About us

A rather Bohemian story

Baba Studio was founded in 2002 by Ukrainian-Russian/Irish husband and wife partnership Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahony.

Alex graduated as an illustrator and graphic designer from the Kharkov Academy in Ukraine. Karen did her post-graduate training at the Royal College of Art in London, specialising in interactive media and ran her own very successful design agency in London for many years. Her clients included British Airways, BBC, ITV, BT, Diageo, Boehringer, Reuters, Syntegra and J&B Whisky. Both have taught Art and Design and Karen was external examiner for degrees in Interactive Media at Westminster University and Ravensbourne College of Art in London.

The rather Bohemian Prague studio began in a 15th century building in the old Mala Strana, surrounded by inspirational art and architecture. Baba Studio (now known as BabaBarock) moved to Killarney, in Ireland, in 2016, though a small studio space in Prague will be retained. 

The studio is well-known for extravagant, "Modern Baroque" visuals with a distinct twist of both humour and the bizarre. 

We work in a thought-provoking and serious way with a range of symbolism and story-telling. Our design (mostly textiles and tarot) is informed by light and dark fairy tales, Victoriana, Bohemian Gothic, Alice in Wonderland, Fantastic and Mythical Creatures and of course the bizarre and humorous world of anthropomorphic and dressed animals. Our Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot has become a classic of the genre. 

Baba Studio's tarot decks have three times been voted the "Deck of the Year" and you can see many of the card images in use now on Baba's unique range of textiles and bags.

Besides decks and books - published by Magic Realist Press, the studio now produces a growing number of uniquely designed textile products including accessories, small household items and, soon to come, porcelain  - all with the distinct Baba Studio blend of lavish decoration, beautiful quality and a distinctly Bohemian attitude.

Our tarot decks include:

  1. The Tarot of Prague
  2. The Baroque, Bohemian Cats' Tarot
  3. The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot (based on the work of J.J. Grandville)
  4. The Victorian Flower Oracle  (based on the work of J.J. Grandville)
  5. The Fairytale Tarot
  6. The Bohemian Gothic Tarot
  7. The Victorian Romantic Tarot
  8. The Alice Tarot (based on both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass)
  9. The Mythical Creatures Tarot

Please do visit us on our main Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BabaStudioBabaBarock/

You can also see the studio and more about how we work in this programme about us made by Czech Television.

Grant aid

We were delighted to get grant aid from our local Kerry Enterprise Board when we moved to Ireland.

We were supported by the Kerry Local Enterprise Office through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.

Licensing, wholesale and collaborations

We collaborate on an increasing number of licensed products, both digital and physical. We also wholesale to shops all over the world. If you’re interested in buying wholesale or licensing any of our Bohemian Cats, Bohemian Gothic, Victorian Romantic, Alice or other images please contact us.

You can subscribe to our opt-in newsletter HERE. Always with news, updates and specials.

If you are a retailer and interested in buying from us at wholesale/trade prices please do contact us.