Out With the New, In With the Stick and Pokes

    GJIt’s time to put aside the trendy, metallic temporary tattoos of the summer for another contemporary yet more permanent method of artistic individualization and expression. Since tattoos are not as negatively judged upon in the workplace, it’s natural the art is evolving — er, retrogressing, if we’re being honest. This method doesn’t even involve a noisy (and scary-sounding) motor. Please meet the stick and poke tattoo that’s taking over the ink world.

    Also called the hand poked tattoo, this method of artistry in its most honest form follows a back-to-basic approach. With only a needle and typically B&W ink (and of course gloves, sterilization, and a trusted professional “poker”), the ink is inserted dot by dot. For some who are less committed to body augmentations, they can also be manipulated to fade after months to years. And as for the others who wish to show off their ink for an eternity, I bear disheartening news: Eventually, they will fade and blur.


    Because the stick and poke is rudimentary and simple, many have taken on the adventure of sticking their own body or their friends’. While it is monumental to understand the consequences of unsanitary tattooing, such as the risk of dermal infection and hepatitis, home tattoos are never to be promoted. Your health is a priority. Just as with any tattoo, stick and pokes may cause discomfort, swelling, and bleeding. It’s rumored that they hurt more and are more of a time commitment than their alternative, the gun. Still, millennials are eager to sit in the chair for their own dotted masterpiece.

    GJ1This old-school method of tattooing features some of the coolest traditional and new-school art found nowadays. However, my favorite designs engender the fresh-faced utilization of geometric shapes. In fact, I’d like to give credit to the last few years and perhaps next few years of this decade to the exemplifying of a more simplistic view of life. In a place where thrift shopping and antiques are often favored to new and expensive items, the stick and poke tattoo has found a home because of its humble and ancient beginnings. I may never sit under the needle myself to parade my love of triangles; however, the mere appreciation of this intimate expression of individuality and bravery is enough to note.


    Check out @gnomepoke on Instagram, one of my favorite stick and poke users to creep on, for a collection of S&P’s from various artists.

    K.J. Owens
    K.J. Owens is an Indiana-loving senior in high school as well as an aspiring novelist. Language is a fascination of hers, from English to Spanish to American Sign Language. She may not be the greatest in the art industry, but she still finds herself getting the oils and brushes out and making a mess (which is a strength of hers) when not writing or working on independent studies. Her ongoing goal is to embrace every day, greet every person she meets, and let the world surprise and engage her an hour at a time.


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