My story
May 12th, 2022

My story seems the same as for the millions of Ukrainians now.

Russia has invaded my country, bringing war and devastation to my homeland. It has already resulted in thousands of deaths, and millions of broken destinies.

My life has changed completely and forever...

Just couple months ago it seemed I had everything that one could wish for; a loved one, a job, big plans for the future. I adored spending my time with a brush in my hand painting portraits of friends. I poured my ideas onto the canvas with oil paints and mostly gave away or donated my works which brought me enormous pleasure.

I had always preferred traditional painting. But in the winter of 2021, I exchanged the oil paints and canvas to a graphics tablet. I wanted to immerse myself more in the world of modern digital art. Back then I had the idea of traveling around the world while painting portraits of women who had inspired me by their life stories, appearance and emotions.

At that time I worked mainly in the style of Realism, it allowed me to convey human emotions and life stories. I liked changing the thickness of the brushstroke to convey the texture, a technique a painting teacher taught me back in college. I had a dream to devote most of my life to art.

However, the war forced me to leave my dreams, my whole life, my family and flee from death to another country.

On March 9, Taras Shevchenko's birthday, I arrived in Berlin, Germany to start my life from scratch. Why Berlin? One might say it is a mecca for artists and probably will be right for me. I could really use that for my answer... but no - it just happened. Germany is one of the countries of the European Union that provides shelter to Ukrainian refugees.

The war broke my heart, but it did not break my spirit. I still want to dedicate myself to art. It is not that I just want to continue painting. I want to use my paintings to spread the word about all of the horror Ukraine is going through. I want to make sure the whole world not only knows but feels for Ukraine and for all of the innocent victims that the war is taking. I would like to bring special attention to female refugees, as their lives in many cases are irrevocably broken.

Currently, my friends are in different parts of the world, and my family is staying in the capital of Ukraine. I'm lonely but not alone. After all, I see thousands of Ukrainian women on the streets of Berlin, and in the volunteer center where I help Ukrainians I see the crying eyes of hundreds of children.

I know the desperate stories of my friends who saved their own lives, the lives of their children and their pets. I am inspired by each and every one of them. It inspires me to move forward, create new works, show it to the whole world and support my country!

From this tragedy, a new idea was born: a series of portraits of Ukrainian women who escaped the war. Each woman in the picture is depicted in the style of Realism that allows you to feel and experience the unique emotions of each of them. Elements of stylization transfer these works to the modern creative space. I chose the color scheme not by chance, but because it represents the national colors of Ukraine. With the help of two main colors, I want to convey how the coldness of war enveloped everyone's soul, but everyone hopes for victory and a bright future, as the symbol of faith is yellow. The red font has not become an accidental combination either. It shouts that for the whole world that Ukrainians abroad are refugees--refugees from death and war that Russia carries in its hands.

My story is the story of millions of women. I want to embrace each of them. I want the whole world to embrace each of them.

My story is in every picture in my profile. Each picture is a part of world history, namely what Ukrainians are experiencing right now.

Now, I have an ambitious dream to establish a charitable foundation which will be helping female Ukrainian refugees and their families. But one step at a time. For now, a portion from each work of mine sold will be donated to support Ukrainian refugees and a portion will be donated to the Ukrainian Army.

I am Ukraine. We are the victory.

More about me and my art on my website: JulArtHeart

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