When we think of tattooing, the first thing that comes to mind is electric tattoos, but there are other fantastic alternatives, such as the stick and poke technique. They are created using a needle and ink. You may have noticed them trending recently on social media or seen people opting for a DIY approach. Although stick and poke are currently enjoying their moment in the limelight, it is one of the oldest methods for body art and has a very distinct look. Other reasons it may appeal to you could be because you don’t like mainstream tattooing; it has a rebellious association, once being inked by people in the punk movement and underground scene. Perhaps you want a design that has a little more character? Or maybe you like the idea of going back in time? We are here to help you find out everything you need to know.
Stick and Poke Tattoos
1. Simple and Easy Stick and Poke Tattoo
Stick and poke tattoos may take longer to create because the artist will have to go over the same lines several times, so a simple and easy design is incredibly appealing. The technique is also less precise than machine tattoos, giving it an exciting and unique aesthetic, so even the most basic inkings are interesting and cool. Simple also doesn’t mean boring; get creative and find a straightforward but meaningful option. This could be a silhouette of your favorite skyline or an outline of a flower you love.
2. Trippy Stick and Poke Tattoo
Trippy stick and poke tattoos not only look interesting, often using psychedelic images, but they can also have a lot of meaning. It is an act of rebellion, a protest against mainstream society and social expectations. Deciding to opt for a stick and poke technique instead of an electric machine can also create a more punk appearance. Your ink could include a series of patterns, symbols or characters, and can be one or several pieces done together to form a bigger design. The choice is yours so let your creative juices flow.
3. Cool Stick and Poke Tattoo
If you are looking for a piece that will grab attention, why not a cool stick and poke tattoo? The style is already appealing to some individuals because it is not a technique used by everyone. This makes it different, and the lines can look like a series of dots which creates an interesting texture. When it comes to the designs, there is a wide variety of options to choose from. This could be a mythical animal like a dragon or phoenix, which are beautiful and symbolic, or it could be an eye, dagger, or even a tribal design. Before deciding on the piece you love, work with your tattoo artist to discuss which pieces would look great using this style and which would be better suited to an electric machine.
4. Funny Stick and Poke Tattoo
If you want to show the world that you have a great sense of humor, you can let this reflect in your choice of body art. Funny stick and poke tattoos are a wonderful option for someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Perhaps you want a clever slogan, or are choosing a character or scene from your favorite comedy? There are so many ways to make this piece unique and meaningful to you, as it reflects an aspect of your personality.
5. Meaningful Stick and Poke Tattoo
Getting a tattoo does cause discomfort, and if you are going to endure the pain for your design, why not make it for something meaningful. Body art can express your feelings, and if there is something that means a lot to you, what better way to remind yourself of this than with a cool tattoo? Choosing what to get depends on you, but many people opt for quotes, poems, and lyrics that have somehow impacted their lives. These words tell a story about the things you have been through and the emotions you have experienced. You could also get an image representing strength and power as a reminder that you possess those qualities. A meaningful tattoo done in the stick and poke technique will allow you to feel every puncture, making it incredibly personal.
6. Edgy Stick and Poke Tattoo
If mainstream designs are not to your liking, then there are many fantastic, edgy stick and poke tattoo options to choose from. They have a rebellious feel, and the subject matter is often unusual and different from the norm; it has been popular with individuals in the punk movement and underground scene. The technique creates an interesting and distinct aesthetic, which affects the overall vibe of your ink. This is great for someone who contemplates life and wants body art that reflects their unique style and personality. From skulls to playing cards, there are no rules of what you can or cannot get.
7. Cute Stick and Poke Tattoo
If you are worried about the pain associated with tattoos, then stick and poke options may be a nice way to ease into the world of body art. Although they may take longer to complete, they tend to be less painful than electric tattoos, although this does depend on the location. Opting for a cute stick and poke tattoo is a lovely choice because it will give you something to smile about every time you look down at your ink. This could be anything that you love, like a sweet little lamb or a baby elephant. It would also be an excellent option to get it inked somewhere you can look at all the time so that the piece can bring you joy.
8. Tiny Stick and Poke Tattoos
Tiny stick and poke tattoos are a wonderful way to try out the technique and see if it is for you. The great thing about small tattoos is that they are incredibly versatile; you can get them inked anywhere, and they are easy to hide if you need to. The stick and poke approach tends to take longer than electric machine pieces, so the smaller your inking, the faster it will be to complete. Other pros include the price, making it an attractive option for those getting their first tattoo. Or for people who would perhaps be unable to afford something more extensive.
