Tatboyslim – Handpoked Tattoo Artist

by the partae
What is your name?

Amy aka.

Where are you currently based and what is the handpoked tattoo scene like there?

I am currently in Brunswick in Melbourne. Honestly I am not totally sure what the “handpoke” scene is like as I really don’t have any involvement in it. I have seen a lot of very talented handpoke tattoo artists on Instagram but only really follow a few Melbourne based ones. I’m a bit of a hermit to be honest, I keep to myself and don’t really take too much notice of what others are doing around me. I think it would definitely be beneficial for me to explore the opportunity of meeting other handpoke artist but I am honestly in my own little bubble.

How did you first get into handpoked tattoos?

Much like everyone else who does them I think, just by experimenting on myself.

What equipment and inks do you use?

I use all the same equipment anyone with a machine uses, just no machine.

Please describe how you perform this technique of tattooing:
One dot at a time and a hell of a lot of patience.

Do handpoked tattoos hurt more or less than modern motorized tattoos needle guns?

Some say they do but I don’t believe it! I guess as with any tattoo, machine or handpoke, pain will depend on placement and size etc. Most of my tattoos that have been done by machine have been larger and have had a lot of shading but all of my handpokes are just little bangers so they definitely haven’t hurt as much. Also a lot of people say I am very gentle! I have seen a lot of people say handpokes are worse but if you ask anyone I have tattooed they will likely say machine is worse for sure.

Who or what influences your handpoked tattoo style?

I wouldn’t say any specific person influences my style but I definitely love the underdog scene. I will get crucified for saying it but I love homejobs. I love the stories behind them. I love the rough look. There is a book called “home made tattoos rule” and it influenced me a lot. Obviously cleanliness and hygiene are important to me and the people I tattoo but the look of all of these has influenced me for sure.

How did you first start drawing and what or who influences your drawing style? 

I’ve never been into art, I don’t even like calling myself an artist. I couldn’t draw to save my life. I started getting people asking for tattoos and realised I had to draw their ideas, it was a struggle! It still is. Since then I’ve worked hard and finally found some passion for art and I’m slowly finding my own drawing style. My drawings are a lot different to my tattoos. I tattoo very simple stuff, a lot of flash, a lot of words, I draw flash that suit my capabilities with handpoking. My drawings are more intricate I guess, they are messier, they’re more detailed. I didn’t really have any influences at all to be honest, again I’m really in my own bubble but I just love imperfection. Nothing is perfect. This is probably why all my drawings are a mess and why I do handpoked tattoos.

Who were the first few people that you handpoked tattooed? 

Myself and close friends.

How did you come to tattoo these people and how do you find new people to tattoo?

I started on myself (terribly) and while I was in this experimental phase friends asked me to tattoo them as well, I really can’t believe they let me do that, so trusting! Then someone suggested I make an instragram to post the tattoos I did and then strangers started approaching which I never expected. I never even expected my friends to ask me for tattoos. I didn’t begin this with the goal of ever tattooing anyone else, I was just experimenting on myself and it kind of blew up I guess. I still don’t really understand how it all happened. There’s a lot of stigma behind self taught artists, everyone believes you should do an apprenticeship and I definitely don’t disagree, it just kind of happened very fast, but I am so thankful that I’ve learnt so much and am meeting so many great people and it still blows my mind that people even want tattoos from me!

Is tattooing your full time gig?

I wish! I do it on my days off from my full time gig which is nowhere near as fun as tattooing.

What do you like to do outside of tattooing?

I like to go to festivals and gigs, travel, drink a lot of coffee, chug beers at the local pub, listen to true crime podcasts, and watch conspiracy documentaries.

Do you have a favourite artist or artists?

Yes! My favourite artist Drew Roulette, I have loved his art for a long time and have purchased a lot of it and even got the pleasure of meeting him once, I tried not to fan girl too hard. Also one of my best friends Elora Norman, I know I’m probably biased because she’s my friend but I have always loved her art and she has always inspired me and encouraged me which I can’t thank her enough for. Her art is so unique and it’s so inspiring to see her do her thing and be so true to herself and have such a unique style. I am her biggest fan I think.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

It changes regularly but I just looked at the playlist I’ve been listening to most recently and it is The Doors, Black Sabbath, At The Drive In, The Rolling Stones, The Stooges, Glassjaw, The Smashing Pumpkins and plenty of other stuff I’ve been listening to for years and will never give up on.  I’m also very stuck in the 90s and I’m not sure I will ever grow out of my nu metal phase. I might be the last person left listening to Limp Bizkit unironically.

What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?

I really have no plans, I’m just going with the flow 99% of the time. One thing I’d like to do in 2019 is go back the states. I’ve been a lot and I have a lot of friends there but I haven’t been back in a while and I am really missing it. Apart from that I just want to keep drawing, tattooing, and building my skills.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Big fan of carbs. Potato in any form. Pasta. Beer. Favourite place to hang out is my bed, the sad truth! A close second would be the pub!

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