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Ilja Arana

Polynesian tattoos: Maori tattoos, Awning tattoos, Samoa tattoos, Tahiti and Hawaii tattoos, Borneo tattoos, Tribal tattoos, ornamental tattoos.

Location and certification: Prague, Czech Republic.

My name is Ilja and I have been tattooing since 2015. Since 2019, I have been specializing exclusively in tribal styles.


Polynesian tattoo - Polymix

Let's first define what a Polynesian tattoo or a Maori tattoo is. Both names are commonly used to describe a huge number of tattoo styles from Southeast Asia. Almost every island in the area has its own tattoo style and is sometimes very different. What unites all these stylistics are the common meanings of symbols - this is the priority use of black, the priority of abstract and geometric shapes over the images of real objects and creatures. If the client's chosen design is the style of a particular region or island, I would like to mention it when creating the design, but in general I don't think it's that important, and then I'll explain why.


Ergonomics and aesthetics come first

Tribal Polynesian tattoos today are a modern, evolving style. The priority for me is the ergonomic placement of the tattoo so that it is part of a person, copying the shape of the body and muscles. Of course, I adhere to fundamental symbols and meanings, but it is much more important for me to convey the aesthetics and mood of the traditional style in a modern, extensive and ergonomic way.


Meaning of symbols

Most of the stylistics of the islands of Southeast Asia come from the ancient culture of Lapita, thanks to which many symbols are similar and have a similar meaning. However, this does not apply to all styles of Southeast Asia and, of course, other regions of the planet. I know the basic meanings of Polynesian tattoo symbols and some meanings of tattoos from other regions. However, it must be understood that today's "traditional" tattoo is a secondary adaptation (adaptation adaptation). Therefore, you should not attach more importance to this than inserting your personal meanings into ordinary symbols. The shape of a man can mean your father or son, the shape of a woman - mother or daughter. The shape of a bird can mean the freedom, the way or the spirit of the deceased ancestor. It makes no sense to delve deeper into the meanings of traditional symbols because they are associated with the traditions and myths of the nations that used them. Create your own meanings for yourself, do not try to find them in the traditions of other nations. If you want, I will be happy to help you compile your personal story from basic symbols. And if you can't think of what you would like to "write" on your body - just confide in me. When creating tattoos without special wishes, I use the most positive and universal symbols, I focus on artistic aesthetics and not on symbolism. You can also add any symbols to your tattoo that do not exist in Polynesian tattoos, but have a personal meaning for you.


Tattoo quality

Professionally made Polynesian tattoos are one of the highest quality and durable styles. A characteristic feature of this style is that over time the tattoo looks even better than immediately after application. My experience shows that the final appearance of my tattoos occurs about a year after the last session. Therefore, I always welcome when a customer visits me after a while (preferably after a year or more) for a photo shoot and possibly a minor correction. Despite the quality of the Polynesian tattoo, don't forget to use a sunscreen with the maximum factor to maintain the color saturation of the tattoo.

If you are just deciding on the style of your future tattoo then Polynesian tattooing is one of the smartest options. In addition to quality and durability, tribal tattoos are very suitable for finishing and extending to other parts of the body. Entrust my experience, figuring out how to tie a new tattoo to an old one after a few years, especially if you don't have access to a previous tattoo artist, can be quite complicated.


Tattooing is the way to go

Before you opt for a Polynesian tattoo, you need to prepare psychologically. Tribal tattoos are rarely applied in a single session, mainly because they are usually voluminous works. On average, the sleeve takes 5-7 seats. Each session consists of 1-2 hours of drawing and 2-3 hours of tattooing. The optimal break between sessions is 1 month or longer. This means that the sleeve takes about half a year and 18-24 hours together. Therefore, take tattoos as a visit to the gym rather than buying a piece of clothing. Half a year will pass and you will become the owner of a quality, expensive and effective tattoo. A tattoo as large as a sleeve is one of the most striking elements of your appearance, something that attracts attention and makes people notice and remember you - give it plenty of time and endurance.


Design selection

All the tattoos you see on this page and on my instagram are two pens, one marker and, of course, a tattoo machine. I do not transfer images from paper to the body. I don't draw sketches in advance, because I design your future tattoo directly on your body in several stages:


  1. We will first determine the location of the tattoo, indicate where it will begin and end, as well as how the basic shapes and directions will be placed.

  2. Next I will draw specific details of each of the elements of the tattoo. At this stage you can add specific characters, symbols, patterns.

  3. In the end, I will cover everything I tattoo with a special surgical marker. Then we start the tattoo process itself.


To create a design, I need you to show me the photos of tattoos that you like (1-3 photos are enough, it can be both my work and designs and the work of other artists) and also said a few words about each photo. Don't try to be specific or completely accurate in definitions if you don't want to. It is enough for me to understand the impression or emotion you have from the described work. Just show the photos on your phone, you don't have to print them.



Preparing for a session

  • Get a good night's sleep before sitting.

  • Have breakfast just before the session.

  • Please dress in dark clothes (ideally black) for the session. On the one hand, ink can stain clothes, and then I also try to make the photos of my work as identical as possible.

  • Bring a bottle of your favorite sugary drink and a snack. Sandwiches, fruit, sweets - what you like.

  • Many of my clients drink one or two tablets of ibuprofen before tattooing. It does not affect the pain from the tattoo, but it dulls the pain in those places where the tattoo is already completed (burning sensation) and reduces swelling. Keep in mind that the first hour - two sessions is drawing, so you should not drink the pill before the session, but drink it before the tattoo process itself. I always have ibuprofen in the studio, I am happy to share it with you.



Tattoo care

90% of the work I do is sealed with a special membrane., You take off the membrane on the fifth day after the session. While wearing the membrane, I do not recommend active sports and doing anything that can contribute to active sweating. With the membrane, you can shower comfortably. After removing the membrane, you no longer need a special healing cream, it will be enough to rub the tattoo with a common cream on your hands or body. I will give you all the more details about the care of my tattoos at the session.

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