From Poland to Scotland, and finally to Berlin: Daniel Baczewski found his way in the tattoo scene developing a unique style, influenced by skateboard graphics, music, nature, great masters (such as Jim Phillips, Todd Bratrud, Mike Giant, Ben Horton), and much more…
Hi Daniel! Let’s start this interview by telling the readers your story and the most important steps of your career…
I’m originally from Bialystok, Poland and I’ve been tattooing for around 9 years. My beginnings were quite typical I think. I’ve been drawing quite often since I remember. I was self-tough and drawing was just a way of spending my free time, I knew that this was what I liked to do and it would have been great to do something that let me pay my bills.
When I was still in high school I started being more and more interested in tattoos, later on my good friend started tattooing and he showed me the basics and gave me his first machine to try.
Tattoo scene in Poland at that time was getting bigger, people started seeing tattoos as a form of art, there were more tattoo studios and people stopped thinking about it as a prison thing. More and more tattoo conventions were organised and I started visiting them when it was possible just to see how tattoos should be done properly – it inspired me a lot. Serious tattooing started after I moved to Scotland where Inkdependent Tattoo gave me the chance to be an apprentice, long story short I ended up being there for 7 years and that’s where I learnt everything I know about tattooing, good times.
How did you develop your personal visual language and how would you describe your style?
Still while being in high school my friend asked me if I would do few graphics for t-shirts and that was the beginning of something that ended up as a small skateboard “company” I was doing all the graphics and he was taking care of all the rest, fun times.
Later on, this let me make connections and do graphics for other companies producing skis, snowboards etc. I had always been doing graphics manually with inks and paper and I think this gave me more confidence later on skin. It’s not easy to erase ink from paper just like it’s not easy to remove the ink from under the skin haha.
I think skateboard graphics have had the biggest impact on my artwork, because of them I started loving this linework style.
Old hand drawn graphics by Jim Phillips, Todd Bratrud, Mike Giant, Ben Horton, etc then inspiration comes also from music: Aaron Horkey, John Dyer Baizley, Pushhead, Vania Zouravliov and many more, also old masters like Albrecht Durer, Alphons Mucha and lots of tattooers have been also a huge inspiration even before I started thinking about tattooing myself. What I’m doing today is a mix of all this aesthetics.
Where does your love for this deep, dark black come from?
I like keeping things raw when comes to technique and complex when comes to detail, no matter if this is on paper or on human skin. It helps me focus on the theme. When I started tattooing I wasn’t trying to limit myself to just black, I was fascinated about all styles of tattooing but later on I realised that black and grey is what I liked most, so basically I did full circle and got back to the way I was always drawing.
Let’s talk about your subjects: what are your inspirations and your references?
I have always liked animals, I think you can illustrate any kind of idea taking inspirations from nature.
Do you prefer large tattoos or can you express your creativity also with smaller works?
Thinking about composition and body flow naturally bigger tattoos are best but I also really like doing smaller, more symbolic works, it really depends on the customer, if someone prefers keeping things old school and prefers to collect tattoos from many artists or just wants one small tattoo done by me, then I’m happy to do it.
What are your interests beyond tattooing?
That’s the hardest question, it is hard to choose anything specific, and I’m worried that besides tattooing I don’t have many, looks like I’m a total tattoo nerd haha. It changes all the time, now I really enjoy spending time discovering Berlin after the lockdown let’s say.
If your works had a soundtrack what would it be?
Purple Hill Witch spins quite often in the studio haha
How is the tattoo scene in Berlin?
Berlin is full of great tattooers, I’m happy to live in a place where there are so many great artists; they had been inspiring me when I was starting tattooing and now they are almost like my neighbours haha. I have moved here just before the Covid pandemic but I’m glad that I stayed here and now hopefully everything will go back to normal.
And what about the Scriptorium instead?
Scriptorium is a great place to work, I spend there a lot of time and it feels like home now, after all this lockdown is quieter here but I can’t complain.
What are you working on right now and what are your plans for the future?
During the lockdown I finally had more time for my personal works, and since I went back to full time tattooing again, it is hard to find some time for it between the studio and preparing designs for customers. I’m thinking of few ideas for the prints, and can’t wait to start working on them. I think after summer, when we gonna have more gloomy days and longer nights will be easier. All my personal stuff you can find on: WWW.BONEBLACKMARKET.EU
Is there anything you want to add before saying goodbye?
Thanks for the interview and I hope to see you all in Berlin, no matter if you wanna get tattooed or just pop in to say hi!