Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Artist Interview: Michelle Volansky

Michelle Volansky is an illustrator from St. Louis, Missouri with a style and penchant for all things pop and cute! Her style blog is a lot of fun (be sure to check out the Big Book of Cats).


What inspired the work you have in the exhibition? Specifically, why did you choose the subjects you chose?

I wanted to play with the idea of the kinds of things you feel so devotional to and that hold so much meaning that you would want them tattooed on yourself. Since these are temporary tattoos, I wanted to kind of glorify the sillier, but still awesome images that I love and worship--junk food and internet addiction! I think that's a fun play on content and current trends. You pay tribute to your mom with your ink tattoo but you pay tribute to your favorite ice cream with your temporary tattoo! :) Also, I always have to draw a cute, sassy lady! Always!

Talk about the medium you used to make your piece. 

I usually start my sketches on paper and either scan or recreate them on Photoshop. Sometimes I'll ink a drawing with a brush pen and use that line art. I love the flexibility and endless possibilities of working on the computer, but I always try to use scanned textures or hand-drawn lines for a more personal touch.
For this piece specifically, I knew I wanted the clean, bright colors of a digital drawing. I originally was working in a line-less style, but realized that for tattoos, there really needed to be strong outlines so the art would look best on different skin colors--especially since I was working on a pretty small scale. I didn't want the art to look like pink blobs from 6 feet away. I also tried to be mindful of my usage of whites and negative space.

Do you listen to anything while you’re working? What have you been listening to lately?

Always! I thrive on multitasking. Total silence stresses me out and my mind wanders. Lately I've found that putting on my headphones and listening to a podcast really helps me focus and work for longer stretches of time. My favorites are "How Was Your Week?" with Julie Klausner, Sam Weber's "Your Dreams My Nightmares", anything from NPR, and of course the LGAL podcasts! 
As far as music goes, lately I'm obsessing over Tegan and Sara's new album, "Heartthrob". Marina and the Diamonds, Icona Pop, Cassette, and Ke$ha are also on repeat on my iTunes a lot lately. Trashy pop music is my favorite!

Do you have any tattoos? Tell us about them! 

I don't! How lame. I don't deal well with pain and I'm really picky about tattoo art and placement. A beautiful tattoo is such a fabulous thing, though, and I love fawning over them. I often joke that I'll be the opposite of all the cool kids and wait until I'm like 50 years old to get a super bad ass, huge tattoo.

Whether you have a tattoo or not, it’s *possible* you have considered a tattoo you would like to have. What would that dream tattoo be?

My ultimate dream is an Alphonse Mucha full sleeve. Swoon! Go big or go home, right? A really great Mucha tattoo is rare, but they just slay me. A sleeve of cute silly things like my piece for the Beautiful Forever show would be amazing, too!

Michelle's work can be found on her website, her blog, and of course, you can follow her on Twitter!


  1. Michelle Volansky is a nice artist ...but I didnt find his work too impressive. Though he has a nice point of view.

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