interview with Alan Balcerak | Dead Body Tattoo,  poland| 27/11/2018

Hello Alan Balcerak! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers.

Q: How long have you been tattooing? Was it hard to learn how to tattoo?
A: I started tattooing three years ago. My learning began as friendship with Lukasz Smyk Siemieniewicz in tattoo studio "DEAD BODY TATTOO". He encouraged me to start. He took me under his wings. He taught me how to use machines, select needles, tattooing technique etc. The beginning was not easy for me. A piece of paper cannot be compared with human skin. Not only Lukasz ‘s advice and tips helped me a lot but also my stubbornness and faith self-confidence was important. The more practice the better you become. I wanted to create more detailed projects that will be captured on the client’s skin.

Q: Did you have any artistic background? What is your opinion on tattoo apprenticeship?
A: I don’t have any artistic education, I learned everything by myself. I have been drawing since childhood. I didn’t have anyone who could teach me something about it. I have learned everything from my own mistakes because I believe that practice makes perfect. I also know, that in this kind of art you need to have some artistic background and I'm not talking about artistic education, which I do not have, but about the passion for drawing and many hours spent above a piece of paper with a pencil, where you also build patience, accuracy and imagination. This is very important in this profession. With such abilities, it's easier to start the tattoo adventure.

Q: You have a very remarkable style. These days, seems like every single day there is a new style, many artists are coming up with new cool ideas, it is hard to create a unique "signature" style. I like your work, very nice composition, brilliant balance of black and white ink, that makes the final result impressive. How would you describe your style? Would you give it a specific name?
A: I mainly make realistic tattoos based on realistic situations that have been remembered in the picture. They are photos that perfectly reflect, good play of light and shadow, I focus on depth and contrast. My style can be called realism.


Q: Tattooing itself is not an easy skill to learn. How much the knowledge for tattoo ink and skin plays a big role? Are there any specific rules of applying a specific ink to a different skin type etc? Give me a bit of guidance here.
A: General knowledge about tattoo is fundamental, without that, the work is badly made. Knowledge about ink as chemical composition is significant affair, it is worth knowing which ink should be used for each person since the top-of-the-line ink and even pure chemical composition can harm our client. Not only is the knowledge about human anatomy and the quality of skin is important but also the skin tone should be considered. It's like with a sheet of paper. If it's fair, drawing/tattooing is going to look nice and clear. If it's dark, our tattoo is not clear and many colors are pale or faded. The more hydrated and healthier skin, the better. It is also good to pay attention if the pattern matches on our client’s skin. Knowledge about skin care is also important before and even more after the tattoo has been made.

Q: Big tattoos like sleeves and backpieces can take 4-5 sessions to complete or maybe even more, depending of the complexly of the design, but when it's all done, I bet it's a pleasure for both, you and your client. Are this types of tattoos a big challenge (not just time & energy consuming) but at the same time a great way to really show off your skills even more?
A: It’s always a challenge for me. I love making the big theme like a sleeve or whole back because working on such a big area gives me a chance to present my skills and my imagination. My customer thinks positively when he or she notices the progress after a few sessions. It’s very important to schedule the big project in order to make it readable compositionally coherent.

Q: What details are the most difficult to work on when it comes to realistic portraits?
A: Portraits are not easy to tattoo. You have to stick to the pattern. The most important and the most difficult is to stick to the face and location of the eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips and hair. The basis is a very good face shading, without it all, the face that we tattoo will lose its real image. The best portraits are those that have very good play of light and shadow, well-cast light on the face will allow us to make a perfect portrait. If I do a portrait of someone's child or someone close to someone, it's better to have it smiling because we want to remember the most-loved person and immortalize it on the skin.

- Is there any particular person or face expression that is your favorite?
When it comes to the faces of famous people like actors, singers, etc faces look better when some emotions are expressed. Every detail is important: a wrinkle, a scar, a birthmark even a spot mark because it can reflect the origin of a given face.

Q: While doing a tattoo, customers usually reveal the story behind the design and the whole experience changes for both. Suddenly you learn about life struggles, coping strategies, love, compassion, victories of veterans etc. So many emotions that we humans have and express so differently. How much the good connection with the clients is important for one artist? Do you help your clients with some ideas for their design?
A: Good contact with the client is very important. It is good to know the client, their life and tattoo requirements. Working with a client that we know becomes easier and more enjoyable. I always have some influence on the clients projects. For example, there are clients who don’t have an idea for tattoos. Then during the conversation with them I learn about their interests, plans for life, etc. Based on this conversation, I can already have an idea for creating an individual project. The designs I create are unique.

Q: Tattooing is a job that requires love and complete dedication. The journey of self development as an artist and maybe as a person outside tattooing can lead you to many interesting experiences and teach you some valuable lessons. There are ups and downs, lots of competition and pressure to become better on daily basis. What's the best part of being a tattoo artist?
A: Is to be able to express myself, show my style and do it perfectly. Every time we are learning, meeting many people, a lot of awesome artists to swap experiences. It's very important to not give up and want more, then we will be able to achieve further goals.

Q: Anything you look forward?
A: Living in the world of tattoos, dealing with this every day I am waiting for a time where I will be well known among great artists in this tattoo style. I am waiting for the upcoming conventions, tattoo festivals where I will be able to show myself to a wider audience, thus building my persona. I would like and I also dream that my work will be appreciated at tattoo conventions where it would certainly motivate me more to continue working and developing.

Q: Any motivational words for those who are willing to try becoming a pro artist?
A: Don’t give up, because always after defeat there is win. A lot of time spent working with no compulsion but with big passion, a lot of patience and with sacrifice on this with all heart will bring positive result. In my opinion critical self-assessment is needed, because it causes more commitment if you want to go forward. You need to choose your style and work on it. It’s worth spending money on good quality equipment like needles, inks and hygiene, this enable us to do professional work.

A few words on working with Lukasz Smyku Siemieniewicz? ; )
Working with Łukasz Smyku Siemieniewicz is especially pleasant, interesting and I can learn so much. Lukasz is very good teacher. He always gives me a piece of advice that makes him good coworker. His advice I have in my heart. I do not have to do trial and error method, because he always helps me.

Please write your contact info
You can contact me via the studio Dead Body Tattoo that you can find on
Facebook or my instagram alan.tattooart.

Mr.Alan Balcerak,
Thank you so much for the interview,
Kind Regards,
Iva Green