Photo above by Kamila Burzymowska


Jarosław Baka


How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your tattooing journey?


I have been tattooing for 14 years so far. The start was quite simple. When I was 19 I earned some cash during a seasonal job in the Netherlands. I decided that I’m gonna spend them wisely because I was already getting tattoos and I was drawing designs for them. I thought that It is a great idea to start tattooing. Looked very easy but in the end, it wasn’t 😀 



Do you remember what was the first tattoo you did? If so, tell us what it was and for who.


My first tattoo was a coloring of some design that my friend already had on his forearm. I remember that there were dice, some cherries, and other stuff like that. After sometime when I saw this tattoo healed not so much of the color stayed in 😀 It was very disappointing 😀 



Please, tell us about your current tattoo style and how it has changed over the years.


At the moment I’m fully concentrating on the Japanese style of tattooing. Some people call it neo-Japanese because it is more colorful, shapes have got more depth. Personally I try to make Japanese tattoo with respect for meanings and tradition but with my own twist 🙂 I have noticed that this sort of tattooing gives me a lot of fun and pleasure every day. At the beginning of my tattoo path I was doing all sorts of tattoos, learning all techniques, that was a good lesson and gave me a big variety of skills that I can use now in my style. Every once in a while I try to add something new to my tattoos to give them some kind of freshness:) 



Does anyone or anything inspire you?


Definitely. I’m inspired by a lot of things. Ukiyo-e is one of my biggest inspirations. Many tattooists like Tomokazu Ikarashi, Shige, Horiyasu, Horitada, Diaozuo, Filip Leu, Robert Hernandez. I like to look at the people who make concept arts or character designers. In general, the culture of the east is full of inspiration, I collect and read a lot of books, so I try to keep my mind fresh as well:) 



Are there any tattoo artists who are extremely admirable to you? If so, who?


Like I said before Tomokazu Ikarashi, Shige, Horiyasu, Horitada, Diaozuo, Filip Leu, Robert Hernandez. In general, many different artists influenced me in my style of tattooing. Sometimes people who make totally different tattoos than the ones that you like can inspire you in developing your tattoo style. The most important is to keep yourself open for new ideas, to meet with artists, and exchange the experience with them. That’s the best way for me 🙂 



Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?


Actually the beginning of my path with Japanese tattoos started quite interesting. I never wanted to do this style of tattoos. I didn’t understand them and the techniques were much different than the ones that I was using that day. I had a client who really wanted to do a Japanese dragon all over his arm. He almost forced me to do this tattoo:) He was bringing loads of movies with Japanese masters, loads of photos and stories about meanings. During that process, I started to see how interesting this style of tattooing is. After all, I did this dragon freehanded, later on, more and more clients with Japanese tattoo designs started to come to my shop, and actually that’s how this style started for me. Till now I make tattoos on this person and of course, they are all in Japanese style 🙂 



Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing? 


That is a good question. I have got a lot of different passions. I like all sort of sports, I think that I trained almost every of it starting from swimming, MMA, basketball, yoga and… chess:D At the moment I really enjoy reading books, I also collect books about Japanese tattooing. If we are talking about art forms I really like drawing, watercolor, and marker painting. But my latest biggest adventure is having a small 2-year-old best friend called Franek:) So I really like to spend time with my family. 



Do you like visiting or exhibiting at tattoo conventions? Would you recommend any of them?


Of course. I love doing it even though lately there are too many of them. I visited many conventions around the world like Toronto, Hong Kong, London, Milano, and many others but my favorite is the Paris convention “Le Mondial du tatouage”. It is an amazing show in a beautiful place where loads of artists working with Japanese style attend. I highly recommend it! 



Any artist you planning to get tattooed by? Who has tattooed you already?


I have got tattoos from many artists. Starting from Polish artists like Marek Pawlik, Zappa, Arek Małecki, Mazak, Karolina Nowicka, Damia Kowal, and Robert Hernandez ending up on Boris, Ichibay, Niccku from Singapore, Tomo from Japan or Dan Sinnes. At the moment I’m working on my side piece by Tomo and I would love to start backpiece. 



What are your plans and dreams? If you think about yourself in 10 years, what do you see?


I see myself in the same place but maybe with a bigger family 🙂 I am delighted where I am now. I love tattooing, and I don’t see myself doing anything else till the end;) 



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