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Nastia, created a stamp "Good evening, we are from Ukraine!"


The material was created within the framework of the "Life of War" project with the support of the Public Interest Journalism Lab and the Institute of Humanities (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen).





With the beginning of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war, Ukrposhta issued a series of patriotic stamps: "Russian warship, go f*ck yourself," "Russian warship...Everything!", "Ukrainian dream." At the end of July, the post issues the fourth stamp - "Good evening, we are from Ukraine!" which depicts a tractor pulling a tank. The artist who created it is from Kyiv. We talked about the city, the competition, and art during the war.

Love for drawing


I have been drawing since childhood and studied to be an artist at university. First, I became a graphic designer at the Mykhailo Boychuk Academy. Then I transferred to Borys Grinchenko University, where I learned how to become an art teacher and obtained my master's degree there.

image: from Nastia's personal archive

Then I taught drawing, made sketches just for myself in Photoshop, and mastered the direction of CG art. Currently, I am on maternity leave.


From the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we were all in shock, our emotions overflowed, and we wanted to express ourselves somewhere. I did what I did best — I drew and taught remotely at school. I didn’t draw a tragedy but simply depicted my inner state and posted the drawings on Instagram. Ukrainian companies contacted me and asked permission to use these illustrations in their products: puzzles, pictures by numbers, and bags. I shared them with others for free because I wanted to help Ukrainian businesses.





Part of the revenue from the sale goes to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was also important for me — it was essential to feel that my art not only conveyed emotions but also brought benefits for the victory of Ukraine.


Work helps to immerse yourself in another reality, but when it finishes, you have left with Telegram news channels again, which greatly affects your emotional state. You must find some occupations unrelated to the war: someone starts drawing, and others start a blog. I have many friends who have lost their jobs, and as an element of self-reassurance, they start their businesses. After the 24th, many people switched to "no plans for the future" mode, living for one day. That's why I always had approximate plans and more or less understood what would happen in a few months or a year. After February 24th, it would be good if I had an idea of what will happen tomorrow.



About the competition for a new stamp


I saw the competition for developing a sketch of a new postage stamp from Ukrposhta. As soon as I read the title - "Good evening, we are from Ukraine!" I immediately had an idea and a clear image.


photo: from Nastia's personal archive

I hesitated about participating and didn’t expect to win, but I thought I couldn’t let it go until I realized my idea. If the artist already has the image in their head, it does not disappear until it’s done. I drew and sent it without the hope that I would even pass the selection, so I forgot about it. Then I received a letter from Ukrposhta about whether I agreed with the contract terms in case of victory. I thought they must have sent it to everyone so there would be no questions from the artists later. But I was shocked when I saw my work in the top 5 the next day, and I was even more amazed that the sketch won.

Of course, I watched the voting on Facebook and followed the comments. So, after listening to people, I added the name of the contest to the stamp itself.



I am very grateful to everyone who voted and wrote constructive comments.


The process of drawing the stamp itself took about two days because I had already formed the drawing's image, idea, and coloring in my head, and then it was a matter of technique.


The idea is that the tractor symbolizes every Ukrainian who aspires to the victory of our country.


It doesn't matter what front the person is on — informational, artistic, supporting the country's economy, or just faithfully doing their job — everyone is doing everything they can to help the army and the country endure this difficult time. At the beginning of the war, our farmers helped a lot by pulling out broken equipment from the fields, this inspired me.



image: Ukrposhta

I wanted to leave people with a memory of what happened in reality so that there would be photos of a tractor pulling a tank in history textbooks. During the war, more and more events were covered by Ukrainians through memes, and the tractor pulling broken enemy equipment even from the sea was no exception. Art doesn't have to depict only tragedy, through comedy, you can convey an important point to people, that's why I like meme culture.





The role of artists


I believe that artists are currently a significant front. They make expositions and exhibitions, hold artistic actions and performances worldwide, and thus do not let the world forget that such horrors are happening in Ukraine. People abroad are interested in it because they see and experience it, so such actions are necessary.



If we wouldn’t take artistic steps to enlighten Europe and the whole world, then people there can forget about the tragedy of Ukraine because they actually have a lot of their own unresolved problems.


Our artists do not let us forget that high gas prices are not such a problem compared to what Ukrainians have to go through now. Currently, artists are like bells that say: "Don't forget!". After all, thanks to actions of support for Ukraine, in which not only the Ukrainian diaspora participated but also caring citizens, the governments of countries began to help Ukraine because the opinion of their citizens is important to them, and that is why it is extremely essential to convey the truth to the societies of other countries. And that’s what artists, singers, reporters, and photographers do now.



Kyiv


I was born in Kyiv. I like the city because it is constantly moving. All revolutionary changes, everything that creates history - take place in Kyiv.


photo: from Nastia's personal archive

People here are active, have their position, start a movement, and others join them. It doesn't matter if it's on the Maidan, near the Verkhovna Rada, or near the President's Office. There are many different communities here, and you can join any. Kyiv is very open in this regard, and you can find like-minded people in any field. That's why I like it.




For me, Kyivans are all those who live in Kyiv and love it. It doesn't matter if they came or were born here.For me, Kyivans are all those who live in Kyiv and love it. It doesn't matter if they came or were born here.


The city center is stunning, but I think that the city needs to be modernized, I mean that the old part of the capital needs to be developed more so that people can walk and feel as if they have moved back in time.


image: from Nastia's personal archive

Every building in the center has its history, and it would be cool if this history were maintained, not built upon. For example, there are many glass high-rise buildings on Klovska Street, and it looks very strange because the historical center is right next to it. In most European cities, the business and historical centers are located in different parts of the city because they have completely different logistics and purposes.



For a tourist in the city's historical center, the feeling of connection with the past is important. For a businessman who has come to work in the office, it is important that there is convenient parking and there are no traffic jams, and it is quite difficult to organize this in the narrow streets of historic Kyiv.



I love Kyiv in any way, full of advertising or without it. The most important thing for me is that it should exist and flourish and there should be equally energetic people there, with their own core, views, and purpose in life.


I am not one of those who like to walk in the city’s center, where there are many people, I like to be alone, and my favorite place in Kyiv is Trukhaniv Island. I like to take coffee or tea, walk on the pedestrian bridge and walk through the island. If you follow this road, there are very few people, a lot of wildlife, and a beautiful bridge. Someone likes to wander the city's streets, but I like to be in the middle of nature.


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The material was created by:​

Autor and transcriber:

Proofreader:

Natalia Gorda

Hanna Pastushyna

Interviewer:

Photographer:


Sofiia Kotovych

Oleksandra Onoprienko





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