5 Hand-poke tattoo artists in Singapore to consider for your next ink job: scarlettpokes, sick_n_poke...

5 Hand-poke tattoo artists in Singapore to consider for your next ink job: scarlettpokes, sick_n_poke...

Stick and poke

Text: Azrin Tan

Image: Instagram @sick_n_poke

Face it: tattoos have progressed from the old cultural stereotype of being associated solely with gangs and criminal activity. Sure, body art may not be for everybody, but there's no doubt that the evolution of permanent ink on our bodies has garnered a new life of its own that is displayed through the multiple types of tattoo art. From full segments of black shading to intricate line designs, it's become clear that tattoos are indeed, an art form that entails variant kinds of craft techniques and visual mastery.

One such technique that is unlike most conventional methods is the hand-poked tattoo type. This technique literally consists of a single needle that is dipped into ink, and subsequently poked into your skin. It may not sound like much, but in actual fact, the stick-and-poke sort actually relies a lot on the artist's ability to sense the amount of pressure and depth that should be applied in order to get the ink to settle nicely into the skin.

What is the appeal behind a hand-poked tattoo, then? It feels more raw, intimate, and has a D.I.Y feel about it, with its thicker lines and hand drawn aesthetic.

Of course, in terms of pain intensity: this remains hard to say as it ultimately boils down to a personal preference — do you think you'll prefer a slow, pinching method, or would you prefer the faster, more old school machine? If you think the stick-and-poke type of tattoo is indeed for you, or well, it's something you'd want to try, then here's a couple of tattoo artists you can hit up — since they all specialize in this traditional craft technique of the body art form.


Scarlett's a sentimental one. Her work reminds her customers of the simple pleasures of life, often infusing flowers or watercolour splashes amidst faded black lines. Her intricate craft is a gentle nod to specific memories in time; an ode to the childhood dreams of our past.


Well-established in the tattoo scene for her unique designs, @sick_n_poke is a master of complex artwork, most of which consists highly artistic and abstract drawings that require immense attention to detail.


Cute — that's the one word we're using to describe this artist's work. The focus of her art seems to be mostly on the act of personifying objects e.g a t-shirt or a house. Her minimalist style of drawing a face into her otherwise inanimate characters  — with two dots and a line — gives her art a whimsy appearance.


If you're just looking to do a mini handpoke tatt, @wigglypokings is the artist for you. Her art pays attention to the simpler details, and is done in miniature forms. Most of her ink projects are considerably tiny, featuring a mesh of simple shapes or logos. From punctuation marks to a single rose, her lines are full and clean, giving emphasis to the definition of her smaller artworks.


Looking to ink yourself in a color-frenzy? @e.llocia is probably the one for you. Her art has a strong focus on bright and intense colors. She also incorporates cutesy versions of Japanese-inspired drawings such as No-face from Spirited Away or personified sushi. For the most part though, her designs can be seen as a complete contrast to the usual black lines associated with the bodily art form as she experiments mainly with color.