Hand poked heart tattoo on arm

Jo Chanthavong Artist Interview

We love the style of Jo (aka @just.poked)’s tattoos, so we had to interview her for our blog to find out more about her stick and poke background.

Hand poked tattoo by Jo via Instagram

First things first, what’s your name and where are you based?

Hi! I’m Jo and I’m currently based in Sydney, Australia.

How did you learn to become a tattoo artist?

To be completely honest with you, I would not consider myself a ‘tattoo artist’ so to speak. I definitely have not done my hard yards hahaha. I picked up stick and poke tattooing as a random little hobby in Sydney’s first lockdown in 2020, and only started to get into it a few months ago, in Sydney’s second lockdown. At the time I bought my first lot of tattooing supplies, I never expected to enjoy it as much as I did! I’ve taught myself everything, after reading blogs upon blogs, watching artist interviews, watching lots of videos on the practice and finding stick and poke tattoo artists I love on Instagram. Viewing their work and watching videos on how they tattoo really helps! As well as lots of practice on very trusting (and willing) friends and family.

Hand poked tattoo by Jo via Instagram

What is it that attracts you to stick and poke tattoos?

The intimacy of a stick and poke tattoo is what I love. The slower tattooing process is therapeutic to me and gives me more control. Also doing something that is a little different to the social norm is always something that appeals to me. I’ve always been a creative person, and have also always loved tattoos, so getting into stick and poke tattooing was very exciting to me. 

What do you find most challenging about hand poked tattoos?

The time. Stick and poke tattoos are so tedious to do, depending on the design and size of course, so the time it takes to complete a larger piece can always be challenging, but is also just the fun of a hand poked piece of body art.

Hand poked tattoo by Jo via Instagram

If a stick and poke beginner asked you for your best advice, what would you tell them?

Do plenty of research on stick and poke tattoos as a practice. How they work, how they heal, different needle sizes etc. Lots and lots and LOTS of practice before you get into tattooing real skin. Oh – and always be confident in your art!

Lastly, where can people contact you?

You can contact me through Instagram @just.poked or email me! j.chanthavong@hotmail.com.

Make sure you follow Jo on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest designs, and let us know who you’d like us to interview next.

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