Your Ultimate Guide to Stick and Poke Tattoos

stick and poke tattoo

Did you know that stick and poke tattoos tend to be less painful, more gentle on the skin, and have a more hand-drawn look?

Even though these machine-free tattoos have their origins in underground culture scenes, more and more people are becoming interested in getting stick and poke tattoos.

Contrary to what most people think, it is necessary for artists who create these tattoos to be highly-trained. This is why it is so important for aspiring tattoo artists to understand what they are and what their benefits are.

To help make things easier for you, we have written a guide. Keep reading if you are interested in finding out more.

What Is a Stick and Poke Tattoo?

A stick-and-poke tattoo, also known as a hand-poked tattoo, is a type of non-electric tattooing that is quickly growing in popularity. To create these tattoos, it is not necessary for tattoo artists to use machines.

It is instead necessary to apply ink to the skin by hand. Tattoo artists do this by using a needle that is connected to a rod-like instrument. The contraption is similar to a pencil and thread.

It is important to get stick-and-poke tattoos from professionals who use tattoo-grade needles. It is not a good idea to apply stick-and-poke tattoos if you have not yet received training from a tattoo academy.

Contrary to what many people believe, people have been doing stick-and-poke tattooing for many thousands of years.

There are many indigenous groups from around the world who have been applying these types of tattoos for spiritual and ceremonial purposes.

On the other hand, people have only been creating tattoos with machines for several hundred years. And the modern hand poke tattoo movement didn’t start until the 1970s.

How to Create Stick and Poke Tattoos

There are various steps that you will need to take in order to create stick-and-poke tattoos. Remember that it is important to attend a reputable tattoo academy in order to be qualified for sticking and poking.

Designing Hand Pole Tattoos

The first thing you’ll need to do to create a stick-and-poke tattoo is to make a design and decide where you are going to place the tattoo. You can find inspiration by searching on the internet for “types of stick and poke tattoos.”

Make sure not to place the tattoo in a location that is close to boils, abrasions, wounds, or open sores.

Getting Your Equipment Ready

Before touching your equipment, take time to wash your hands with soap and water. You also need to make sure to cover any wounds you might have with plaster. Also, don’t forget to put on latex medical gloves.

Next, prepare the area and assemble all of the tools that you are going to need for creating the stick and poke tattoo. The area where you are working should be free of clutter.

You’ll also need to disinfect your workspace. You can do this by creating a solution of bleach and water (one part bleach and nine parts water).

Next, lay down paper towels or a metal tray. You can use this space for laying down all of your tattoo equipment. It will not be necessary to use mechanical tattoo equipment.

It is a good idea to have one or two pairs of gloves nearby because you might need to put on a new pair while you’re in the process of creating a tattoo.

Shake your tattoo ink for a minute or two and then pour it into the ink container. Tightly secure the cap and clean away the excess ink.

You’ll need to add rubbing alcohol to a second container. You can then remove these containers from your tattooing area in order to prevent cross-contamination.

Prepare the Skin Area

Carefully prepare the skin area where you’re going to place the tattoo. You’ll first need to wash the area with water and soap. You can then shave the area.

Remember to only use a shaver once. This will prevent your patient’s skin from becoming infected.

Next, sterilize the skin by using rubbing alcohol. You can apply the alcohol with makeup remover pads.

Trace the Tattoo

The best way to trace a stick and poke tattoo is by using a tattoo stencil and a tattoo pen. Make sure not to stretch the skin when you are tracing it. This might skew the design of your tattoo.

Tattoo the Outline

Remove the needle from its package and then fill it with ink. You can then start to poke the skin. You will need to frequently refill your needle.

Finishing the Stick and Poke Tattoo

Take time to remove the extra ink by using a make-up remover pad that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol. You can then continue to create your stick-and-poke tattoo.

If the skin has begun to swell, you might need to stop and finish the tattoo after it has had the chance to heal. Clean the skin once more after you’ve completed the tattoo. You will then need to cover the area with a bandage.

Dispose of Your Equipment

Place the used needles in a plastic container before disposing of them. All of the materials that you used for creating the tattoo should be thrown away. Lastly, disinfect your working area.

Safely Creating Stick and Poke Tattoos

Stick and poke tattoos are just as safe as machine tattoos. If you do them correctly, they should also be easier to care for.

Tattoo artists will need to create a hygienic environment and it is essential that you use single-use instruments.

It is not a good idea to give or receive DIY stick-and-poke tattoos. This is because they could be painful and might become infected.

Stick and Poke Tattoo Aftercare

One of the benefits of stick-and-poke tattoos is that they don’t always scab like machine-done tattoos do. But it is imperative that tattoo artists wrap stick and poke tattoos once they have been completed.

Once you take off the wrap, you will need to wash the area with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer that is unscented. You will then need to place an organic tattoo ointment on the area three to five times per day.

Don’t submerge the area in water and be sure to keep it out of the sun.

Why Stick and Poke Tattoos Are Becoming More Popular

Stick-and-poke tattoos were not very popular before the early 2000s. But many people are more interested in getting this type of tattoo because the experience tends to be more personal.

Stick and poke tattoos are crafted by hand and it is not necessary to use electricity.

It is relatively easy for younger and less experienced artists to create hand-poked tattoos. All they need to do is attend a tattoo academy to learn how to create them.

Marketing for Stick and Poke Tattoo Artists

If you want to start working as a stick-and-poke tattoo artist, you will need to understand the basics of marketing. This will help you connect with potential customers who are interested in receiving tattoos.

One of the best ways to market your services is by using social media. But there are many different platforms that you can market your services on.

To keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed, consider marketing on no more than two or three different platforms.

You can use your social media pages to gather customer reviews. This will help potential clients to know that you are a skilled and experienced hand poke tattoo artist.

Are Stick and Poke Tattoos Painful?

Even though stick-and-poke tattoos tend to take longer to craft than tattoos that are created by machines, they tend to be less painful. They will also heal more quickly.

But you will need to keep in mind that everybody has a different threshold for pain. What is painful for you might not be painful for your friend.

More intricate designs tend to be more painful. It’s also likely that you’ll experience more pain if you get a stick-and-poke tattoo on your ribcage or your wrists.

Learn How to Create Stick and Poke Tattoos

If you are interested in learning how to create stick and poke tattoos, it is important to understand how they are created and how they are different from machine-drawn tattoos.

If you are interested in becoming a stick-and-poke tattoo artist, Florida Tattoo Academy can help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a school tour!