When we first spoke to Ukraine-based illustrator Tania about collaborating with us, it was before the devastating 2022 Russian invasion, back when it was a different world. The invasion forced her to flee her home, and the ongoing turmoil continues to impact her daily.
Gunshots, explosions or sirens could disrupt her routine at any moment. Her favourite park is now in pieces, a mess of sharp branches and concrete, an attack that happened at the same time of day as her daily dog-walk. Every unexpected noise, even a short innocent one, now triggers her fight or flight response. You cannot escape the long lasting effects of living through these kinds of experiences.
As we caught up with Tania again, over a year into the conflict, she describes herself as feeling a combination of very lucky (to be safe and back in Kyiv with her family and her dog), but also as feeling so worried for their future, trapped in this very surreal reality.
Between our head shakes of disbelief and her soul-comforting dog-pats, we asked Tania how 2023 life is fuelling her creativity, how she got into illustration to begin with, and to share the concept behind the beautiful piece of work she created just for us: “Blues”. We couldn’t feel more honoured to share these snippets of her story with you too.