People around the world are showing their support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, while publicly condemning Russia’s invasion of the country which began on the 24th February.
Art in particular seems to be a very powerful tool to share that very message of support and solidarity across to the masses, particularly on social media channels. As well as creating and donating art works to aid the cause, many artists and creatives are using their platforms to raise awareness and to provide information on how to help refugees or pointing followers in the right direction on where to donate to various charities.
Ukraine, has a rich and dense art history, producing many talented artists over the centuries, especially in the areas of folk art. In 21st century Ukraine, a flurry of talented illustrators has also emerged, and they sure do impress! They receive international awards and recognition, and every year millions of books illustrated by talented Ukrainians are published in the world.
In response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, we showcase a handful of Ukrainian illustrators that you should follow, share, like and support!
Tania Yakunova is an award-winning illustrator from Kyiv, Ukraine. She finds her inspiration in avant-garde art and design of the 20 century. Her field of work spreads from the commercial illustration, book illustration, editorial illustration, poster design, packaging for clients all around the world to internationally exhibit personal works. Tania is an active member of the local artist community; she regularly gives lectures and workshops about illustration. Some of her clients include Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Visa Gold, Yves Rocher, Unit 9, Xerox, Marvell App, Invision.
Tania commented on her Instagram on February 28th
What you CAN do for Ukraine:
1) spread the word, make all your friends KNOW the truth
2) use only info from Ukrainian media (in English)
3) go to meeting, push your government to help us ALL THE WAY they can
Yev Haidamaka is an award-winning illustrator working for clients in publishing, editorial, advertising, and more. She is also a professor of Illustration at SCAD, Fulbright Alumna, TEDx speaker and Red Dot Award recipient. Born and raised in a small town in Central Ukraine, Yev is inspired by the nature of slow living. Her illustration work is whimsical and nostalgic, focused on the beauty of the ordinary.
You can find follow her Instagram here: @yevhaidamaka
And find out more about her work via her website: yevhaidamaka.com/work
Veronika Kotyk, is an illustrator and surface pattern designer from Kyiv, Ukraine. Her work has been used in a variety of media including, children’s books, educational publishing, magazines, greeting cards, bolt fabric, exclusive carpets and many more. Her illustrations are inspired by nature, animals and mid-century modern art.
Anna Ivanenko is an illustrator from Kyiv, Ukraine. On her Instagram page @anaivan commented under the above image: ‘The lies of russian occupants anger me more than anything. Our people suffering is shown in Russia as a peacekeeping action. What reality they live in?‘ She has continued to illustrate from a shelter, documenting the struggles she is currently facing and the Ukrainian people, from a first-hand account. ‘We’re in a bomb shelter staying strong and drawing. Feeling hate, anxiety and love all at once.’
You can find more of Anna’s work via her Behance page : www.behance.net/anaivan/projects
Olga Shtonda is an award-winning illustrator from Kharkiv, Ukraine. She makes illustrations for children’s books, book covers, magazines, posters, advertisement. She is also very fond of creating her own stories and short animated videos. She likes to combine different graphic techniques and methods such as printmaking, ink, pencils, collages and digital. In between illustrating, she loves traveling, riding her bicycle and observing people, doing this helps Olga collect materials, stories and ideas for her next artworks. Her work is highly inspired by humans and nature, they are fun and cheerful because she likes to make people smile. You can find more about Olga and her work via her website: lgashtonda.com/ and her Instagram account : @olga.shtonda
Anna Sarvira is an illustrator from Kyiv. She is also an art director of @thebravebunnies and Co founder of @pictoric.ua. Recently for @themuseumofmodernart she drew a short story about how it feels to live in Ukraine nowadays. ‘Spoiler: it feels tense and anxious‘. You can check the whole story here.
You can find follow her Instagram here: @anna.sarvira
Sergiy Maidukov ( @sergiymaidukov ) is an illustrator working for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and more. The Kyiv based artist creates illustrations, books, posters and portraits. From illustrations and sketches created in 2018-2020, the artist created a book titled ‘Kyiv’ which is a visual story of city told through Sergiy’s experiences of the rush of the city and the ephemeral beauty of the mundane, pre-war. You can find more about the book here and his work here