A tattoo artist turned doctor has told how she hides her inkings under her medical scrubs so she does not scare off patients in her ambulance in Russia.
Blonde Elizaveta Mogilkina, 27, learned how to create body art while she was a broke medical student.
But now that she is a qualified medic she said she has to hide her own heavily inked body so she does not frighten the people she is treating.
Now Elizaveta only reveals her huge tattoos when she strips off for social media.
Her photographs show her with long, complicated tattoos winding around every part of her body apart from her face and hands.
Elizaveta splits her time between her huge tattoo studio and her work as an emergency ambulance doctor.
And while on duty, she says she is careful to keep them undercover in case her colleagues and patients are unnerved by them.
Elizaveta, from Irkutsk, east-central Russia, says her tats cover 60 per cent of her whole body.
And, she explained, when they sometimes slip out from under her scrubs the inkings can help distract some patients.
She said: “It happens that tattoos help in my work.
“When I need to give an injection, grandmothers and children look at my hands, get distracted, and stop worrying.”
Elizaveta revealed how she has a passion for drawing from a very young age.
She said: “I didn’t attend art school regularly, but I was quite good at it.
“When the time came to think about entering university, I even considered choosing a creative field, but ultimately, I decided that my work should be beneficial to others.
“In books and movies, doctors are portrayed as noble people who save lives, and besides, I excelled in biology and chemistry. So, I chose to attend medical university.”
During her college years, Elizaveta began using her talent for art as a source of income, creating album covers, posters, and portraits.
At 19, she completely stopped relying on her parents for financial support as her art business took off.
She needed even more money, but she could not find a full-time job because her studies occupied her from 8 am to 5 pm.
Elizaveta continued: “At that time, I started thinking about how I could earn income while dedicating no more than three hours a day to it.
“In 2017, there was virtually an open niche for tattoos in Irkutsk. I managed to save about RUB 30,000 [GBP 250], bought equipment, a tattoo bed, and started taking my first clients.
“I didn’t take any courses – they simply didn’t exist. But my university knowledge helped a lot in working with skin.”
Elizaveta admits that tattoos soon became more than just a side job for her.
She compares her unique style to a gothic Russian fairytale, as she often draws inspiration from eerie figures in Slavic mythology, such as forest spirits, mermaids, witches, and more.
To participate in international exhibitions and festivals, she adopted the surname Mogilkina to match her image, while she uses her real name in medicine.
She said: “I myself got my first tattoo when I was 18-19 years old. It was an image of a dagger piercing through the neck.
“Later, I added other tattoos, all in the traditional American style. Now I don’t even try to count them.”
To avoid making her teachers, hospital management, and patients uncomfortable, Elizaveta constantly buys turtlenecks with long sleeves.
She said: “Fortunately, in Russia, there have been hardly any unpleasant incidents related to tattoos.
“Although many people approach me cautiously when they first meet me.”
Elizaveta said: “Mostly, people are interested in the meaning of the tattoos.
“But for me, it’s primarily body decoration, a modern and stylish accessory.
“However, in South Korea, my appearance, I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, offended a Seoul pensioner.
“She started shouting and then spat at me. As I was explained, it’s almost normal for the elderly here, so I don’t hold any grudges against her.
“I remember it with a smile.”
Today, Elisaveta is the founder of one of the largest tattoo, piercing, and body modification studios in the city, where 11 artists work.
Her business occupies a significant part of her time, so she only takes shifts in the ambulance service once a week.
However, she reassured she has no plans to stop helping people.