Once upon a time, there were two families from the city of Kyiv running away from communism, which was spreading throughout Ukraine, and somehow they ended up in Brazil. One family had a son called Semion Kiyanitza (later to be translated to Simeão) and the other, after having arrived in Brazil, had a daughter called Vera Koval. After a few years, Simeão and Vera got married and had four children called Alexandre, Nadia, Carlos and Lydia. Later, Lydia Kiyanitza got married to a son of Italians called Marino José de Lião, and they had four children: Silvana, José Roberto, Gilberto and Katia. José Roberto is my dad, Lydia my grandma and her parents, my great-grandparents. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to an article about my family and lettering.
Afterwards, you already imagine the reason why I visited Kyiv, and although my family is a mixture of Ukrainians and Italians, visiting this city showed me A LOT about where the appearances of every single person in this family (myself included) comes from. It was funny and cozy to see people on the streets that reminded me of my cousins, my father and my grandma. But to know a bit of the history from where I came from was even better.
As soon as we arrived it was already possible to see a lot of yellow and blue around the streets, at the airport and inside our house. Remember Croatia homes all red and white? Yep, in the same way, Ukrainians are all about blue and yellow. And with that, we could experience such a live city! As we stayed in the city center, we notice that some people had a habit that is really well known in Brazil: malls. Kyiv has A LOT of shopping malls. They even have one underground – smart move, once for most of the year is really cold and windy over there!
Ok, let’s show you some parts of this amazing city, with some typography, of course:
These lasts images are from Maidan square, a beautiful place with a strong past if you think about the 2014’s Euromaidan Revolution. Although the focus of this article is not politics, you can know learn about it on the Netflix documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”. But be strong, the film is not easy to watch.
With all that in mind, I decided to study a bit about the history of this country, and I’ve came to the conclusion that they have so much strength. To fight and being ready to die for a better and free country isn’t indeed easy, and definitely is not for everyone. And for those reasons I decided to make a postcard that had a strong type, but also showing the amazing and beautiful things Kyiv has to show. Basically, these were the sketches:
“But Isabella, why does this art have so many flowers and leaves?” And here’s your answer, dear reader. Architecture and autumn. If you see the first pictures in this post you can notice that there’s a lot of ornaments in everything, with some flowers here and there. There’s a lot also inside the orthodox churches, but they do not allow you to take photos, so you’ll have to use your imagination on this one. Now about the autumn part is easy, take a look at these:
After all that research and sketching parts, the vector was just extra work – SEE? This is what you win when you solve most of the main problems on the sketch! With all that, the frame was made based also on the inside of churches, as they’re very ornamental and full of details and flourishes on the inside.
Usually when I start a piece of art, I imagine the color palette during the creative process, and although I also test other examples of colours to avoid getting attached, sometimes the initial idea ends up being the final chosen one. And this is basically what happened in this case. The only things that weren’t initially in mind were the smooth gradient on the frames – that actually happened during a mistake I did with a brush on Photoshop and came up with a nice result. I love those surprises!
Here’s the final one:
One interesting fact about making this art is how an art can be a mirror of your evolution for a specific period of time. It was great to identify myself in a ethnic way with those people, to know more about the history, culture and language of the place that my family and I came from, and it’s going to be even better to tell and show them that the place we came from is one of the most beautiful and strong ones I’ve ever seen.
PS: Oh yes, and I also need to thank grandma for teaching me how to count from 1 to 5 and say rooster in Russian, because these I’ll hardly forget – specially the rooster, because you’ll never know when you’ll need it.
I hope I could inspire and help you in some way with these learnings, and see you on the next destination/art!
If you have any other questions about something I didn’t say here, you can send me an email or reach me on social media!
You can see the entire project here!