Interview // Rebecca Volynsky, Artist

Tell us about your business / current project.

I am up to my neck in personal projects these days! I had a really challenging fall/winter season, and I'm very thankful for the opportunities that came my way in recent months. It's easier said than done - but it is amazing what can happen when you stick to your work and believe in yourself.

In addition to the closing reception of my exhibition at Lady Project Works on May 26th from 5 - 9 PM ... I had an interactive installation at the Hope St. Block Party sponsored by the Hope Street Merchants Association on Saturday, May 20th. I am wheat-pasting a series of public art pieces for PVDFest in partnership with the Providence Art, Culture & Tourism Department, The Dean Hotel, Cornish Associates, New Urban Arts, and the Hope Street Merchants Association starting May 28th through June 18th. There is also a possible mural project in the works for the summer months.

Meanwhile, I've been making bagels, researching various Jewish/Russian recipes, practicing yoga, and working on my new garden plot. I like to bounce around the different facets of my creative practice, and community public art projects/event planning are the main focus lately.

Why did you choose the career that you have?

My career and education paths have always been very loose. I always take a step back, make a huge leap to the side, and then venture off in a different way when I discover a new interest. I believe this is how I ended up with an array of passions and creative outlets - not a single career path. My artwork, culinary projects, event planning, and community work, however, all center on the act of creating inspiring experiences and connecting people.

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When did you take your biggest risk (in life or business)? Was it worth it?

There is a lot of worth in knowing your *self worth*. I have moved several times, ended relationships and friendships, and left jobs before because I knew that I, not only deserved more but had the potential to offer more. This is so important to address because you have to learn how to say "no" to the things that sometimes just don't work out. This has allowed me to become more honest and serious about creating a positive future for myself.

When things get rough, how do you keep yourself going?

I let it out. There comes a time when keeping things in is more difficult than being honest with yourself and addressing the issues at hand. Whether it is through baking, painting, working in my garden, or chatting with my therapist - I find a way to ease my anxieties. I am so exhausted by the often advertised "all or nothing" / "I'll sleep when I'm dead" mentality when it comes to work and entrepreneurship. It's critical to completely shut out your work life sometimes, unplug, find peace of mind, and take care of your damn self.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I've actually found a lot of inspiration in the acts of letting go. 

I have thought about this a lot recently, and I have found that you have to be willing to let go of the things that do not serve you - such as fear - in order to live the life you want. This can be challenging if fear is all you have grown accustomed to; however, learning to let it go can be one of the most subversive, badass, life-changing things.

This translates to my artwork because making art is a very therapeutic and meditative practice for me. Allowing myself to let go and feel vulnerable through art making, practicing yoga, or meditating builds room for creation and setting positive intentions. When it's difficult to dive into that space in the present moment, it is easier to do so through getting into a creative flow. This is not about thinking "where have I been?" in the past, or "where am I going?" in the future - but, rather, it is about proclaiming "here I am, I exist" in the present. Finding that space has become the real purpose of my personal art practice.