Art, War and Greeting Cards


Pictures of greeting cards featuring Drachova’s art.

Clio Koh, News Editor

How a Ukrainian teen artist is making greeting cards to help her country.

In March 2021, upon Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine, Lake Views published stories of students intimately connected to Ukraine through their family and heritage. Among the interviewees is Anastasiia Drachova- a young Ukrainian artist who shared her story while living in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine and the target of numerous Russian air strikes since the invasion. 

Now a year later, with the Russo-Ukraine war yet ongoing, Drachova recounts her journey. 

My family and I were forced to leave my home city, Kyiv, at the beginning of the full-scale invasion and go to one of the small towns [near Kyiv]. We lived 40 kilometers away from towns that were occupied at that time,” said Drachova. 

To escape the worst of war, a large number of Ukrainian civilians had migrated to the countryside. But for Drachova’s family, parting from their home was unbearable. “We were coming back to Kyiv gradually by going there to do groceries. Then, in the middle of May, we eventually got back to the city. However, Kyiv remains dangerous because of missile attacks, [just] as any place in Ukraine. You can’t be sure what city or town will be attacked next.”

“I’ve become afraid of loud sounds, so it is a real problem to hear the air raids almost every day,” Drachova admits. “In addition, my level of anxiety has increased because I can’t be sure about my safety.”

An artistic soul, Drachova is a dancer, writer, painter and poet, with a special passion toward painting. It was an art form she loved since kindergarten. When the full-scale Russian invasion began, I couldn’t paint or draw at all. I sank my teeth into my studies therefore I almost forgot how it feels to hold a paintbrush in the hand. Then, after a few months of art block, I finally made a painting. The choice of the painting was a sudden idea to picture Ukraine as a traditionally dressed girl.”

“The expression on a girl’s face can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but to my mind, she is a personification of Ukraine nowadays. Tired, but strong at the same time. She sits a little bit aloof as if she was observing from the side. Traditional clothes speak about Ukraine’s rich culture. The girl wears an embroidery shirt that girls used to make on their own.”

“Art is a versatile tool to keep going. It can be helpful in many ways, but one of the most important ones is to illuminate the horrors of the war to the world.”

“As every Ukrainian rapidly united showing resistance to the enemy and support to each other, I was looking for ways I could help out as well,” said Drachova. “[T]he idea of creating greeting cards with my art [was brought up by a friend] during one of our usual meetings. I immediately liked the proposition so we started developing the project.”

“We sorted out some of my other paintings to design them virtually. Clio made a wide range of diverse samples of the appearance of cards. After reaching an agreement, we were looking for ways to promote our initiative. We chose Instagram as a platform for that. To make our story sincere, we shot a video describing the background of our project to help Ukraine! And now you can follow our updates @greecards on Instagram,” said Drachova.

Picture of greeting cards featuring Drachova’s art
Picture of greeting cards featuring Drachova’s art

 “Every single dollar will be donated to helping paramedics, journalists, and soldiers who are securing the democracy in Ukraine, and by extension, the democracy in the world.”

After the war, Drachova wants to become “a literary critic and publicist one day,” though “to be honest, it is almost impossible to plan the future when I can’t be sure about tomorrow,” said Drachova. “[But] whatever I’ll be doing, Ukraine will always be in the first place! I’ll do my best to keep my country adamant and flourishing!”