On the 24th February 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine without provocation. I think I speak for a lot of my fellow artists when I say we strongly condemn the Russian government’s decision to invade Ukraine and we hope that this conflict ceases very soon.
While it does continue, I’ve been looking for ways to support Ukrainian artists. How can our international community of artists help?
So I’m shining the spotlight on some incredible Ukrainian artists I’ve discovered. Have a look through this list and get inspired.
If you can, please consider supporting some of these artists. Many Ukrainian artists have Etsy shops where you can purchase their digital art. Even if it’s just a $5 screen-saver, any support helps.
If the artist only offers physical pieces, consider writing a message saying that you understand that the shipment will be delayed, or let them simply take your payment as a donation. Many artists currently have no source of income, nor help of any kind.
Ukrainian Artists you can uplift and support right now
Please note, this list is by no means exhaustive. I’d encourage you to do your own research in finding a Ukrainian artist you’d like to support if you choose to do so.
Ukrainian Artist Igor Televnoi
Igor is from Kyiv. He is currently participating in a volunteer movement, feeding the military who defend Kiev.
His art can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Behance, via these links:
This is one of his last paintings, representing what Kyiv looks like now:
Ukrainian Artists Maria Dzvonyk and Nikolai Dzvonyk
I asked Maria to tell us a bit about what’s going on for her right now:
“I’m a graphic designer, and I’ve been drawing on Etsy since 2015. Etsy inspires me, as there are many cool artists there who inspire me to grow every day. At the moment I do not live at home, but I will definitely return as soon as the war at home is over. Most of my family and my beloved parrot remained in Ukraine.”
Maria’s father is the artist Nikolai Dzvonyk. Maria says, “My dad is a great artist. He painted a lot of churches in Ukraine. He painted a lot of oil paintings in his life. I know that in Google you can find information about this wonderful artist. He also has a small Etsy shop with digital pictures. But now my dad is left alone in Ukraine. For security reasons, many women left the country, while the men stayed. I’m very worried about him. ”
You can find Maria and Nikolai’s art on Etsy and Instagram, in the links below. Please show your support in any way you can.
Here is one of Maria’s prints:
Ukrainian Artist Olga Otstavnova
Olga lives in Ukraine, in the small town of Berdichev with her husband and four children.
Olga has an Etsy story where she used to sell her brooches and handmade items. Like many others, she’s had to quickly reinvent herself in order to find a source of income during the war. So at the moment, she’s doing watercolor artwork and selling digital prints and posters.
Olga tells us a bit more about her story: “Since my early childhood I’ve been much into creating little cute items with my own hands. Handcrafting has always been my major activity. I must confess I’ve tried its variations but needle felting is to my liking best of all. I’m a lucky person because my dream has come true and I have my own workshop where I spent a lot of time making my beloved woolen creatures.”
But this is where Olga’s dream has turned into a nightmare, “I am forced to stop my work now, due to well-known circumstances. I have no way to ship the goods. My whole family and my beloved country are in fear.”
Like so many artists, Olga is keeping the faith. “I believe that there will be peace in Ukraine very soon. And I will be able to be creative again.”
You can find Olga’s work on Etsy, Facebook and Instagram. Please show your support in any way you can.
Ukrainian Artist Nastasia Viktorova
Nastasia is from Kherson city, Ukraine. Nastasia is a self-taught illustrator who adores watercolor and children’s illustrations.
She tells us a bit more about herself: “I’m 33 years old, was born in Ukraine, Kherson city. Now, I’m still here during the Russia-Ukraine war.”
“I’m a self-taught illustrator. I have adored drawing since my childhood. I love to draw children’s illustrations, cute baby animals, characters, and other stuff.”
You can find Nastasia’s work in Etsy, Pinterest and Instagram. Please show your support in any way you can.
Ukrainian Artist Svetlana Kardashova
Here is some of Svetlana’s beautiful story:
“I am Ukrainian. I have liked to draw since childhood, but I only painted my first picture not so long ago. This is connected with a love story. My beloved person is also an artist and he insisted that I draw not with a pencil, but with paints on canvas. It was my first experience. And even though the experience was not easy, I still really enjoyed it!”
“Since then, drawing has become for me not just a hobby but a job and the meaning of life.”
You can find Svetlana’s work on Etsy, Facebook and Instagram. Please show your support in any way you can.
Here is one of Svetlana’s paintings:
Ukrainian Artist Anna Krasikova
Anna is from Kharkiv, in the east of Ukraine. Here’s what she had to say:
“My city has suffered greatly and is suffering from Russian aggression. I had to leave my house and hide in Slovakia. People are very kind to me.”
“Creativity is my life, I own many fine art techniques (watercolor, oil, gouache, acrylic)… I most like to depict landscapes, flowers and people.”
Unfortunately, Anna’s original works had to be left in Kharkiv, but she can make prints from her original files.
You can find Anna’s work on Etsy, Facebook and Instagram. Please show your support in any way you can.
Here is one of her paintings:
Other ways to support artists in Ukraine
Acts of compassion and generosity make a huge difference in times of crises. If you would prefer to make a donation to an organisation working on the ground in Ukraine, there are many charities providing aid to Ukrainians directly.
Here are some organisations you may like to donate to directly:
The Ukrainian Red Cross
The Red Cross is assisting Ukrainians still inside Ukraine by providing basic necessities like food, water and shelter and assisting evacuations.
World Central Kitchen
World Central Kitchen (WCK) provides hot meals to those in need by sending chefs directly to disaster areas. WCK is working in Ukraine and along its borders currently.
Voices of Children
The Voices of Children Foundation provides psychological support to children affected by war in Ukraine through art therapy, video storytelling, and mobile psychologists. Voices of Children is currently working to support children across the country with emergency mental health assistance and helping in the evacuation process.
A GoFundMe has been created by a number of organizations to help keep Ukraine’s media running during the war. Donating directly toward the media in Ukraine can help fight against Russian misinformation and keep Ukrainians informed.
Humanity & Inclusion
Humanity & Inclusion works to support people with disabilities in areas of conflict and war. H&I workers are currently in Ukraine assessing how they can best help to provide post-operative care for injured people and provide mental health support as well. Donations to H&I will go toward supplying rehabilitation and mental health support sessions.
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