CHOOSE LIFE, NOT 9 TO 5 RUBY ASH

COR­NISH-BORN CRE­ATIVE RUBY ASH IS A ROV­ING STICK AND POKE TAT­TOO ARTIST, POP­PING UP WITH HER NO­MADIC BUSI­NESS WHER­EVER THE WAVES TAKE HER.

Surf Girl - - Work It! - Fol­low Ruby on in­sta­gram @RubyAshCreations pho­tos SO­PHIE EVER­ARD

Thriv­ing off a life led by her cre­ative pur­suits, be­ing a stick and poke tat­too artist has given Ruby free­dom. “I am able to travel wher­ever and when­ever I wish, bring­ing my lit­tle magic kit with me ev­ery­where. This gives me all the space and time I need to grow as an artist and surfer. I ar­range my own sched­ule and love what I do,” she says. Thanks to her love for surf and travel, the past few years have seen her orig­i­nal art­works adorn­ing sun-kissed skins in Corn­wall, Bali, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Por­tu­gal.

Orig­i­nally based in Bude, Ruby picked up stick and poke tat­too­ing whilst liv­ing in Sri Lanka, in­stantly fall­ing,

“in love with the sim­plic­ity of the en­tire process, as well as the style of the tat­toos”. Hav­ing worked in surf shops as a teenager, Ruby’s in­tro­duc­tion to stick and poke quickly ig­nited an en­dur­ing pas­sion, and she soon or­dered her first lot of nee­dles and started on friends. Her art­work was spot on and mo­men­tum built from there.

So, what ex­actly is the stick and poke craze sweep­ing through surf towns? Ruby ex­plains it as, “a very tra­di­tional, prison-style way of tat­too­ing. You have the reg­u­lar tat­too nee­dles, but in­stead of us­ing a ma­chine, you at­tach the nee­dle to a chop­stick, dip it in ink and cre­ate a de­sign. I usu­ally start by hand draw­ing the il­lus­tra­tions as a flash sheet or re­quest. There are lots of lit­tle dots, and you just go over and join the dots to make a solid line. The process is as sim­ple as it gets!”

Stick and poke tat­toos seem to have be­come syn­ony­mous with counter-cul­ture sports like surf­ing. Ruby sug­gests that it has aligned with surf cul­ture be­cause it’s an old-school, au­then­tic way of tat­too­ing. She says: “The ma­jor­ity of folk I hand-poke are care­free trav­ellers and surfers. Stick and poke tat­toos also heal loads quicker than reg­u­lar tat­toos, al­low­ing all the surf-crazed gals and guys to get back in the wa­ter quicker.”

Ruby ex­plains that for bud­ding stick and pok­ers that want to get started, it’s use­ful to have a back­ground in de­sign and it’s vi­tal to have an in­cred­i­bly steady hand. “You also need need to get on-point with hy­giene, be brave and find will­ing peo­ple to prac­tice on (you can also use pig skin). The rest is pas­sion! Like any­thing you want to ac­com­plish in life, pas­sion and love are key.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.