9. Big Stick and Poke Tattoo
Some people think that getting stick and poke tattoos are less painful; others disagree because they take so long to complete, and the artist has to go over the same lines several times before they stick. Regardless, opting for a big stick and poke tattoo will hurt, but it will also make a statement. Choosing a meaningful design that covers your back, chest, or thigh is a wonderful way to celebrate something you love. Or if you want to decorate your skin with something cool. The style also uses dot work, which is very interesting and unique. Another reason people are so drawn to the technique is that you can feel every puncture, so every dot that forms part of your piece. This makes it incredibly personal in a way that you do not get with machine tattoos.
10. Finger Stick and Poke Tattoo
Deciding on the placement for your body art is just as important as the design. Stick and poke finger tattoos are an incredibly popular option because it allows you to show off your ink. Tiny pieces can also be appealing because of the pain associated with the location; due to the lack of muscle and the high concentration of nerves in the fingers, this is a spot that will hurt. It will also fade faster because of how often you use your fingers and hands. If you have a rebellious spirit and want to try out a cool technique, this is the location for you.
11. Hand Stick and Poke Tattoo
It is the uniqueness of this style that has earned it so many followers in recent years. There is something imperfect about each piece, giving it character and making it more meaningful. And because your ink won’t last forever, that is even more reason to get something you love that you can enjoy looking at. As far as placement options go, what better location to look at every day than your hand? Getting a stick and poke hand tattoo is great for visibility, but the pain associated with the location is a significant drawback. Your body art will also fade faster because of how often you use your hands. Some people find that the fact that these tattoos don’t last forever is part of their appeal, making them even more special while they last.
12. Arm Stick and Poke Tattoo
One of the best locations for body art is the arm because it is a spot that is large enough to allow for a detailed piece if you so wish. It also tends to cause less discomfort due to the fat and muscles in the area. Stick and poke arm tattoos are great to show off your design when you want, but you can also cover them up if you need to. For example, if you work a corporate job. When choosing the right piece, take your time to think about what sort of things would suit this technique well.
13. Thigh Stick and Poke Tattoo
Thigh stick and poke tattoos are gorgeous and can be a wonderful way to draw attention to this part of your body. This can create a very feminine appearance. The appeal of thigh tattoos is also that it doesn’t tend to be as painful as some other locations because of the thickness of the skin, muscles, and fat in the area. The spot is intimate, making it easy to cover up, but it also adds a sensual element. If you have a large or long design, then this is the perfect location for you!
14. Foot Stick and Poke Tattoo
If you are wondering what the perfect placement for your next ink is, let us point you in the direction of a foot stick and poke tattoo. The pros of this location are that you can cover it up whenever you want, and they also look cool. That said, getting tattooed in this spot hurts; only those who can handle the pain should choose their foot. To some, that is appealing as it shows they could withstand the discomfort for a design they love. Keep in mind that you will not be able to wear shoes until your piece has healed. Plus, foot tattoos will fade over time.
15. Shoulder Stick and Poke Tattoo
One of the best places for a stick and poke design is a shoulder tattoo. The reason this placement is so popular is that it is so versatile. Cover it up if you wish, or show it off. Choose a small piece of a large one. Plus, the outer shoulder is considered one of the least painful spots for body art because it has thick skin and fewer nerve endings. It is worth noting that the skin in this area can stretch, so be mindful when choosing your piece that the detail may not last.
16. Collar Stick and Poke Tattoo
The collarbone is considered one of the most alluring parts of the body, especially for women. You can get inked with something delicate and pretty or symbolic of strength and power. The placement suits design with length, which should run horizontally along the bone or just beneath it. It also will not stretch much depending on weight gain or weight loss. Although there are many pros to the area, there is a significant drawback: the pain. It is considered one of the most painful spots to get inked. It may also fade faster if constantly exposed to the elements.
17. Neck Stick and Poke Tattoo
The beauty of a neck stick and poke tattoo is that this spot is often reserved for those with a rebellious streak. It can potentially affect your job prospects and could result in judgment, especially from the older generations. This technique is excellent if you still want a neck tattoo; it was previously associated with people in the punk movement and underground scene. The neck is one of the boldest spots for body art. Anything you get here will automatically make a statement! It can be detailed or straightforward but know that this is somewhere that people will see all the time, and you want to be proud of whatever design you have chosen. It is also going to hurt because of the thin skin in the area.
18. Back Stick and Poke Tattoo
The stick and poke technique take you back to basics; the art of tattooing began using just a needle and ink. If you love how it looks or want something different from electric tattoos, this is a fantastic option. As far as placement is concerned, the back is undoubtedly one of the best spots. A back tattoo can be covered by clothing if you want it to be or showed off. It is large enough that you will not be restricted in terms of your chosen design. The pain is considered low to moderate in the upper or lower back, especially the further you go from the bones and spine.
