Magical Frogs and Kitties: Tattoos by Joanna Swirska

fish, escher style, tattoo

Joanna Świrska, aka Dżo Lama, focuses her colorful tattoo portfolio on nature with a psychedelic twist. The detailed portraits of birds, mushrooms, and moths come alive with splashes of neon hues. Her style, which is a mixture of realism and abstraction, began to develop over three years ago. While in art school, Świrska first designed tattoos for her friends. Eventually, she tried inking. “I’ve always loved free painting on canvases,” she says, “so my first tattoos were like abstract drafts.”

Now that she’s honed in her approach, Świrska stays inspired by visiting the outdoors. “I love the forest and the mountains,” she explains. “I also get good inspiration from flea markets. I try to go there once a week only to take photos for projects. The climate, the people, and the whole hubbub of this place have pretty much influenced my art greatly. It’s a mine of ideas.”

green cat tattoo and flowers hand and nature, green tattoo
fractured face among trees blue cat and nature tattoo green frog on unicycle tattoo and mushrooms bird on a branch, red tattoo snake, red and plants, tattoo
Images © Joanna Świrska
Sara Barnes

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Sara is a Baltimore, Maryland-based blogger and illustrator. She’s obsessed with finding the latest and greatest in illustration, which she shares through her blog, Brown Paper Bag. Offline, Sara enjoys embroidering flowers and foods that she’s eaten and enjoyed.

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