We meet the Artists of Amsterdam’s Famous Tattoo shop

Haarlemmerstraat-Haarlemmerdijk shopping district — Amsterdam, Netherlands (Photo: Michael Young)

Take a stroll or bike ride around the famous Jordaan district of Amsterdam or a short walk from Amsterdam’s Centraal Station and you’ll find yourself on the beautiful Haarlemmerstraat — and its extension, the Haarlemmerdijk. There you’ll find restaurants, cafes, coffees hops, flower markets, art galleries, street vendors and hundreds of small retail shops.

A nice day brings the shoppers out and display windows filled with the latest goodies (Photos: Michael Young)

These two streets are really one, together approximately 1km or a little over a half a mile in length, the street designation or “straat” turns to “dijk” where it crosses the Prinsengracht Canal (Prince’s Canal), which is the fourth and longest canal in Amsterdam.

Prinsengracht Canal (Photo — Michael Young)

Mixed in amongst the hundreds of shops you’ll find the small unassuming blue and white tattoo shop, The House of Tattoos.

It could certainly be easily overlooked by the average passer by. Probably hard to imagine people come from all over the world to visit this tiny tattoo shop, but it’s true. It might even be harder to imagine that some of the most talented tattoo artists in Amsterdam, if not the world, work in this little shop? Hard to imagine, but true..

House of Tattoos — (Photo — Michael Young)

Once inside you might not really think much more… as you step through the door, there isn’t a lot of room between the door, small waiting bench and the customer service counter. On the other side of the counter a simple layout. Enough space for a couple of artists to work with their customers in a comfortable friendly setting.

Now, if you need someone to hold your hand or like those tattoo shops/hangout kind of places then the House of Tattoos probably isn’t your place to go. They have a strict “Only Customers Behind Counter” policy. Which in my opinion should be standard policy for all tattoo shops. I mean come on, there’s nothing worse than random people walking around or even worse — interrupting the artist while they’re tattooing you. They take their job and art very seriously and strive to create unique pieces for each and every customer.

You also won’t find autographed photos of famous people on the walls. Even though they could easily fill the walls of celebrities or musicians that have spent time inside the House of Tattoos. To quote one of the artists, “To us, every tattoo we create is important, doesn’t matter who it’s for.”

Now that you know the amazing location and a little about the shop, lets take a closer look at the real heart of Amsterdam’s House of Tattoos. The artists:

— The Artists of House of Tattoos —

Artist — La Leti

BIO — I’m originally from the south of Spain, but Amsterdam is home now. I first began tattoo art about 15 years ago. I’m not from the “Miami Ink Generation”.

La Leti

What influenced you in becoming a tattoo artist?

A lot of my influence comes from my love of painting graffiti street art.

Tattoo Specialty — My specialty is new school, realistic and custom tattoos.

Artist/Music that inspires you?

I listen all kinds of music, but specially psychedelic rock, bands like Radio Moscow, old punk like Bad Brains or Death and Spanish rock like Ilegales Guadalupe Plata.

How has Amsterdam the city influenced or inspired your creativeness/art?

I love working in Amsterdam! The architecture, the canals, the people, you have a lot of influences around for creative inspiration. Working in Amsterdam allows me to work with customers from all around the world. It’s nice to know that your pieces are “traveling”.

Follow La Leti on Facebook or Instagram: LaLetiTattoo


Artist — Monica

Bio- I started my tattoo apprenticeship in Amsterdam around 2001 in the Jordaan area with an artist named Mono. Together, we ran Elektra Tattoo for 3 years. Mono decided to moved to Ireland. I left Elektra and started working at House of Tattoos. At that point, I gave up my day job and began tattooing full time.

In 2007, I left Amsterdam to work in California. I was there for about 4 1/2 years. Family circumstances brought me come back to Holland and back to House of Tattoos.

Tattoo Specialty — I like doing organic designs, fine lines, animals, flowers, girly stuff..I also specialize in cover ups.

What inspires your tattoo art?

Coming from a Punk/Metal/Alternative music scene I started collecting tattoos at an early age and never stopped. I always liked to draw a lot, also on my skin, starting as early as elementary school. Decorating stuff has been my life long passion.

Artist/Music that influences or inspires you?

The artist I did my apprenticeship with, Mono, she definitely inspired me. Also there is a very talented Swiss artist named Claudia, she worked with us here at House of Tattoos for a few years and all the talented and friendly artists I met over the years.

