You may have seen, or even have, a "scratcher" — a tattoo a buddy of yours or maybe a drunken band-mate crafted with a sewing needle and a bottle of india ink. While these dark-room, late-night, questionable-choices tattoos are timeless in their own right, the age of the scratcher is being eclipsed by the steady rise of hand poke, where talented artists such as TeaLeigh are garnering legitimate success (and a six month long wait list to prove it).
Armed with nothing more than a fine needle, a stencil, and some raw talent, TeaLeigh manages to create exquisitely detailed pieces. At first glance they look as if they’ve been created with a standard machine, but once up close and personal, you’ll note the meticulous intricacy and beauty of each piece. I recently sat down with TeaLeigh to find out what inspires her, how she got into hand poking, and what artists inspire her most:
Tattoodo: Did you always find yourself drawn to hand poked tattoos, or were you ever a machine gal?
What about the hand poked style to do you love?
I feel like sometimes hand poked tattoos can get a bad rep. Does it ever bother you that any old Joe off the street could pick up a needle and ink and poke himself? Do you think it demeans or discredits the style?
What artists inspire you?
What’s your favorite piece you’ve poked so far?