stick'n'poke tattoo

So, this night I finally stick'n'poked myself. It’s the tattoo my best friend got 3 weeks before he killed himself. It’s 4 years ago and I still miss him every single day of my life, he meant everything to me and I wish I could have saved him from himself. I’m so deeply sorry for everything that happened since then and I know I’m another person since that day but please, believe me when I say I’m trying.
And please, do me a favour and never kill yourself, you have no idea in how many ways you hurt the people you leave behind you and how much you actually mean to someone. Have hope, it will get better some day, I promise.
Forever in my mind, forever under my skin - rest in peace love 06/04/13

I hand poked this little alien abduction for darling Clara. They will come take you home one day Clara, till then we get to have fun hanging with you.

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Believe it or not, you can indeed safely tattoo yourself! 

First, you need COMPLETELY STERILE NEEDLES. I’m not talking about ones you have heated up or washed down with rubbing alcohol, I’m talking about packaged needles that are intended for stick n poke tattoos.

Second, NEVER, EVER, EVER reuse a needle OR ink. Personally, I have my own pot of ink to do my own tattoos with and even then I tip a little bit of ink out into a small tattoo ink pot to use and throw that away afterwards. If I have to put my needle down for whatever reason, it gets chucked away and I open a fresh needle. 

Third, STERILISATION. Clean hands, body and work area. You need to be clean all over and you need to wear gloves. After you set everything up, you need to wash your hands with soap and wipe them down with an alcohol swab and chuck some gloves on. If you touch anything other then the person you are tattooing, the needle or the ink pot, throw the gloves out and get new ones. You might have a tray that you use as a surface, but please make sure you place a piece of packaged plastic over the tray, you can buy these at chemists for first aid kits. 

Make sure that the fresh tattoo is covered with glad wrap, all the needles, plastic, gloves, used alcohol swabs and left over ink is thrown away and clean your tray and hands. The person with the new tattoo should also increase the amount of vitamins they’re taking (some supplements will help), make sure their diet is healthy, make sure they are getting a bit of exercise and they should be sleeping 8+ hours a night- it might sound weird but it really, really helps with healing and helps fight off infection. 

Please don’t do you tattoo’s in a squat, bathroom, dirty room etc., make sure there is nothing molding in the room either. 

I have 9 tattoos which I’ve done all myself, I don’t regret any of them because they all mean so much to me- and the meaning behind some of them is literally just ‘I impulsively did this tattoo while I was in this mood’ and it still means a lot to me. This is all pretty much just common sense.

I like pink roses and little gold rings and stick'n'poke tattoos and shiny green beetles and cups of tea that are warm but not too hot and crystals and yelling at a football game and making up stories for strangers I people watch and driving with no music on sometimes and driving with the music super loud and little rainbow sheens on puddles at a gas station and sunflowers because they grow towards the sunlight

I hand poked the date of my dad’s wedding on his finger to sit beneath his wedding ring. Thanks dad, I love you. 


Intaglio | Tattoo
Kickstarted this year by tattooing one of my etchings onto friend CBH. Stick and poke with a 3RL needle, been doing more of them recently.
I don’t copy the etching line by line, I basically re-do the entire work.
When writing on my plates it of course happens backwards, and I very much value that small translation that happens in the etching and printing process, the result is very close to my handwriting but not exactly, a mirrored copy of my backwards handwriting really, which looks a lot like my own handwriting, but with a certain distance to it. 
When tattooing the change to the handwriting is different, but still enough to satisfy me. And like in intaglio, the ink sits in the deeper parts, the “grooves” poked into the skin by the needle. Probably overreading the significance of that, but still - into it.

Since I’ve been thinking so much about tattooing in relation to etching, I’ve decided to only do them in an edition of 3. I’ll post some of them infrequently, from the 33 series and the HOW TO LIVE work I’ve been doing on my leg in the last months.

*apologies for terrible cell phone pics, btw. 

** also: 400th post, what what what what.

*** so far I’ve only worked on people I know and really like. I’m considering to expanding that to people I like, but not neccessarily know yet. Get in touch when interested and in a city I either live in or visit. Stockholm Helsinki Berlin Vienna and so on.

Further reading:

I only fucked you as a joke

“oooh baby, I can’t make good decisions everyday”

Hand poked for Huma, photo taken two days after tattooing. Thank you Huma for a wonderful afternoon. 

Hand poked on Friday 13th February 2015 for darling Clara x


Hand poked for Lucas. 3cm tall heart. It was a pleasure to meet you Lucas.