Freshly Inked Interview with Daria Stahp

Photos by Jacek Kloskowski and Pawee Lewandowski
Instagram: @dariastahp

There's a lot of fine detail and color in your pieces, what do you use for color? What products do you use in your tattoos?
For all of my tattoos I use one machine, which is Cheyenne Hawk Pen. I loved it since day one and basically use it for everything - lines, color, shading. In case of inks I use Intenze, World Famous and Eternal.

You create a design and then fill it in with a separate design, which look amazing, what inspired this idea? What has been your favorite combination so far?
I guess my clients were the inspiration. Sometimes people have difficulties to decide what they want to tattoo. They want a lot of things because all of these things are part of who they are and they want to show it. It was often hard to combine different hobbies etc. so I started to do these double exposure tattoos, where the shape shows one thing and the inside shows another. I really liked the result on the skin and so did my clients.

Do you prefer tattoos of sunlight/day or nightsky/night time?
There is something hypnotizing in a sunset, when I see one I always stop and stare for a while. That is why doing them on someone's skin is so much fun! I choose the colors and see how they become a unique colorful sky. This is still amazing for me. But if I were to choose I'd say I prefer night sky, because the blue colors make great contrast with the skin and they always look good healed.

You have done a Star Wars tattoo before, have you done other movie tattoos? If yes, which ones? What is a TV show/Movie you would enjoy tattooing?
The Star Wars sleeve that I started was actually a result of a mix up in booking. But I took the challenge and tried to do the best I could since I don't normally do realistic tattoos. But I liked it and I would like to do more. I love Disney so stuff Disney related would be cool to tattoo.

How many tattoos do you have? What is a tattoo you want to get in the future? Where do you go for tattoos for yourself?
I don't have a lot tattoos. I made my first tattoo when I was 21 so, I guess it was late. I have an amazing forest creature sleeve by Andrzej Lipa, which used to by my workmate and a back piece in progress from my boss. Also, a couple of small tattoos done on conventions mostly by somebody I already knew before. I would really love to get a tattoo from David Peyote, Isnard Barbosa, Steven Compton and many more, but it is still too expensive for me to travel to get those tattoos, since they all live far away and I am poor. (Hahah)

Do you like using warmer colors (yellow, orange, red) or cooler (blue, green) for your tattoo pieces?
As I said before, I think blue and green tones are better contrasting the skin and heal well. I don't really like using yellow because it has a similar shade to skin and it is easy to fade.

Where did you apprentice at? Where do you work now?
Well actually I didn’t apprentice anywhere. I started on my own because I was too shy and too scared to go and ask for help. I see how stupid that was now and do not recommend this way to anyone. But, after half of an year and couple of tattoos done on my friends I got a proposition form Magda from Pink Machine Tattoo in Warsaw, and basically started right away as a tattooer. I still work at Pink Machine because it is the best studio ever and the only reason I would change my work place would be if I started something on my own.

How do you think color can enhance a tattoo?
I am totally in love with color. When I am tattooing first I start with the black and do all elements that are black or dark. But then when I start doing the color and I make the first wipe and see how it blends into the black I am just in love. And it makes me smile, every time! I am just amazed by this view. And I know that this may seem weird and it is really hard to explain but for me, there is nothing more beautiful than the skin freshly tattooed.

If somebody wants a tattoo from you, what is the best way to reach you?
The fastest way to reach me is by my Facebook Fan page. I don't do bookings via Instagram DM.

Where do you see yourself next year? 
Actually, I have only one goal in my life, I would really like to have my own shop and just do it my way. I am obsessed with interior design so I would like to set everything up and work on some details etc. I would like it to be a warm and comfy place where people feel good and want to come back, make the tattooing a whole experience for my customer, not just a business. If I had some other way of supporting myself I would literally do tattoos for free, maybe one day I will.

You were once an industrial/interior designer. How did you transition into tattooing? 
I always wanted to be a tattooer. Even before I went to University. But I was scared that I will not be good enough because I didn't have any tattoos, nor did I know any tattooer. And it was a safe and obvious way to go to University. I actually finished two degrees in the same time and it was hard, and in some ways very exhausting especially that I was also working to support myself. So I didn't have time to tattoo then but it was always on my mind. One summer after graduation I went with my boyfriend to work in a warehouse in the UK. It was hard work but I've earned some money and I decided to spend it all on tattoo machines and supplies. It was the best decision of my life.

How has your background in design brought you to your signature style of stunning landscapes captured within an outline of another concept?
It is really hard to say, but I think basically designing and learning about it opened my mind very much. I don't use any of the things that I have learned during my studies (besides designing my home) on a daily basis, but I think that all of this it's really connected. All the assignments and working on projects broaden my mind so I could come up with some new ideas for tattooing. I want them to feel the same thing I feel when I look at a sunset. I want them to feel happiness, longing and maybe awake some memories. I would really like to smuggle a little bit of magic into every design. 

A lot of your work involves nature and landscape scenery. Is traveling a passion of yours? If so, where have you gone that has influenced you the most?
I love to travel as much as I hate it. Visiting new places is very inspiring but I hate all the packing and usually, I am really stressed with every journey. My greatest inspiration was Portugal because I lived there for half of a year due to a student exchange program. I love this country so much! It has the nicest people and most beautiful landscapes.

Have you ever tattooed your own designs on yourself? If so, what was the piece? If you haven’t, which outline/silhouette combination would represent you best?
I have tattooed myself only once and it was a pink diamond on my toe. It looks horrible now and I remember how hard it was for me to do it. Tattooing demands a lot of focus especially when you do straight lines and stuff like this and doing this and feeling pain at the same time was too much for me. I think if I was to tattoo myself I would choose a heart shape filled with a view of my hometown, which is Bydgoszcz or some Portugal landscape. It is funny because I do all of these shapes and I have never done a landscape in a heart. 

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