasts as long as the session and the tattoo lasts forever.
When choosing a tattooist, make sure they are an artist first. Check out their portfolio, past work... make sure they can draw! I was a professional artist for over 10 years before I started tattooing and I have been a professional handpoke tattooist for close to 10 years since then.
Tattoos are not, and should not be cheap.
A lot of work goes into designs, a lot of energy and concentration goes into the tattooing and a lot of care goes into making the experience as a whole a good one. The experience is as important as the design and I will always endeavour to make your tattoo experience a relaxed and memorable one.
I have tattooed many first timers and have good feedback from mums, dads and other concerned relatives. You're in safe hands!
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