We put out a call to our community on social media to share about their pandemic home tattoo experience. COVID has caused sheltering in place and a rise in at-home activities such stick and poke tattooing. Our sales went WAY up. We were the topic of a VICE article, NEW YORK TIMES article and the Calvary Times! (The Calvary times was great, tbh). Many new artists emerged from the “stay at home” orders implemented around the globe. Here are some pictures and words from a few new hand-poke artists:
Shar, who is @offgridink on Instagram said that our kit made them “fall in love with tattooing” –
which is the sweetest compliment to the kit. Here is more from them:
“I started stick and poke tattooing out of necessity when I moved far out of the city and couldn’t make the trip often for new tattoos. I was also living somewhere very rural that had unreliable electricity (hence the name, off-grid ink). Now, I continue to hand poke to bring myself closer with my heritage! Learning about traditional hand poked African tattoos has been very healing for me! Apart from the cultural and ritual aspect, I stick and poke because it gives me lots of time to connect with my clients. People always say your hairdresser is your therapist… I’ve experienced the same thing with stick and poke. It gives people a chance to relax, open up, and chat; without the noise of a machine.” @offgridink is based in Tkoronto, Turtle Island
@OrionIndigo and @seapanda.pokes live in the Netherlands and co-own @monstera-ink in Utrect –
a studio that advertises itself as a “safe space” for queer people and looks like a very inviting place with all the monstera! If you’re ever in the Netherlands – check em out! I certainly will be booking to get a lil kitty on my palm or something soon!
Oriana: “My designs are mostly plants and flowers mixed with abstract forms. Plants and flowers are my absolute favorite. I also like combining things that don’t belong together like a bunny with wings for example. Anything that is different. But also fine lines and circles. And I love anything with color which I cant wait to do more of!”
Mako (@sea-pandapokes) just started tattooing this Spring and already co-owns a studio! “I love everything from games, Dungeons and Dragons, Female empowerment quotes or images or very organic designs like plants or my favorite, Mushrooms 😁”
@Diet Poke is Taylor Gage in LA
“I have taken the required California testing for blood born pathogens and follow those guidelines as much as possible. I’m still tattooing from home mostly so having a sterile work environment is my biggest challenge but so far so good! It’s hard to see people now too with the current state of affairs inviting people and germs into my home but we mask up and we make do. It’s definitely slowing me down, but safety is my top concern.”
@ladyavy_tattoo is hand-poking out of Germany – and learned in January using the kit. Now has a tattoo studio!
She says: “I thought everything myself and communicated a lot with machine artist, but never felt happy with machine. So I kept everything for safety, but found my way in snp when I tried your set. I got it as a present. ”
@matchstick.tattoos is Andy (they/them)
“I started seriously tattooing in march when i had idle time during lockdown. i was sick with covid and quarantined for a month and a half by myself. when i recovered in July, i began tattooing others when covid-19 restrictions lifted”
Is a trans guy in Finland who is thinking about the future and how to become a better artist and to build himself a better future. <3
@artbimpson is a non binary artist beginning to tattoo.
“It’s become this beautiful outlet for me to reclaim my body as something I’m proud to have. I use it to replace old scars from self harming, creating new meaning to the lines of my skin. It’s also become a way for me to build trust with friends and family with the intimate process of causing trauma to the skin to leave something everlasting. “
@amilo_u pokes in the UK!
“I’m not sure what my style is really lockdown2020 style lol – I love big bold nice thick lines block colour traditional old school with a bit of ignorant style…..I stick and poke because I love tattoos I love the freedom of it I struggle with mental health and it really helps me to relax take 5 for myself but at the same time helping me like the skin I’m in I never wore a dress till I started stick and poke I now have happy legs :-)”
@cheryllpoe….”I love the kit! It’s so straightforward and I love that you get everything you need!”
@handpoketattoosecta is Evi in Greece! She sticks and pokes for friends at home…
“Usually I draw things I saw in my dreams, or stuff I’m talking about with my people. I also observe stuff in the street while I’m walking in the city.”
“I had always wanted to get tattoos, and had been postponing it since I was 18. I had seen videos of people doing stick and pokes at home, but they seemed unsafe and I wasn’t sure i wanted to go that route. When we began quarantine I realized that there many things I hadn’t done, I realized it was time for me to get the tattoos I’d always wanted. I began researching and found you guys. I got the kit and began poking. I didn’t think I would enjoy so much. There is something really special about doing the entire process myself, from the design to the end result.”
@pokanagan grew up in an island in Canada – check out these fish!
“I started hand poking around the end of September 2020. At first it was a spontaneous thought and I would just do some on myself and maybe my brother and cousin. After I started poking I realized I absolutely loved it. Its so personal and therapeutic. Even doing a different piece all my stress goes away. There is nothing like the connection between myself and a close friend while I am giving them my art.”