The first tattoo Jeroen Franken made was deep in the jungles of Borneo doing research on the tattoos of the Iban, the biggest ethnic tribe in Sarawak. The reason being that he found no referance that served the deeper meaning of what had been called ‘tribal tattoos’.
When he finished writing a book by the name of ‘Pantang Iban’, with Sven Torfinn as a photographer, he apprenticed professionally at Hanky Panky Tattoo in Amsterdam. Serving a couple of years for the master and learning tremendously from Michel Thieme, a.k.a. Captain Caveman, he set sail to round the world three times. During his travels he has worked with many tattooers and woodcarvers, setting foot on New Zealand, Borneo, Phillipines, Fiji, Samoa and Hawaiian soil. What once started out as a voyage, before he started tattooing, has taken Jeroen deep into the art of passion called tattooing.
Along the way, Jeroen has developped a deep fascination for the tattoos of ethnic cultures. By saying ‘ethnic cultures’ he is not only refering to the in the western world so called ‘bounty islands’ (thanks to James Cook, John Rutterford and Krusenstern), but also the western world of tattooing.
To see more work of Jeroen you can check out his Instagram account (@jeroenfranken). Also keep an eye out on the account to see when he has a last minute cancellation or when he will start taking new bookings.