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Sjoerd Bongers (Stabbin’ & Jabbin')

Posted on July 17 2018

My name is Sjoerd (you pronounce it like ‘shoe’+rd). I’m 23 years old and I currently live in Groningen, the Netherlands. In August I will move to Houston (Texas) for at least a year. After that I’ll see where I end up. I’ve been working as a social worker for almost 3 years and studying at the same time, but I felt like doing something more creative next to this. Over the last few years I grew a passion for tattoos, specifically traditional tattoos.

Have you always been a tattoo artist/ How did you get into it? 

I started tattooing 1,5 years ago. Actually, I just got my first tattoo just over 2 years ago. Since I was young I knew I always wanted tattoos, but I never really knew what. After the first one I knew for sure; my body is going to be covered. A few months (and tattoos) later, I stumbled upon some videos about handpoke tattoos, and it immediately had my interest. After doing a lot of research I decided to try it out.

What was it like the first time you put needle and ink to skin?


The first tattoo I made was a small cactus on my own leg (see picture below). I actually felt quite comfortable doing this, with some healthy tension of course. It turned out pretty nice, so I decided I had a new hobby.

 

Do you have any memorable/ funny stories you can tell?

 i actually never thought about being a tattoo artist, but it’s starting to grow into my dreams. I just finished my bachelor in Social Legal Services (combination of Social Work and Law School), and I’m not sure if I want to do anything with this. Handpoke tattooing has become one of the things I love most.

Why do you prefer hand-poking to machine tattooing?

I prefer handpoke tattooing because it’s more calming. You don’t have the noise from a machine and you don’t have to worry about correct settings etc. On top of that I like to travel and tattoo at different places, so for handpoking you don’t have to bring lots of stuff. Another thing about handpoke tattooing that appeals to me, is that it takes longer. This makes it more special to me and gives more time to connect with the person that you tattoo.

 

What would you recommend to someone who wanted to start tattooing?

I didn’t get an apprenticeship or something similar, but actually I still would like it and recommend it. I feel like there is so much more to learn. But if you’re eager to start, I’d recommend to do a lot of research, maybe find someone who is a handpoke artist and get a lot of tattoos. Also, there is a lot to find on YouTube, but that can be pretty unprofessional.

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to handpoke tattooing?

Research. Draw a lot. Be passionate. Patience.

 

 

So Single Needle Tattoo Kits, I believe that home tattooing is inherently risky, but people have, and will continue to tattoo themselves, therefore making a safe and affordable kit is the way forward... What's your take on this? 

There definitely is risk, but it really depends how you approach it. I’ve never did a tattoo in a studio. But I’m very careful with what I do. I try to do as careful and hygienic as I’ve seen in professional tattoo studios. When someone uses a sewing needle it just makes me cringe. In my opinion a kit for this is a great solution, at least the person will be using the good tools.

 

You can find me on instagram: stabbin_and_jabbin

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