Illustrators with Ink: Rebecca Volynsky

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So, I’m pretty excited about my new series, Illus­tra­tors with Ink. Tuesday’s tat­toos got a great response, and it’s fun to see all of the dif­fer­ent, per­ma­nent designs that peo­ple have on their skin. Today we’ll take a look at the tat­toos of artist Rebecca Volyn­sky.

Rebecca lives in Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island, where she’s both a prac­tic­ing artist and an expres­sive arts facil­i­ta­tor at PeaceLove Stu­dios. Her involve­ment with com­mu­nity art orga­ni­za­tions began in high school, and she later worked as a res­i­dent teach­ing artist at Prov­i­dence City Arts for Youth. These orga­ni­za­tions and activ­i­ties give peo­ple the oppor­tu­nity to find their artis­tic voice.

Your name: Rebecca Volyn­sky
Web­site: www.rvolynsky.com
How many tat­toos do you have? 4 (Bird, flax seed flower petal, bow and arrow, and anchor.)
How old were you when you got your first tat­too? 19
Do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why? All of my tat­toos are per­son­ally mean­ing­ful, but the bow and arrow is a good reminder right now of how we have to strug­gle a lit­tle bit by pulling our­selves back in order to move for­ward in life.
Where did you get your work done? Good Faith Tat­too in Boston, MA and Redemp­tion Tat­too in Cam­bridge, MA.
Is there any mean­ing behind any of your tat­toos? I got the bird tat­too when I left col­lege after my first year in order to take time off and serve as an Ameri­Corps teach­ing artist. It was a huge change in my life that set the stage for every­thing I do now in com­mu­nity art edu­ca­tion. The flax seed flower is the national flower of Belarus, which is where my fam­ily is orig­i­nally from. It’s a reminder of my grand­par­ents who still live there and why I work extremely hard. The anchor is actu­ally in honor of my grand­fa­ther. He had a Soviet avi­a­tor anchor tat­too on his fore­arm that he got done when he flew fighter planes in the Soviet army. He brought my fam­ily to this coun­try and was a strong leader, a qual­ity I try to carry with me.
Do you see a con­nec­tion between the type of tat­toos you have and your illus­tra­tive work?There are many sym­bolic ele­ments and details in my art­work that are inspired by Russ­ian byzan­tine icon paint­ings. I feel that there is a sim­i­lar style in my tat­too illus­tra­tions. I drew all of them, and see them as pieces of work that rep­re­sent pieces of my identity.

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Rebecca has a myr­iad of influ­ences: Russ­ian folk art, Byzan­tine icon paint­ings, lively col­ors, organic shapes, her expe­ri­ences as a teach­ing artist, and much more. She’s inspired by the beau­ti­ful things and the peo­ple that sur­round her every day. Look­ing at her tat­toos and work, you can see the cor­re­la­tion between the two:

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Emily Isabella’s Adorable Portraits Use Real Flowers for Their Hairdos

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Milk­weed knows she’s attractive.

Paint­ing and flow­ers, sep­a­rately, are two won­der­ful things. But, bet­ter yet, Emily Isabella com­bines both of ‘em with her Plant Peo­ple. She paints their faces and wardrobes and uses a myr­iad of flow­ers for their hair­styles. We see small, del­i­cate pods as well as larger, broad petals that sig­nify longer locks. I love how the blooms are arranged just so, and it allows her to mimic the shape of hair well.

Each image is accom­pa­nied with a curi­ous sen­tence describ­ing the per­son. I’ve included them, too!

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Peony makes friends easily.

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The tem­per­a­ture is start­ing to drop but White Wood Aster doesn’t seem to mind.

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Chrysan­the­mum had a moment of inde­ci­sion at the hair salon.

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Sun­flower isn’t always sunny.

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Cucum­ber Blos­som always adds a touch of beauty to each dish she prepares.

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Goose­neck Looses­trife under­stands the power of a name.

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Hosta’s Japan­ese name is Giboshi.

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A– tisket, a-tasket, Petu­nia prefers a hang­ing basket.

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Blaz­ing Star has a wild side.

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Daylily knows that night is inevitable.

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I think Sweet Pea was lost when I found her on the roadside.

