Hooray for Hand Poked!
While the invention of the electric tattoo machine in 1891 changed the face of tattooing, many artists still adopt the traditional hand poking technique which has been around for centuries.
Much like modern tattooing, hand poking creates a permanent long-lasting image on the skin. However, unlike machine work, hand poking does not require electricity. In its most basic form, hand poking involves using a needle to ‘poke’ ink underneath the skin which produces a series of dots that come together to create a tattoo. Many artists make their own unique hand poking tools to carry out their work; for instance, in traditional Japanese work, tebori artists use bamboo to make their detailed designs.
Hand poked tattoos are often preferred by those who seek a more organic tattooing method. Although, due to the intricacies involved, hand poking can take a longer amount of time to produce a design in comparison to a machine. Despite this, hand poking is traditionally less painful tattooing method and healing is quicker and easier due to less trauma being caused to the skin.
This post will showcase the work of five incredible hand poke artists working around the world today ...
Compiled by Holly Mitchell (@hollyymitchell_)
Featured tattoo by Grace Neutral (@graceneutral)