Kindred Ink’s Jamie chats London, Life and The Big Lebowski with the talent that is Bara of Barawski Tattooing. Bara is a resident artist at both Moth and Flame Tattoo in Bromley, Kent and the Gypsy Stables in Soho, London.
Check out his work on Instagram @barawski_tattooing
Bara, It’s actually great to finally catch up with you, we’ve been following your work for a couple of years now. So, how did it all start for you? Tell us how and why you became a tattoo artist.
I’ve had so many jobs during my life but none of them where satisfying on a personal level. I was always looking for something that could stimulate me and something that would fulfil me creatively. I met Mark Bester at the Tattoo Convention in Turin and, right there and then, it was him, with his positive outlook, who showed me how gratifying and cool the world of tattooing could be. I decided to leave my job and from that point on I’ve never stopped tattooing. Thanks Mark, I’m so grateful!
In just three words, artistically, how would you describe your style?
Legible, floating and balanced.
And what influences your design and creativity right now?
London, the city I live in. My design is constantly evolving as a growing tattoo artist, but the city has definitely influenced me to challenge myself. London is such an active, dynamic, fast-paced city with some amazing competitor artists out there. I have a realistic style background; I strive to combine, in the best way possible, the ‘every day vision’ with the ‘abstract one’ in our minds. I work to portray elements of traditional style but with my own twist.
Of all the pieces you’ve designed which stands out and why?
This is a very difficult question to answer! I love the concept of duality. The duality between the sun and the moon, possessing a feminine side and a masculine one, having that perfect balance within you needed in our everyday lives.
But, if I really have to pick one piece it would definitely be an ongoing project, a tattoo that I’m about to start. It’s a whale coming out from the clouds with the moon in the background. The whale symbolises rebirth and with its majesty, it perfectly floats out of the clouds aiming up high in contrast with the shining moon. It perfectly defines my style as pointing towards the sky, floating, like in a dream and playing with the depth and sizes of the elements.
Of your own tattoos which is your favourite ink and why?
The tattoo I like the most would be the one I have on my forearm portraying Jeff Bridges from “The Big Lebowski”. I got it years ago at the Tattoo Convention in Milan. It’s by the wonderful artist Sergey Shanko. It was my first ink at a tattoo convention and it just felt amazing. The philosophy of life (Dudeism) depicted in that movie is absolutely sensational! We should all dedicate time to ourselves and take delight into doing so but always keeping it light and breezy! Just like Jeff Bridges tells us ”Take it easy dude”!
So, what’s the most ‘unusual’ piece you’ve done and what’s the story behind it?
I don’t think there’s such a tattoo as ‘unusual’, just bizarre ones at a personal level I guess. I’ve been contacted recently to design a Phoenix that holds a sword on one side and a bowl of mashed potato on the other...It sounds so, so strange, it really capture my curiosity! After a long talk with my client I understood that the design concept was actually based precisely on what he desired. His idea was actually brilliant! I can’t wait to work on his first ink!
Wow, his first ink! And what advice would you give to someone considering having their first tattoo?
Being a tattoo freak, I would say to do very thorough research on the tattoo artist and the subject of your choice. The fact that you have so much skin surface on your body available, where to do it is also another important factor to carefully consider. The significance of the tattoo, in my opinion, is fundamental. But even more so if it’s of an important moment of your life. Every tattoo has its own meaning in the end. Finally, my best advice would definitely be ‘Go big or go home!’ (Laughs).
How important is aftercare immediately following a tattoo?
Taking care of your tattoo is far more important than the actual tattooing process. Tattoos are very expensive. The artist tries his/her best to create something incredibly personal and specific for you. You should absolutely take care of your ink and your skin following a tattoo. You shouldn’t ever be negligent with taking care of your ink.
If you could get to ink anyone at all, who would that be and why?
Definitely my mother, she never denied me anything. I was extremely free in my childhood. But, still, to this very day she still turns up her nose at my new tattoos!
So, definitely my mother. I would like to pass on to her the sensation of having an everlasting piece of ink to help her understand it’s true importance.
Brilliant, thank you Bara and "Take it east Dude"!
Note: Images courtesy of Barawski Tattooing.