Well Worn Ink Artist Interview

We really love the style and detail of Shelby (aka Well Worn Ink)’s hand poked tattoos, so we had to feature her on our blog. We asked her some questions to learn more about her stick and poke background, so let’s take a look:

Hand poked ghost by Well Worn Ink
Hand poked ghost on roller skates by @wellwornink

Who are you and where are you based?

My name’s Shelby (she/her); I’m a multimedia artist based in Seattle, WA (USA).

How long have you been a stick and poke artist for and how did you learn?

I’ve been poking for just about a year now and am completely self-taught, through lots of research and very trusting friends who were willing to let me practice on them!

Hand poked flowers by Well Worn Ink
Hand poked bouquet by @wellwornink

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

There’s something really meditative for me about the whole process… It’s very slow, and intentional, and extremely rewarding to witness the transformation from single dot to completed piece. 

What are your top tips for creating a long lasting tattoo?

As an artist: finding the balance between going over your lines enough times & overworking the skin.

As a client: keeping your tattoos moisturised regularly (even long after it’s healed) will help keep the ink vibrant and the skin healthy.

Tell us about your favourite hand poked story.

My favourite story might just be my own… For my first ever hand poke, a friend of mine used a sewing needle and India ink, and in the comfort of his living room, spent 6+ hours on what ended up being a very small, but very well-done tattoo. I loved it so much and was so impressed by how it came together, that it led me to start my own tattooing journey. And the rest is history!

Hand poked vine by Well Worn Ink
Hand poked vine by @wellwornink

What advice would you give to someone who’s starting out as a stick and poke artist?

Don’t sleep on ergonomics. Tattooing is a very physically demanding craft and proper seating, lighting, and set-up can make a world of difference. If using a stencil, be sure it’s dry before you start. And practice, practice, practice, whenever possible. 

Lastly, where can people find you?

Instagram: @wellwornink

Spotify: @shelbyeaton (the infamous playlist I put on during poke sessions is called “well worn”)

IRL: tattooing in West Seattle at Flourish Beauty

Make sure you follow Shelby aka Well Worn Ink on Instagram to keep up to date with her designs, and let us know who you’d like us to interview next.