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Boys 'Don't' Cry

Hi, my name is Adrian and I'm 27 years old. I work as an illustrator and do hand poke tattoos in Essen, Germany.

Have you always been a tattoo artist/ How did you get into it? 

I've always been into drawing as a kind of expression. And I fell in love with tattoos when I was about 12 years old.

During my apprenticeship as a graphic designer I started drawing loads of mandalas as a kind of meditation... People soon began asking me to tattoo my designs on their skin, but truthfully, tattooing small details and thin lines never was an option to me. I prefer simple designs and bold lines.

I bought a machine and gave it a try, but i didn't feel really confident. So I quit and thought about options for months. On a sunday evening in january this year, my girlfriend and I were hanging at home and I tried my first hand poke on her leg.

That's how it came to handpoke. 

What was it like the first time you put needle and ink to skin? 

I don't remember the first time I used a machine, but the first handpoke I did was a knife on my girlfriend's leg. Wow, it took me forever – probably 3 hours. I was incredibly nervous, but excited at the same time. I felt obsessed while watching how it grew up with every single dot.  


Do you have any memorable or funny stories you can tell?

Till now there was no especially funny story, but I like to have good conversations during the sessions and try to make all customers feel welcome. I tattooed a lot of people from other countries and I love to hear something about their culture, the country they're from and any recommendations for a nice trip.

Why do you prefer hand-poking to machine tattooing? 

Hard to say. First of all I love to see the tattoo growing dot by dot. It's kinda meditative because there‘s no noise in the room apart from some nice old cuban tunes. I also love working independently free of need for electricity. 



What would you recommend to someone who wanted to start tattooing? 

Get as many tips and knowledge from professional artists as possible. Learn how to work sterile. Then make your experience and start on your own leg.

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to hand poke tattooing?

Work hard and stay humble. 


So Single Needle Tattoo Kits, I believe that home tattooing is inherently risky, but people have, and will continue to tattoo themselves, therefore making a safe and affordable kit is the way forward... What's your take on this? 

I definitely agree. People have started tattooing at home for ages and that probably won't change in the future. There are many great artists who have no possibility to start and learn in a studio, but health comes first. So yes, I think it's the first step into right direction. 



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