hand poking tattoo process: freehand design



My journey into hand poked tattooing began nearly two years ago although I feel it has evolved most in the past 6 months. I was inspired to begin tattooing in late 2012 as I had a house guest that used hand poked tattooing as one of his main mediums – I was in awe of his use of color and ability and then it hit me that I too could use the medium of ink and skin. For those of you who are not familiar with the art of hand poked tattooing it is a method in which no machine is used – every mark on the skin is done by hand – poking every dot of every line to construct a whole.The following spring I was visiting a friend in L.A. explaining to her my exposure to the new art form and my consideration of doing it – her partner was a tattoo artist and she told me that she was able to take me to get supplies – I obtained my first box of needles and bottle of ink in march of 2013. I found myself tattooing within two days of that. I somehow had immediate trust from my surrounding community. I have been consistently practicing since then. I often find myself baffled by the amount of trust // support // love I have experienced from everyone that has helped me to nurture this art form – to help it grow. It has all occurred so organically and for that I could not be more grateful. This gift has grown into a point where it is the majority of my support – it feeds me beyond any medium I have experienced. I am a visual artist first and for most and this translation has felt profound – tattooing is a constant collaboration – it provides my work with a viewer and gallery for the rest of its being – it is allowed to evolve and have a continuous story. I could not as for anything more than that – thank you.

I was recently tattooing in Portland – a dear friend asked me to design a tattoo for him with complete freedom of what the image would be. Being obsessed with the number 6 and the geometry that comes with it – the design above was born – inspired primarily on the unifying qualities of the hexagram and the importance of the heart. As I was drawing it on him he made a comment about me free handing the entire drawing. It has never hit me that free handing every tattoo as something to be unique to my work until he pointed it out. It inspired me to talk about my work in a more public form – to share my experience as I birth these designs. With the exception of about 3 tattoos I have free handed every single design that I have tattooed – no stencils – no straight edges – just layers of marker. I typically begin with a lighter color to apply my base lines and then work up in darkness from there until the drawing is refined enough to make it permanent. Along with free handing my designs onto the skin I nearly always design during the appointment – to capture the energy of who ever I may be tattooing. I like to allow the design to come through me – to be channeled with some guided inspiration. It is amazing how much can come through when you allow it. I look at my tattoo work as a form of body work – my intention is for my pieces to serve as amulets // reminders // talisman // totems and various other representations of healing // transitioning // moving forward or whatever it may be that someone is looking to capture.

you can see more of my work here until I launch my website: http://instagram.com/taliamigliaccio


One thought on “hand poking tattoo process: freehand design

  1. Love your work so much and the idea of hand poked tattoos is so intriguing to me!! Beautiful woman and beautiful art💕

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