What You Should Know About Stick & Poke Tattoos


On a warm and humid night in my apartment, I went to a friend for my first stick and poke tattoo. My decision to get stick and poke tattoos was quite rash, so I asked one of my friends over to provide me with one as I continued browsing Pinterest and Tumblr for creative ideas. I picked a banner design for my arm right away, with the word “grrrl” (as in Riot Grrrl) on it. My housemate created the design and I had it tattooed on my arm two hours later.

The popularity of stick and poke tattoos has been growing in recent years, but it became an even bigger trend around the epidemic, when TikTok videos went viral and Facebook groups saw a rise in new members. It’s a fascinating mix of DIY crafts and fast gratification. It’s possible to create incredibly personalized pedro linares tattoos as a result of this. As a result, you frequently see individuals with little tats given to them by friends or even done themselves.

Stick and pokes are done without the use of electricity, unlike a tool gun. It’s considerably easier than that; a needle is dipped into ink and repeatedly stabbed into the skin. Because stick and poke tattoos are such a frightening procedure, here are the seven things you should know about them.

  1. Stick & Pokes Can Be Safe When Done Right

There are cautionary tales and horror stories about stick and pokes gone wrong. In order to obtain one, make sure it’s done correctly and not in a dark alleyway with a filthy pen.

Needle-gun tattooing, like other types of needle-gun tattoos, necessitates meticulous shaving of the region where the ink will be applied to minimize infections and ingrown hairs. Because stick and pokes are frequently performed DIY style or by friends, it’s critical to sterilize any tools that come into contact with the skin.

When it comes to do-it-yourself tattoos, consider an expert stick and poke tattoo artist over your sort-of experienced friend. The equipment should be clean, the ink correct, and if you’re not sure, go with a pro.

  1. There Is No Consensus On Stick & Poke Pain

It’s difficult to determine whether stick and pokes are more unpleasant than needle gun ink, since there is no clear agreement among experts. It appears to be somewhat varied based on individual experiences, The location of your tattoo and how much pain you can handle are two factors that affect how much it will hurt to get a tattoo. Your tattoo artist is essentially jabbing a needle into your skin again and again with stick and pokes, which can cause stinging, burning, or edema.

  1. Stick & Pokes Tattoos Take Longer Than A Tattoo With A Needle Gun

Stick and pokes take longer to finish than tattoos done with a professional’s needle gun. Artists are able to quickly and simply establish lines with the weapon. The artist must take the time to draw each line with the little dots they’re creating, in order to produce stick and pokes.. Stick and pokes are usually used to create a dark line. Because the first layer of dots isn’t dark enough, the artist must go over the outline numerous times to complete it. Stick and pokes can take anything from a few hours to a few days depending on the artist’s speed and skill.

  1. Stick & Pokes Are As Versatile As “Regular” Tattoos

Stick and pokes are associated with a DIY aesthetic because of their origins, but they’re quite flexible tattoos. You may pick between traditional drab ink or something lovely and sparkling tattooed on your body. If you have a lovely tattoo drawn on your skin and an experienced steady-handed artist who knows what they’re doing, you’ll be able to create amazing works of art.

  1. Stick & Pokes Heal (Relatively) Fast

Sticks and prods are each unique. They generally heal quicker than professional tattoos, and they don’t peel as much. Tattoo care is about the same for stick and poke tattoos: Allow the skin to breathe by washing it in warm water and antibacterial soap as soon after the procedure as possible, Consider using a topical moisturizing cream for a few days, followed by unscented lotion for the next few days until it no longer peels or feels dry.

  1. Stick & Poke Tattoos Also Fade Faster

It’s very probable that your stick and poke will become one of your oldest friends. They fade rapidly, especially on regions you clean frequently, such as your fingertips. When exposed to UV light, many low-cost tattoos fade from view before they are even completely visible. When compared to normal professional tattoos, you can often notice the fading when they’re still totally coherent and obvious.

The fact that these tattoos don’t endure forever might be seen as a positive, especially if you change your mind. You may try it out before making a long-term investment. If you adore them, you can allow them to fade away over time. If you become attached to them, my friends can stick and prod over the lines again, or a professional tattoo artist may go over it to give it a more permanent home on your body.

  1. Stick & Poke Tattoos Are (Usually) More Cost Effective

Professional tattoos can be very pricey; they may cost hundreds of dollars per hour, with artists demanding as much as a few hundred dollars for one design.

You can get a Stick and pokes for as little as 20 or 30 dollars. The equipment required is so simple and inexpensive that it usually consists of tattoo ink and a sewing needle (which artists sterilize with a flame). A complete stick-and-poke tattoo kit generally costs less than $100.

They like using individually packed sterile needles, which are also quite inexpensive (around $11 for 50 needles). If you have a friend who does them, you might be able to obtain them for free.

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