Not sure if you want handpoke or machine? Here’s some more info to help you choose.

The main differences between machine tattooing and handpoke are the time, the pain level, and the aesthetic. With machine tattooing the machine is driving the needle super fast, making tiny dots very close together which gives clean & smooth lines. With handpoke, there is no machine and the tattooer is driving the needle, making a series of dots by hand to create the line.

Machine works best for:

♡ bigger and more complex pieces
♡ large areas of black or colour
♡ clean lines and bold colour
♡ very small pieces if they have super fine detail

Handpoke works best for :

♡ small and simple pieces
♡ a soft and gentle imperfect aesthetic
♡ black & grey, or small patches of colour
♡ small and fiddly placements like the fingers or ears

Handpoke generally hurts less, but also takes longer: it’s a less intense pain, but more enduring. Machine generally hurts more, but it’s also a much quicker process: a bit more intense but the experience doesn’t last as long.

The same needles and ink are used in both styles of tattooing, and neither should fade particularly faster than the other if the tattoo is taken care of while healing, and protected from the sun for the lifetime of the tattoo. Every person’s body will heal differently, and I offer free touch ups once the tattoo is fully healed, usually after around 3 weeks.

Here’s a few examples of my machine tattoos, and a few examples of my handpoked tattoos.

If you send a tattoo enquiry, feel free to ask about anything I’ve forgotten to cover!

Examples of machine tattoos:

tiger
bee eater
moth
black cat

Examples of handpoke tattoos:

cursed cat
sniffy
cat
frog and prawn

gemma@gemmaflack.com