Open Platform Shares Creative Images Depicting War in Ukraine,  Calls Visual Artists to Join

Illustration by Karolis Strautniekas

A new platform calls the creative community to share digital images, illustrations, and art to “give a face” to the disastrous invasion of Ukraine.

March 8th, 2021. Since February 24th, when the Russian troops invaded the Ukrainian territory, the war has inspired an outpouring of all kinds of support to the suffering Ukrainians.  One of the best weapons that the country has, however, are the actual war images – or as President Volodymyr Zelensky has put it: “Our weapon is our truth.” An open platform, called Creatives for Ukraine, was launched with the aim to unite the world’s creative community in order to collect visual representation of the disastrous invasion and to spread it as widely as possible.

“With these events happening, so many things are being said, but we feel it’s so important to act with whatever power, tools, or influences we have. We can contribute in a meaningful way to help fight fake news and to give people around the world something visual to make them comprehend the gravity of the situation. We also invite everyone who is looking to help fight the information war in a practical way — it’s their chance to share illustrations or art depicting the war in Ukraine,” – said Justina Muralytė-Kozlovė, Strategist at FOLK agency from Lithuania.

Most of the creative content online is shared on social media platforms with limited ability to share the high quality of the image, which is problematic because  powerful images are not utilized on a larger scale. Furthermore, some of the most popular online platforms for creative expressions, such as “Behance,” prohibit sharing content related to any form of violence.

“Creatives for Ukraine” was created to amass digital art and illustrations that can draw attention to the serious and difficult subject matter, to show to the world the real face of this war against the people of Ukraine, and to express solidarity with the suffering nation.

Illustration by Egle Plytnikaite

Some of the first to join the platform were famous Lithuanian creators Karolis Strautniekas and Eglė Plytnikaitė, whose work has graced the pages of several international publications like TheNew York Times, The New Yorker, Vice, The Independent, and others. Illustrator Strautniekas, whose interpretation of Putin’s portrait has already circulated widely on social media, says it’s important for him to show his support with the tool he uses best: an illustration. “I think today we should use whatever power lies in our hands to stand up against violence and tyranny. They say it’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. What about seeing something a thousand times? Maybe that would reinforce even bigger support of the world,”  said K. Strautniekas.

The project was launched by volunteer creatives from Lithuania, pulling various resources and talents together motivated to create a platform that can help visualize the gravity of the present day events and the impact they have around the world.

“We are using our voice and written word while engaging our contacts to support peace. We want the whole world to see and share art and images that convey frustration, hurt, helplessness, and anger that creatives capture so adequately. The interest has been staggering, with over 100 works submitted daily since the launch of the platform,” said Kristina Skindelytė-Gladkovienė, co-founder of Blue Oceans PR agency.

“This is our quickest project yet — in 24 hours we have built a platform by pausing all non-essential work as it is so important to illustrate what is happening in Ukraine,”  said Darius Roževič, Founder of VSBL web studio. 

Illustrations shared on the platform will be open for individual users and media outlets all around the world to use when they need to illustrate the situation in Ukraine. The platform will not have any commercial use but will ask to credit creatives if work is shared on another platform or outlet.

Featured image: Illustrated by Cláudia H. Abrantes

Written by: Agnė Kuzminaitė 

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