19. Japanese Stick and Poke Tattoo
Japanese tattoos are rich in symbolism, but they also have a very distinct style. Although there is some controversy surrounding the art of tattooing in Japan, it is something that has existed for centuries. Like stick and poke, the Tebori method is done with hand poking. The artist uses a thin piece of bamboo or a metal tool attached to a needle. They then poke the ink into the skin, creating a design. It can be elaborate, colorful, and even make use of shading. These pieces take a lot of skill to complete, are time-consuming, and cost a lot of money; depending on where you choose to get them done.
20. Best Friend Stick and Poke Tattoo
What better way to celebrate the person who means everything to you than with body art? Stick and poke best friend tattoos are a popular choice because they are a way to honor your friendship. There are many designs to choose from, including matching pieces, initials, Celtic friendship symbols, little birds, sun and moon, and interlocking hearts. When deciding on what is best for you and your BFF, think about something that means a lot to both of you. Or what represents your relationship with each other. Although many people opt for the DIY approach, inking their bestie themselves, you should get your artwork done by a professional to avoid any infection or permanent scarring.
What is Stick and Poke Tattoo?
Stick and poke tattoos are a technique that is not as common as mainstream tattooing, but it is enjoying a resurgence of popularity. This is partly because the method takes you to the basics of inking, giving you something simple and interesting to look at. They are not created with an electric tattoo machine, with the artist instead of using a needle and a rod. Often the lines need to be repeated several times for the ink to show up. The style is not as clean and precise as it would be with an electric machine, but this is the appeal of the aesthetic. There is no limit on what you can and cannot get inked, from simple and cute designs, to big and detailed. Even color can be used, although it doesn’t take as well.
Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Hurt?
Any form of body art that uses a needle will hurt, but in general, stick and poke tattoos are not thought to be as painful as machine tattoos. This is because they are less invasive on the skin. They may also heal faster but take longer to complete. That said, the discomfort you will endure is mainly due to your pain tolerance and the location you choose to get inked. Places like the fingers, hand, feet, and ankles are painful, whereas the thigh, arm, and outer shoulder have fewer nerve endings, resulting in less discomfort. Another factor to consider is your chosen design, is that large, detailed pieces will hurt more.
How Long Do Stick and Poke Tattoos Last?
Stick and poke tattoos tend to fade faster than machine ink. When the artist is creating your design, they will have to go over the same area several times for it to take, and some individuals do not go deep enough, and your design will fade prematurely. In general, if your body art is done by a professional, you can expect your piece to last between five and ten years, but this depends on the location of your tattoo. For example, the hands and fingers will fade faster because of the frequency of use. Aftercare always plays an important part in how long your ink will last.
Stick and Poke Tattoo Aftercare
Once your stick and poke tattoo is complete, you want to ensure it does not get infected and heals properly. This can be done with proper hygiene and avoiding getting the ink too wet; don’t go swimming. The aftercare is the same as a machine tattoo, except that they should heal faster. These pieces are also unlikely to scab. As soon as it’s completed, the tat should be wrapped for around a day; your tattoo artist may recommend longer. It is important not to scrub the area but to keep it clean and moisturized using tattoo care and maintenance cream or something unscented like Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Do not submerge it in water for around two weeks or until it has healed, and keep it out of the sun.
Why Is DIY Stick and Poke Tattoo a Bad Idea?
One of the significant problems with stick and poke tattoos is that instead of doing research and going to an artist trained in this technique, people attempt to do them themselves. There is a surge in individuals opting for the DIY approach, but this can be incredibly dangerous. Many people do not use tools that have been sterilized and are not trained properly to avoid cross-contamination. The punctures into your skin can expose you to bacteria and viruses. This can result in several complications, including staph infection, hepatitis, and permanent scarring. You may also feel incredibly disappointed with the results because the process is not as easy as it looks.
What to Do if You Have Stick and Poke Tattoo Infection
The risk of infection is increased dramatically by individuals who engage in DIY stick and poke tattoos because of the risk of bacteria entering your skin if you do not use proper, sterilized equipment. If you have an infection from your tattoo, it is important to take the appropriate measures to care for it. You need to ensure it is kept clean at all times; you could use a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a nonstick bandage, which should be changed regularly. However, if your piece is hurting, has a smell, is emitting pus, and is red, then you need to see a medical professional about it to avoid scarring or severe side effects. You will likely be prescribed a round of antibiotics. If you are unsure, always contact a doctor for more information.