Monica’s other passion — Dj-ing

Music is my other passion, I’ve been DJ-ing for over 20 years.(underground hip hop and drum and bass vinyl), but I can’t really say if that has influenced my tattoo art.

You meet people from all over the world working at House of Tattoo. How does it feel knowing your art travels?
I don’t think about it that much. I take each and every tattoo seriously, regardless of where people are from.

How has Amsterdam influenced or inspired your creativeness/art?

Not sure, but Amsterdam being the liberal city that it is, I’ve never felt limited in my artistic creative expression.

Link- Follow Monica on Facebook


Artist — Emilia

Bio- I’m originally from Poland. Where I attended Art School. That’s where I first became interested in tattooing. Just for fun, I started learning as much as I could about the art.

Then in 2003 I decided to move to The Netherlands and make my big dreams come true … I’ve got job in tattoo shop in Amsterdam!

Tattoo Therapy By Emilie

Tattoo Specialty — Realistic, Illustrative , Sketchy and Dot Work

What influences or inspires you? Punk rock scene and just Art in general.

What inspires your tattoo art? Paintings, Architecture, Beautiful nature I can see during my travelings.

You meet people from all over the world working at House of Tattoo. How does it feel knowing your art travels? I always hope to bring a big smile and good memories to all those from around the world who’ve I’ve had the pleasure to tattoo.

How has Amsterdam influenced or inspired your creativeness/art? Amsterdam gave me chance to work with some amazing artists and I think the people have been my biggest inspiration.


Artist — “SJap” Horwitz

I’d prefer craftsman to artist though…or even: tattoo machine operator!

Tattoo Specialty — My favorites are Humorist and funny designs. Line-work shadows and color, as opposed to realistic. But, otherwise: all-round tattooer (except portraits)

What influenced you into becoming a tattoo artist?

I originally wanted to draw comics. After I had a few of my own tattoos. Thought I would try it and it was an instant click! The realization that it will be worn by a person for his/her lifetime meant that I had to do my utmost best for each design/tattoo…Each and every time a new! No matter what the design is, big or small!

What inspires your art?

Comics mostly: Strong Lines, strong presence.

You meet people from all over the world, working at House of Tattoo. How does it feel knowing your art travels all over the world?

It is always blows my mind each time when I think of it. I’m so grateful to all those people who trust us enough to tattoo them!! Truly amazing!

How has Amsterdam the city influenced or inspired your creativeness/art?

Most of the people I meet in Amsterdam either make great art/crafts themselves or show me the work of others. As a city: I fell in love with Amsterdam and made it my home back in 1980.

Artist — Tattoo Henkie

BIO — My name is Henk-Jan Teunissen but my “so called” artist name is Tattoo Henkie. I moved to Amsterdam about 30 years ago and have been working at House of Tattoos since 2008.

Tattoo Specialty — I like to do old-school or old school inspired tattoos, but try to be kind of all-round. Every tattoo is a challenge, no matter how small or simple it may seem. In the end you want a satisfied customer…

What influenced you into becoming a tattoo artist?

Since I was little I was intrigued by tattoos. Where I grew up you didn’t see them very often so anyone with a tattoo was very special is a way. I was seventeen when I got my first tattoo, it was in a coffee shop in Zutphen. Many more since then…

Artist/Music that influences or inspires your tattoo art?

Hard to say how I am inspired by what or who….probably by all of them. Of course it’s nice to live in a city like Amsterdam where there is always something to see but if I wouldn’t live here I would get my satisfaction from internet or magazines. I like to look at old tattoo flash from for example Herbert Hoffmann, Tattoo Peter, Tattoo Ole because they were the pioneers in tattooing and their designs are somehow timeless. Strong in their simplicity.

Website: Tattoo Henkie — www.tattoohenkie.com

House of Tattoos Contact Information —

Website — http://www.houseoftattoos.nl

Facebook — Twitter


Haarlemmerdijk 130c
1013 JJ Amsterdam

Phone:+31 20 3309046
Hours: Monday — Saturday 11–6 — Sunday 1–6

For more information about Haarlemmerstraat-Haarlemmerdijk Shops please visit

For more info on Amsterdam

See ya on the road — — Safe Travels!

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Photo Gallery— Given2Flyimages.com

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