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
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.
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: