Posted on April 21 2017
I'm a Berlin based Hand poke Tattoo Artist. I moved to Berlin in 2009 and immediately fell in love with the city. I started working several office jobs and created art on the side; very shortly after I was introduced to Hand poke Tattooing by a friend, I decided to slowly make this craft my main job.
Was Hand Poke tattooing something you went to after machine tattooing, or has the hand poke style always been your preferred method?
I started out with Handpoke Tattooing and since then stuck to it. I was offered to try a machine and I probably will try it for shits and giggles, but Handpoked Tattoos are more up my alley. I love the silence, as well as the patience that both me and the client have to have.
We live in very stressed times and I want to show, that getting tattooed can actually be a process of investing time into something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
In other words: My clients know how to take a deep breath and calm the fuck down!
What was it like the first time you put needle and ink to skin?
Well of course I was nervous as fuck!
I didn't plan on doing it, but my friend Xani (you can find her awesome art under @alkfaen on Instagram) was already a Handpoker and she asked me if I wanted to have a go on her and I said yes.
Fortunatelly she had first taught me everything I needed to know about hygiene. My biggest fear would've been to do unsanitary work, so working with a 100% sterile kit of tools and work-setup made me way calmer. This way I was able to really enjoy it and fully concentrate on how to work the needle and how to create a clean and good tattoo.
I was damn slow, but I took my time, so that the outlines and shadingdetails would look nice.
All in all it was super fun and I was hooked!
Have you always been a tattoo artist?
Nope. In the past I was more focused on Photography and Street Art. At some point it was important to try make a living with Art, so stumbling into Tattooing was the best thing that could've happened to me.
Now I'm planning to open a studio in 2018 if everything is working out.
Do you have any memorable/ funny stories you can tell?
Something memorable happens in every tattoo-session I do, because I keep them very casual and so me and my clients sometimes talk about the funniest stuff...but that's all confidential and R-rated ;)
So far the most memorable story, was me tattoing in my hometown for 3 days. I only tattooed friends and it mostly happened in one livingroom that was at some point fillled with girls I have known for ages.
Chinese Food, contagious laughter and of course loads of sex-talk. It was fun and stress at the same time!
In those 3 days I did 6 Tattoos and when I arrived back in Berlin I was dead, but happy as hell.
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?
I think it's a good idea to try and make the whole practice of home tattooing a cleaner process.
There are also things that you need to remember:
- You should never put your ink in anything else but a sterile ink cap.
- Of course there are way more things to do, to create a sterile work space.
- You should avoid letting your tools touch anything but a disinfected surface that was wrapped in glad wrap.
- Wash your hands before you touch the gloves.
- And only touch your equipment after you put on the sterile gloves.
- The needle should never touch anything but the ink and the skin. You shouldn't dip the needles into isopropyl alcohol or disinfectant, since the needles that come with the kit are sterile anyway.
- It's good to check websites where you can inform yourself about tattooing or talk to tattoo artists.
- Also inform yourself about possible diseases or infections that can occur as a result of a dirty work-setup.