Кристина Целыковская (Kristina Tselykovskaya) is a Moscow-based artist who specialises in creating beautifully precious tattooed dolls under her brand Rock & Doll.
For Kristina, her work is the most important part of her life. Her time and energy is devoted to creating what she calls her ‘#Tattoys’ – “I dedicate so much to my work and I get back an unreal pleasure from what I do, and lots of positive emotion too. It’s a great thing when your job can bring you passion and satisfaction.”
She has been drawing for as long as she can remember, having a strong fascination with faces and eyes. “More recently I became irreversibly absorbed in the doll world,” she says. “To paint on fabric is a thousand times more interesting than on paper. Then I realised something else – master puppeteers unfairly bypassed male images. Princess dolls with curls and bows, they are everywhere. But things we consider beautiful now in the male fashion word, like beards, were nowhere to be seen when it came to dolls and puppetry.”
As with many of the tattoo artists I have spoken to on this blog, Kristina has already had experience of copycats: “as soon as I posted my first few photos on Instagram, it began. I didn’t know any artists that created dolls like mine, but now there are people who steal my images and create copies. I will never have a good attitude towards people like that.”
I wanted to know where Kristina found her inspiration from to create such intricate and original pieces. “My main inspiration is people. Beautiful, bright people who are not afraid to be different. I love pin-ups and superheros, Roy Lichtenstein and rock music – all of these loves are reflected in my work. I also get inspired by other talented artists and craftsmen such as Mimi Kirchner – her dolls are unreal.”
So does a tattoo-doll-artist have any ink of her own? “In Russia there is a proverb, about being a shoemaker without shoes… that was me. My friends used to make fun of me, for spending days drawing tattooed dolls with no tattoos of my own. I didn’t like the pain, but finally one day, I had the courage. My girlfriend is a talented tattoo artist and drew a sketch that I loved, and so now, after 5 hours of pain, I have a beautiful portrait of my cat Roxy that will always be with me forever.”
Finally, I ask Kristina what her big dreams are for the future. “To live in a small quiet picturesque town, somewhere in Europe and open a tiny shop or a cosy studio.”
Sounds like heaven.
You can buy dolls direct from Kristina’s site – there are pre-made dolls in stock, or you can order a custom made portrait doll to be created just for you, in the style of someone you know.