Self-Taught Tattoo Artists

Mattie is a self-taught tattoo artist who got into tattooing a year ago, but he quickly became interested in the stick-and-poke style of ink. He started by doing small handpoked tattoos on himself, and then moved on to tattooing his friends. Because he was self-taught and had experience in graphics, he was soon noticed by a local tattoo parlor owner, who asked him to join his shop.

Mag Haener

Mag Haener is a student at the University of Idaho. She has been tattooing her friends since November 2016 and has been working out of her living room since 2017. Mag Haener is one of the few female tattoo artists in Idaho. She has won several awards for her work and has a loyal following.

Shreya Josh

Shreya Josh is a self-taught handpoke tattoo artist who has been promoting this form of tattooing for over four years. During this time, she has taught over 400 students in India. She has also studied at the School of Arts Institute of Chicago, a multidisciplinary arts college.

When you go to a handpoke artist, you should ask about their techniques and the quality of their work. Handpoked tattoos are typically minimalist and can vary from a simple dot to a very intricate design. You should ask your artist which designs they recommend.

Handpoke artists can use bamboo sticks and thorns to create their designs. But most use needles and basic splints. Some artists also use an ice cream stick for support. Shreya Josh is a handpoke artist with over 3,000 followers on Instagram. She sells kits for beginners to tattoo themselves and their friends. The kit includes four needles, a silicon skin patch, and black ink. Her Instagram handle also features videos about safe set-ups and hygienic techniques.

Rie Oh

Rie Oh is a self-taught handpoke artist based in Austin, Texas. She began her journey into tattooing in 2016 and practiced in a home studio with her friends. She now works out of a studio in Austin called No Good Tattoo. Her work is inspired by the beauty of the desert, surrealism, and minimalism.

Mattie Elliot

A self-taught tattoo artist, Mettie Elliot has been tattooing people for over a year. He loves the stick-and-poke style of ink and began by tattooing himself and then progressing to smaller handpoke tattoos on friends. Although he is self-taught, his love of design helped him land a job at a local tattoo parlor, where he learned the ropes.


Abhishek is a tattoo artist who started his career in 2010. He has been trained by some of the top artists in North East India and has worked at many national tattoo conventions. He has also trained with Apple Ink Studio in Thailand. He specializes in Religious and Asian tattoos, as well as Realism and Custom Lettering.

Despite being so simple, hand poke tattoos can be quite intricate. The tattoos that are created with this technique can vary in complexity from a simple dot to a more detailed design. Here, four tattoo artists share their work and explain the process behind a handpoke tattoo.