12 Stunning Stick & Poke Tattoo Photos That Show Off Serious Artistic Skill — PHOTOS

My own love for stick and pokes run deep, despite the alarming amount of things that can go wrong with at home tattoos. To say I’m envious of the various works of art I’ve come across on the Internet would be an understatement. In fact, I will never give myself or any of my friends another stick and poke, because with the growing popularity of these DIY tattoos, the bar has been set way too high for me.

A few years ago, I, with a trembling hand, permanently etched the word Wild and the letters N E on one of my dearest friends. Why she let a person whose stick figures aren’t even straight lines give her a tattoo, we’ll never know for sure. Eventually, she went to a professional to get Wild One properly tattooed on her hand, but she still proudly displays my scribbles on her other arm. While our friendship survived and our crappy stick and pokes only gave us more memories and stories to tell, I advise taking a look at these amazing stick and pokes below for inspiration instead. While it's illegal in most states to tattoo without a license, my professionals are dabbling in the art of stick and poke these days. And, judging by the photos below, it can lead to some pretty stunning effects.

1. Punctuation

I'm in love with this hand tat from my girl Laurel Adams. Her stick and pokes leave my jaw hanging open and wondering how we both can drink eight cups of coffee a day, but only one of us has the steadiest hand of all time.

2. The Golden Spiral

These steady lines are completely those of a detail-oriented artist that can hold a needle to skin without mistake. I love the location and feel of this simple tat.

3. Tip Of The Iceberg

While shops that do hand-poked tattoos in the U.S are few and far between, this stick and poke from a Canada-based artist has me yearning for Canada yet again. Damn, they really have everything there.

4. D.E.A.D

This tattoo is anything but lifeless. I like this one because it was definitely an at-home stick and poke gone incredibly right. The letters are even and the lines are straight — now that's how you stick and poke.

5. Constellation Envy

This cygnus constellation must have taken some patience because it's next to a perfect stick and poke.

6. Toe Tats

Despite the simplicity of the designs of this stick and poke, poking your own toes (or someone else's) has got to require some skill.

7. Finger Symbols

Performing a stick and poke on your finger seems like the obvious location of choice, but it's incredibly hard. Getting this shape and the bold color likely took loads of time and effort.

8. The Universe Of Stick & Pokes

If you think it's difficult to poke straight lines into your own or someone else's skin, try doing circles. Canadian-based artist Kate Holley totally nailed this one.

9. Leaves Of Love

This stick and poke has serious game, going beyond the shapes and lines that most of us can successfully illustrate with a sewing needle. A truly amazing stick and poke can trick people into thinking you paid a hefty shop minimum.

10. Bold Triangles

Most stick and pokes are dainty, but they definitely don't have to be.

11. Hitchhiker's Guide To The Stick And Poke

Words can be fairly easy for those of us who aren't professional tattoo artists poking around on the side, but writing in a slight cursive style with straight lines on someone's wrist? That's skill.

12. A Geometric Poke

I've been coveting a geometric type tattoo recently, but now that I've seen this stick and poke, I realize that the only way I'll be content is if this tat is hand-poked to perfection. #Flawless

Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (1); Laurel Adams (1); Tina Campos (1); Alysestuck (1); Patchyowltattoos (1); Thomas Cremonesi(1)