WITH time on their hands and no access to tattoo parlours, body art fans have been getting creative during lockdown.
The stick and poke trend, which uses a sharp pointed needle and black ink to create a DIY tattoo, was already on the rise before coronavirus hit.
But now the £30 kits, widely available online, are selling like hotcakes and Instagram pages are being flooded with pictures of homemade inkings.
Even celebrities are having a go, with model Kaia Gerber showing off her quarantine body art, including an angel design on her back and a heart on her shoulder.
The method – said to be more painful than a normal tattoo – involves dipping a sterile needle into the ink then piercing the skin numerous times to produce an outlined design.
It can then be shaded using different sized needle, or left as an outline.
Although the kits bought online have sterilised needles, doctors have warned against using any unsterilised equipment or sharing with others as it can lead to skin infections and diseases such as Hepatitis C.
Here are some of the home artists who have been having a go.
Talk of the devil
Charlie Wright, from Nottingham, has taken matters into her own hands and created some devilish designs during the pandemic.
The demon drawing on her thigh was the 14th tattoo she had completed in isolation, before she added the words “The Devil In I”.
Charlie – who calls herself TheDevilsBabex on Instagram – also self-drew the butterflies and the “I’m Not Okay” message on her left thigh.
This reddit user was proud of her artwork depicting a bird breaking free from a chain, a butterfly, a heart and a rose.
She captioned the picture, ‘My legs, all handpoked, all by me.”
One reddit poster proved such a fan of soft drinks he decided to ink a carton on his leg while in lockdown.
Sting in the Tale
With the amount each session stings, a wasp is probably an apt motif for a stick and poke tattoo.
Reddit user motherofallthings took two hours to complete this design and revealed this was her fourth attempt at home inking.
Tatt’s What Makes You Beautiful
Louis Tomlinson is well known for his multiple tattoos and his fans are taking inspiration from him for their home pokes.
Twitter user Jana posted a picture of her smiley face tattoo, a replica of the One Direction star’s wrist tatt.
She wrote: “Soooo I just did my first handpoke tattoo ever and IM SUPER PROUD OF IT. Ofc its smiley face. Because Louis Tomlinson is really important person in my life and..i just need to know that I’m not alone. So..here we go!”
Figure it out
One newcomer to stick and poke is staying abreast of the trend by inking this female form on her friend’s bottom.
She wrote: “I’m slowly getting better! Also tried tattooing with a tattoo pen today! Tbh I like the feeling of stick and poke much better! I feel more connected to the person.”
A dog lover with a sausage dog named Loaf used his home poke skills to create a permanent tribute, which he called “Bad Loaf.”
A little bit of nature is a must when living in lockdown and reddit user Kinaglos took her inspiration from the poppy fields of California.
This barbed wire design is based on a logo a reference to anime Cowboy Bebop, and was the home design of Twitter user Myled.
He wrote: “I did a tattoo and it made me happy.”
If you let your friends loose on your back, you had better trust them with your life.
This design was posted on reddit with the caption, “Healed trippy face I did on a friend.”
Don’t stare at it too long – it will freak you out.
Are home tattoo kits safe?
While the online kits may be safe, doctors warn that any unsterilized needle could cause painful skin infections, Hepatitis C and HIV.
In a recent NHS video, Dr Rob Hicks said: “The potential health risks that come from having a tattoo that people ought to be considering beforehand obviously is the issue of contaminated equipment, equipment that is contaminated with infections, so Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
“These are the major things that anybody considering having a tattoo should think about beforehand and be aware off.”
Sepsis.org recently advised against home tattoo kits, adding: “The inks have been associated with infections and allergic reactions and the agency is concerned that tattoos done at home may not follow all infection-prevention strategies.”
It may be proving tricky to find love in lockdown but one Simpsons’ fan has found a novel way of approaching the problem.
After inking this tattoo he posted online with the caption, “Big simplife, tryna get wife.” Doh!
What’s New Pussycat?
A cat lover gave reddit readers paws for though with this cute little kitty design.
He wrote: “Done yesterday! All hand poked.”
Whether this home artist was offering advice to angry trolls or a keen cook, she could also have been talking to her own skin.
After hours working on that design it must have burned.
A Fern Favourite
For a first effort, this fern design is in pretty good shape.
The reditter it belongs to posted it with the message: “First poke, 48 hours old. An experiment to see how light and how close I can go… might heal to a blob.”
Heart to Heart
It can’t be easy to tattoo a heart design as tiny as this with a stick and poke kit.
But at least when the tattoo parlour opens, it will be easy to colour in.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/926270/lockdown-diy-tattoos-stick-and-poke-trend-and-even-kaia-gerbers-had-a-go/