Making art not war
why creative expression matters and how it’s helping Ukraine.
I’ve struggled to find my voice and know the proper platform to discuss the injustice happening in Ukraine.
You may not have heard amongst all the other new this past week, but a museum in Kyiv was burned, including cherished works of Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko. A self-taught artist, known for her bold use of color, Prymachenko’s work has inspired fairytale themed playgrounds and has been featured on Ukrainian stamps.
As an artist and illustrator, the thought of losing my work due to malice or oppression is unfathomable. On a cultural scale, the loss of any relics of this kind is simply devastating.
As things continue to escalate in Ukraine, I’ve watched as other illustrators create beautiful illustrations and pieces of art on social media, expressing their hope for peace. Yet, in my scrolling, I’ve noticed comments that point out that making a ‘cute illustration’ isn’t how wars are won, and sharing it on social media isn’t going to change anything.
But, it’s comments like these that make me realize how disconnected we’ve become from the content we consume everyday and the meaning and impact art has and can have. It’s comments like these that give power to our oppressors – after all, joy [and things that bring joy] is an act of resistance.
So why should we keep making art?
Art, and all forms of creative expression we make during times of crisis have trickle down affects we can’t possible foresee
Art records what the history books don’t
“ARTISTS! … remember that your elegant brushes are recording the history of a nation.”
Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter poster inspired over 300,000 women to work outside the home during World War II, and has since become the most iconic image for working women.
Personal expression creates connection
Whether you’re famous, INSTAfamous or create simply for self expression, art is a form of expressing emotion, ideas or opinions that aren’t able to be shared elsewhere. In essence art makes people feel less alone.
Art is therapy – When I was trying to carve out my place in this crisis, I started doing research on organizations that provide relief to Ukraine. I came across Voices of Children, an organization that provides art therapy to children who live in war time. Their services help children cope with anxiety and learn overcome the consequences of stress associated with this trauma, and who have trouble expressing their feelings in words.
I’ll be donating 5% of future illustration and mural projects booked in March 2022 to Voices for Children. Learn more about my design and illustration services here, and help provide relief to children affected in Ukraine.
If you believe in the power of art as a form of therapy, I also you encourage you donate directly HERE.