Calling All Collage Artists: Sign Up for the Collage Scrap Exchange!

papirmass-bpb-cse-announcementDo you make col­lage art? Do you have an abun­dance of paper scraps? If so, then you need to par­tic­i­pate in the Col­lage Scrap Exchange! It’s a super fun art con­test that I’m host­ing with Papir­mass, a mail art sub­scrip­tion ser­vice (be sure to check it out, too!).

The premise is sim­ple: bun­dle up some of your favorite scraps and send them to your part­ner — another col­lage artist. They’ll ship their scraps to you, and the two of you will have a whole new set of mate­ri­als to exper­i­ment and play with! Then, make art­work that fuses both of your unique pieces.

How it works:

  1. Sign up to par­tic­i­pate in the Col­lage Scrap Exchange (CSE) with the form below.
  2. After Novem­ber 15, we’ll match up col­lage partners.
  3. You’ll pack­age your scraps and mail ‘em via snail mail to your partner.
  4. Once you receive your col­lage partner’s pack­age, make a col­lage using both of your scraps! Theme: New Landscapes
  5. Turn in your fin­ished art­work before the Feb­ru­ary 15, 2015 deadline.

Win a prize pack­age worth over $250!

  • $125 cash prize
  • 2 free sub­scrip­tions for Papir­mass
  • Get your work pub­lished in an issue of Papirmass!

Project theme: New Landscapes

Dead­lines:

  • Sign up until Novem­ber 15, 2014
  • Art­work must be received by Feb­ru­ary 15, 2015

All are wel­come to par­tic­i­pate, so please pass this along to a friend! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Friday Roundup: 10 Gorgeous Illustrations You Need to See

Happy Fri­day! Hope­fully you have some fun things planned for your week­end — I know I do! In the mean­time, check out these 10 illus­tra­tions I’ve seen lately and liked! Some are from my favorite illus­tra­tors while oth­ers are new discoveries.

Interview: Alex Citrin Talks Coming of Age and Her Magazine, “Until Now”

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Have ya’ll heard of Until Now? If not, then you’re in for a treat. It’s a pub­li­ca­tion started by illustrator/art direc­tor Alex Cit­rin and fea­tures sto­ries about com­ing of age (AKA the tran­si­tion from child­hood to adult­hood). Per­son­ally, I love these types of tales — they are by far my favorite sub­ject to con­sume. So, need­less to say that when I heard Alex was pro­duc­ing this for her grad­u­ate the­sis, I was excited.

Alex was a cohort of mine in MICA’s MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice pro­gram, where we’re encour­aged to think about illus­tra­tion dif­fer­ently and push the field to new places. As a result, the first issue of Until Now fea­tures a ton of great illus­tra­tion show­cased in gor­geous, large spreads.

I had the plea­sure of inter­view­ing her about being an art direc­tor and her love of com­ing of age tales. This is a long-form inter­view, but stick with it. Alex is hilar­i­ous and has some great things to say.

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So, I’ll spare you answer­ing a lot of ques­tions that you’ve already cov­ered, but for those that aren’t famil­iar with Until Now, how would you describe it? How long had you been think­ing about putting a pub­li­ca­tion like this together?

Until Now is a mag­a­zine about com­ing of age, although I envi­sion the read­er­ship to be broader than just those cur­rently com­ing of age them­selves. I sup­pose I’d been think­ing about pro­duc­ing a col­lec­tion of sto­ries related to this topic for a while, though in dif­fer­ent forms — col­lages, photo essays, a graphic novel…those ideas were reflec­tive of my focuses at the time (a col­lege art major, band pho­tog­ra­pher, and illus­tra­tor, respectively).

I’ve always been obsessed with doc­u­men­ta­tion and I am also a believer in the tra­di­tional print mag­a­zine as a medium for com­mu­ni­ca­tion as well as a kind of art object. Basi­cally, I’m a com­plete lud­dite. Con­sid­er­ing the vast cul­tural reach of your aver­age main­stream mag­a­zine, though, there’s still some­thing not quite seri­ous about the for­mat. I think there’s room to play with that con­tra­dic­tion. Sim­i­larly, com­ing of age sto­ries are typ­i­cally rel­e­gated to the “less seri­ous” YA sec­tion of the library or within mag­a­zines aimed exclu­sively at teens. I’m still fas­ci­nated by com­ing of age sto­ries at age 27.

