This week, we had the pleasure of getting down with two highly skilled tattoo artists from Poland, Ksu and Matt. They developed their technique with unwavering passion and determination, converting skin into stunning pieces of art. Let’s plunge in!


Ksu Poharkova

For the readers who are not familiar with you, how would you introduce yourself?

We are the “Kompot” collaboration (Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko). We work together on a permanent basis at conventions and in the studio.

Ksu: My journey to me was interesting; I worked in a bank, and for a long time I was looking for self-expression in creativity: applied art, drawing. But as soon as I decided to get my first tattoo and attended the convention as a guest, my search ended. I immediately realized that this is what I need! Now tattooing for me is work, meditation, hobby, travel and way of life.

Matt: I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. Then I studied at an art school for 7 years. I painted oils and watercolors and made several exhibitions of my paintings. But tattooing and real skin are, for me, my favorite types of drawing and self-expression.

Where did your fascination for tattoos come from?

Matt: 7 years ago, friends and tattoo lovers, knowing my art education, persuaded me to try to draw on people’s. And since then, I have found myself.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

How and when did you start tattooing?

Ksu: 7.5 years ago, I studied in a tattoo studio, I tried tattooing for the first time. It was a wild ride that kickstarted my artistic journey. Since then, I’ve been spreading my art and touching lives.

Where are you based?

Now we live in Poland, in the city of Szczecin.

How would you describe the tattoo scene in your country these days?

The stage and conventions are well developed in Poland, with strong masters and cool competition.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

How would you define your tattoo style?

The basis of our style is realism, but we go beyond it with our special effects and approach to the composition, forming a unique, recognisable look.

You seem to have an extremely well-curated Instagram page. How much does this impact your business?

Instagram is the main platform for images and advertising in our time. And in fact, how many people will see our creativity and work depends on Instagram. And that’s why recognition, fame, and so on depend on fame and popularity.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

The tattoo culture has changed a lot in the last decade, becoming widely accepted almost anywhere in the world. What do you think about this big cultural shift?

Matt: Since ancient times, tattoos have been sacred in almost all cultures around the world. From Maori and Viking tattoos to Japanese and Slavs. Christianity has changed a lot, but in the last century,tattoos began to be associated with sailors, adventurers, and the marginalized. With something that goes beyond what is generally accepted. And I am very glad that in recent years, tattoos have ceased to be something strange or taboo and have taken their right place in people’s minds as a direction of art and self-expression.

What’s the main source of inspiration for your tattoos?

Our source of inspiration is emotions, dreams, and adventures. You can also include a fantasy, which is born as a continuation of a story heard or seen.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being a tattoo artist in 2024?

For us, this is a lack of time to implement all our ideas and projects.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a tattoo artist?

The most pleasant thing is to do work of such a level and quality that you rarely see in passersby on the street, except at a convention. Genuine emotions of a client who did not even imagine that it was possible. And understanding that these pictures will live a long time and be pleasing to the eye.

What’s your experience at tattoo conventions so far?

For a year now, we have been performing in collaborations and visiting almost all Polish conventions, three of which have won awards.

Do you remember the first tattoo convention you have ever been to?

Matt: At my first convention, I was a model, and on the second day, I enjoyed the tattoo holiday as a guest.

Ksu: The first convention seemed like a test to me, it was incredibly thrilling!

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

What’s your primary reason to attend a tattoo convention?

For us, the convention is a holiday, it’s excitement. Tattoo conventions have a great atmosphere, meeting new peoples in the tattoo industry. Another tattoo convention is a small journey where you get inspired and gain new knowledge. Here, you can tell the world about yourself.

How do you think tattoo conventions could get even better for artists and the public?

Increase the interest and excitement of the competition with cool and valuable prizes.

What’s your favorite tattoo convention so far? And why?

In general, To us they are the coolest tattoo conventions where strong tattoo artists from different countries gather. It’s always interesting to compete with the best of the best.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

You have been working together on several large-scale collaborative projects. How did you get started doing it, and what’s your vision regarding your collaboration tattoo?

Our collaboration was unexpected. We worked in the same studio but in different cities and had never met.

Ksu: Matvey made an offer to work together at the convention, but at that moment there was little time for preparation. and by the next convention, we had already thought through our project and it was incredible. We brought 3rd place from Krakow, and then we realized that we complement each other perfectly. our styles are very similar. This is how the KOMPOT collaboration appeared (these are the letters of Our names).

What advice would you offer to someone considering a career as a tattoo artist?

Matt: Learn to draw first, and then try the skin.

Ksu: Of course, you need a knowledge base—composition, anatomy, and construction. and the main thing is to love and want to get a tattoo, never give up if it doesn’t work, and always develop.

Who are the people you admire the most within the tattoo community?

To us, they are Natasha Animal, Ad Pancho, and Sandra Daukshta.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

What’s your biggest accomplishment as a tattoo artist?

Many studios in different countries make job offers. And also, many clients want to come to us for collaboration and are ready to overcome long flights to realize their dreams.

Do you do other forms of art besides tattooing?

Yes, we paint pictures whenever possible. Matt had his own exhibitions of paintings: oil, canvas, and watercolor.

What are your goals or dreams for the near future?

We want to attend as many conventions as possible, implement many new ideas, travel, and be inspired.

KOMPOT • The Collaboration of Ksu Poharkova and Matwei Telipko 9 May 2024

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

Follow your heart’s desires, immerse yourself in what makes you feel alive, and enjoy every minute of doing what you love. Allow passion to guide you to happiness and fulfillment. Accept your ambitions with zeal, inspire others with your passion, and live a life that celebrates love in all of its manifestations.

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