Posted on October 03 2019
I’m an electrical and biomedical engineering student in Toronto, but enjoy drawing and doing tattoos in my spare time.
Was Hand Poke tattooing something you went to after machine tattooing, or has the hand poke style always been your preferred method?
I have never used a machine to tattoo. I prefer the process of handpoking because it feels more raw. When there isn’t a machine between me and the skin I’m tattooing, it ends up feeling more human in my opinion. In addition, I find the process of handpoking to be therapeutic. The repetitive motion of creating a work of art by putting together several little dots is an incredibly satisfying feeling.
What was it like the first time you put needle and ink to skin?
The first time I actually tattooed someone, it was just for fun with my friend. She tattooed a little alien on me, and I did a little UFO on her. It takes practice to get used to the pressure required for a tattoo with consistent lines, and the first time I did it, it definitely felt weird to play around with how deep I should be going. I remember that it took me about an hour or two for a tiny UFO! Now, it takes me that same amount of time for a full size tattoo.
Have you always been a tattoo artist?
Not exactly. I’ve always liked playing around with various mediums. I had only really gotten into tattooing a year ago. I’m not even currently studying art! I’m actually in school for electrical and biomedical engineering so people are always surprised to hear that I’m also a tattoo artist. Even from an anatomical viewpoint, skin has always intrigued me. And to be a good tattoo artist, one has to understand skin with all of its layers and complexity, how it deforms, its properties depending on location et
Do you have any memorable/ funny stories you can tell?
Ohhhh yeah haha I had these two separate designs:
and one day I accidentally placed one of them on top of the other and ended up with a funny looking dancing girl. My friends and I couldn’t stop laughing because it just looked so weird, but I kind of fell in love with it and ended up tattooing it on myself.
So Single Needle Tattoo Kits, I believe that home tattooing is inherently risky, but people have, and will continue to tattoo themselves, therefore making a safe and affordable kit is the way forward... What's your take on this?
All different kinds of tattooing are inherently risky. Higher risk comes from not being educated about the process and not having safe materials. I think a lot of people don’t realize that handpoked tattoos aren’t automatically tattoos done with a dirty sewing needle and pen ink. Handpoking just means you literally use your hand instead of a machine to “vibrate” the needle. That’s it! It can be just as professional and safe as a machine tattoo. I think providing these kits is important because it will allow people the right materials to use and access to education, lessening the risk. Ultimately, the risk from this process isn’t due to the process of handpoking itself, but rather ignorance on how and with what materials to do it.
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