Is 2015 the Year of Stick and Poke Tattoos?

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Popular art usually moves in a progressive motion with new innovations spawning new techniques built upon previous trends. But every so often art will turn tail and revert to its roots. Some think that tattoo art might be headed in that direction thanks to the popularity of stick and poke tattoos.

Style.com, a notable fashion website, has called the stick and poke tattoo one of the fashion trends ready to explode in 2015. Whereas elaborate back pieces and photorealistic tattoos can take multiple sessions and thousands of dollars to complete stick and poke tattoos are as simple as the art form gets.

The beauty of a stick and poke tattoo comes from its simplicity. By sticking to simple designs that are usually on the small side the rudimentary tattooing style can be done by just about anyone. And by remaining monochromatic the image that is inked stands out boldly, there is nothing extraneous to muddle the subject.

A huge part of the allure of tattooing is the sentimentality that people attach to their tattoos. Since the majority of stick and poke tattoos are inked by the recipient themselves or by one of their close friends an added sentimental attachment to the tattoo comes out of the process, which is pretty cool.

Stick and poke elephant tattoo by Max Blackmore

Stick and poke tattoo by Max Blackmore

The one thing that is a little bit scary about the stick and poke trend is the fact that so many people are doing the tattoos themselves. The reason tattooing is so heavily regulated is that it is really easy to spread disease and cause infection, the same precautions might not always be taken when giving/getting a stick and poke tattoo. While there are kits available on the internet that make the process a bit safer by providing sterile needles and non-toxic ink be wary of their quality, the FDA has recalled a number of these kits for failing to back up their claims of sterility.

"At-home tattooing can be more dangerous if the individual does not know how to select good quality inks and equipment including sterile needles," FDA press officer Lauren Sucher told The Daily Mail. "If purchasing kits online for home use, consumers should not use and should dispose of tattoo inks and tattoo kits that have been recalled. The consumer should know how to properly prepare the skin for tattooing and apply the ink. Proper pre- and post-tattooing hygiene and after care are important in preventing complications."

As a lover of all things tattoo we fully embrace the popularity of stick and poke tattoos and look forward to seeing more of them in 2015. As long as they are done in accordance with the utmost safety standards, that is.

(Stick and poke tattoo photos by Max Blackmore)