Con­tinue read­ing

BPB’s October Header Illustration: “Lucy” by Katy Horan

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Another month, another new header image for Brown Paper Bag! I’m delighted to share with you Katy Horan’s gor­geous, haunt­ing illus­tra­tion that she calls Lucy. It’s based on the char­ac­ter  Lucy West­enra from the clas­sic story Drac­ula by author Bram Stoker.

Per­fect for the spooky month of Octo­ber, right? As always, the work is for sale in the Brown Paper Bag shop as a 4″ x 6″ print — per­fect for fram­ing! Grab one before they’re all gone.

Name: Katy Horan
Loca­tion: Austin, Tx
Web­site: www.katyart.com
What was your dream job when you were 7 years old? Cos­tume Designer/ Vet­eri­nar­ian
Your pro­fes­sion now: artist / illus­tra­tor
What’s your favorite thing to draw? It’s prob­a­bly a tie between pretty dresses and spooky ghosts
What was the inspi­ra­tion for this piece? I like to lis­ten to movie scores and was lis­ten­ing to the score from Bram Stoker’s Drac­ula. It got me think­ing about the char­ac­ter of Lucy. I find her to be very beau­ti­ful and sad and I wanted to do some­thing appro­pri­ate for Hal­loween, so I decided to cre­ate my own inter­pre­ta­tion of Miss Lucy.
How did you cre­ate your illus­tra­tion? Was it any dif­fer­ent than your reg­u­lar process? I started with a loose water­color under­paint­ing then added lay­ers of tis­sue paper and gouache on top and filled in the back­ground with black gouache. That is pretty much my stan­dard process, aside from the water­color. Usu­ally I just jump straight to the gouache.
Do you have a favorite scary movie or story? It would be impos­si­ble to pick one sin­gle favorite, so I will list the first few that come to mind: The Oth­ers (with Nicole Kid­man), The Shin­ing and any story out of the Scary Sto­ries to Tell In the Dark book series.

Thanks, Katy!

Life-Like Paper Sculpted Birds by Diana Beltran Herrera

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Paper sculp­ture has always wowed me. How do artists form such intri­cate works?! It’s incredible.

These small, sculpted birds by Diana Bel­tran Her­rera are gor­geous and eerily life-like; you might not even know they were made of paper. The fowl fea­ture small details like bustling chest feath­ers and long, del­i­cate tails. Plus, just look at that minute fringe for even more tex­ture! There’s no won­der why they look so realistic.

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Friday Roundup: 10 Beautifully Animated Illustrations

Ani­mated GIFS are won­der­ful, and so many illus­tra­tors have cre­ated col­or­ful, beau­ti­ful works that are like watch­ing a tiny film. I love the sub­tly that some of these ani­ma­tions use, and how you really must study them to see the small move­ments that are con­tained within.

Enjoy, and happy Fri­day, ya’ll!

Small Ceramic Spoons with Big Personalities by Nayanai

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For some rea­son, I’m really par­tic­u­lar about the spoons that I like to use. They can’t be too large or small (I don’t want to feel like I’m hold­ing a uten­sil made for a baby), and it’s best if they are beau­ti­ful, too. With those stip­u­la­tions in mind, I’d totally use these ceramic spoons by French illus­tra­tor Nayanai. They have per­son­al­i­ties all their own! Sur­prised, pen­sive, and goofy — they run the gamut.

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Vintage-Inspired Illustrations by Gosia Herba Are Sorta Dark… And I like It

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Gosia Herba is a Pol­ish illus­tra­tor whose edi­to­r­ial images fea­ture larger-than-life women, reflec­tions that have a mind of their own, and other sur­real sit­u­a­tions. It’s this, cou­pled with her vintage-inspired style (even some ele­ments of Cubism thrown in there!), that ini­tially drew me to her work.

I love illus­tra­tions that offer me some­thing beneath the sur­face. Goisa’s work looks won­der­ful, but it’s also strange and a lit­tle dark, and it leaves a last­ing impres­sion on me.

(H/T my pal Per­rin)

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