If you follow us on Instagram, you've probably seen us repost Yazzy (aka @weestiknpoke)'s stick and pokes. We absolutely love her design style and the incredible detail of her tattoos, so we had to speak to her to learn more about her stick and poke background.
Who are you and where are you based?
My name is Yazzy, short for Yasmien! I’m from a wee town called St.Andrews in Fife and I’m a hand poke tattoo artist currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. I work in a beautiful studio called Sun&Moon Tattoos.
How long have you been a stick and poke artist for and how did you learn?
I have been a hand poke artist for 4 years now. My journey began when I got my first ever tattoo, I was living in Vancouver at the time and heard through a friend of an artist who was doing hand pokes in their home studio. I had wanted a tattoo for years but always over thought designs so I decided to choose one of their flash drawings. As soon as I arrived I was obsessed, I asked every question I could think of, then I went home that night and bought myself a Single Needle Tattoo Kit! A week later I was poking myself and I was lucky enough to have friends who were willing to let me practise on them. I continued to get tattooed by other artists and gain as much knowledge from them as I could in my sessions. I also found some really useful Reddit threads where I would post my hand pokes and get feedback from more experienced artists!
What is it that you love about stick and poke tattoos?
There is so much I love about the hand poke process, but I think the main one is knowing I’m never inflicting a lot of pain on anyone. Hand poke is so gentle on the skin - I think there is a misconception that hand poke is more painful than machine tattoos, but in my opinion it’s not true!
What tips would you give to someone for perfecting their poke technique?
A couple of wee tips I can think of are always poke with your needle at an angle, and start with light pressure and go over it if you need to - less is more! You can always add more once it’s healed but if you apply too much pressure and over do it you cannot reverse it!
Tell us about your favourite hand poked story.
I love the amount of people I get to meet through tattooing and all the different stories that my clients tell me. One of my favourite stories is whilst travelling around Canada I got to meet so many people who wanted tattoos - and now 3 years later I live with one of them and she is one of my best friends!
What advice would you give to someone who's wanting to become a stick and poke artist?
Do research on how to tattoo safely and hygienically. There are online courses you can do on blood borne pathogens and I would recommend educating yourself on that too! Draw a lot, work on building a portfolio, and don’t be scared to put yourself out there!
Lastly, where can people find you?
You can find me on Instagram @weestiknpoke
- I am a resident at sun and moon tattoos in Glasgow but I also regularly guest spot in London! You can find all information about booking in and where I will be guesting on my social media.
Make sure you follow Yazzy to keep up to date with her tattoos, and let us know who you'd like us to interview next.