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ABOUT NIC

A headshot of Nic in their private studio, in Chicago IL

Hi, I'm Nic (they/them). I am a self-taught artist offering fine line, dotwork and machine-free tattoos (often called 'stick and poke', or 'hand poke'). I have been tattooing for several years, my current style focuses on dainty botanical designs, fine linework and stipple shading. I'm currently based in Chicago, IL, but I travel to Denver CO frequently to tattoo my friends and clients there. Reach out if I should come to your city! I love to expand my comfort zone every day, let's talk about what you're dreaming up!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do machine-free tattoos hurt?
    Well... yes. Most people agree that machine-free tattooing is much less painful than a typical machine tattoo, due to the lack of vibration and difference in sensations. The process does take longer than machine tattoos, so the pain can increase or add up as time goes on and the nerves in your skin 'wake up'. Lots of people fall asleep while being tattooed, some describe the sensation as "somewhere between acupuncture and a machine tattoo." I have numbing spray that we can use as we go, and clients can take their own pain relievers if needed.
  • What's the difference between Machine-Free and Machine tattoo?
    I offer both hand-poked and machine tattoos, depending on the style we're looking to achieve, size of the piece, time constraints, etc. I use battery powered rotary machines so the sound and vibration is minimal (for my sensory-specific folks out there!) I create tattoos both with and without a tattoo machine, depending on the style we're looking to achieve, size of the piece, time constraints, etc. Hand-poked tattoos offer a more comfortable sensory experience, and take on more of a hand-made, authentic look. The handheld, battery powered rotary machines I use minimize sound and vibrations for those with sensory preferences. They also allow me to use small and single needles for finer, more delicate line work. Typically, I use both machines and hand-poking for efficiency and stylistic integrity. Please select your preferred approach on the intake form, so I can design accordingly. If you have no preference, I'll share which approach I feel would best suit your tattoo design.
  • What is your design revision process?
    I am committed to working with each of my friends and clients to ensure they receive exactly what they're envisioning. I'm happy to rework a design with specific feedback or examples that convey the style we're going for. I'm also happy to place a design in multiple places so we can be sure it's the perfect tat in the perfect spot. Always speak up! :)
  • Do you provide touch-ups?
    Stick and poke tattoos heal the same as any other type of tattoo, but I'm happy to provide touch ups if need be. I'm also happy to clean up other tattoos while you're booked for a session with me. Tattoos on hands or feet, tattoos that heal poorly due to sunburn or lack of care will incur a small charge for my time to provide touch ups.
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