How Ukrainian creatives make their money in wartime

Their existence is threatened – Putin’s aggressor’s weapons could take their lives, and his attack on Ukraine has deprived them of the financial basis to pay for food, clothing and shelter. This is the reality of people who still live in Ukraine and who have fled from it, including those who worked in agencies and related service companies until February of this year.

Since then, more than 70 percent of advertising agencies in Ukraine have ceased their commercial activities, Maxim Laznik, CEO of the Federation of Ukrainian Agencies, reports in an interview. Those still operating in the Ukrainian market have a utilization capacity of 10 to 15 per cent.

e! Creative uses the photo to connect with 2,000 registered creative people looking for a job on the platform

In other words, the majority of Ukrainian creative industries have lost their jobs. This is where the e-initiative comes in! Creative: On the e-creative.io platform, co-founded by Ukrainian creator Nadia Skrynnyk with Liz von Loewen (Talenthouse), Ingmar Janson and Elloworks by Talenthouse, art directors, designers and copywriters Photographers, illustrators, programmers and other creatives offer their services and clients advertise their requests related to the project as Logo development, illustration and design of social media materials. According to the initiators, 100 percent of all fees flowing through the platform go to the creators. Talenthouse and its technology partner Elloworks do their work for free. Since the launch of e! Creative Two months ago, about 2,000 creative people were registered on the platform. In the future, HORIZONT will present a selection of Ukrainian designs in every issue as well as online. Some decided to stay in Ukraine, others fled to European countries. What unites them with the initiators and the president of the association, Lazebnyk, is the desire to continue to fill the creative industry of Ukraine with life and keep it alive for the post-war period. This is the only way to revive the post-war creative industry,” said Skrynnyk when the platform launched two months ago.

Nadia Skrinnik: “Do not grieve for us because of the war”

Nadia Skrinnik is the co-founder of e! Creative

The name stands for e! Creative to the Ukrainian phrase “there is a creative work”. This should remain the case for Nadia Skrynik and her colleagues from her country’s creative industry, even during the war that dragged Russia into Ukraine. The copywriter has been doing her job for nearly 20 years. Most recently, she worked as a Creative Director at AdBakers. Prior to that, she worked at Kaffeine Communications, where she started her career in 2003, and at Scholz & Friends in Kyiv. There she met mother of two Ingmar Jansson, who, like her, is one of the founders of e! Creative. In an interview with the blog Loveandlobby.com, the creator says she was raised in a family of engineers. In her childhood, her creative talent became especially evident on the back of every sheet of note-filled paper – which she always filled with sketches, graffiti and drawings. She has since found her way into the advertising field, has two children and won several creative awards. “Don’t pity us because of the war. We take care of ourselves, and if we get our freedom now, we can also get a market share or a client for you. Just challenge us and you’ll see,” Skrynnyk gives advice to international headhunting firms on how to engage with Ukrainian creators.

Dima Sabko: “We will go back to what we can”

Dima Tsabko had his own agency before the war

“War broke out all of a sudden. No wonder it took us a while to survive the initial trauma. Then we made sure our children and parents were safe. And now we get back to what we do best – to design for people’s needs, to make communication better and easier. And yes, we have work to do. With it – no matter that our daily life now includes Russian air strikes on our cities and the mumbling of distant cannons. We will achieve it. And this only motivates us even more!” Dima Tsapko gave the statement to e! Creative to describe his current situation. Since 2013, Tsapko’s career has included his own agency, the brand studio Tough Slate Design in Kyiv, which has already won a number of awards and prizes, including in the Cannes Lions, ADC*E, Golden Drum, Effie and Epica awards. Some of his previous position names are also known in Germany: Leo Burnett, where he started his career in 2000, among them are Scholz & Friends and Gray, as well as Kaffeine Communications, Chuk & Gek Advertising and Adventa Communications.

Anna Shelston: “I want to work again from a safe place”

Anna Shelston also had to leave Ukraine

Anna Shelston cites conceptualization as her greatest strength. Shelston worked as a copywriter until Putin’s attack on Ukraine, and she received, she says, the support of the wink of Julia, her little dog who accompanies her everywhere. Like most of the creators who worked in Ukraine so far, their lives were greatly affected by the war: the war forced the creators to leave Kyiv and move to Europe. Now she’s found a safe place and she’s ready to get back to work and take over. This is why Shelestun is also registered with the e-creative.com platform. When the creators of the platform asked her to describe herself and her skills, she replied: She is good at giving meaning to brands, coming up with ideas for ad campaigns, writing different forms of text from headlines to articles, and is a common language to find with consumers and make them love brands more. The experienced copywriter has already provided these services to clients such as Ikea, Red Bull, BAT, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Danone, Pepsico, Pernod Ricard, The Walt Disney Company, and most recently the Senior Copywriter at VMLY & R Commerce. Previous positions were AdBakers and Liquid Technologies.

Nikita Podurozhny: “After escaping, I am now looking for a job”

Before the Putin robbery, Nikita Podorozhny ran Ukraine’s most creative production company

Nikita Podorozhny wrote in his presentation on the e! Creative’s Linkedin, where co-founder Ingmar Janson talks about people other than profit platform updates. From his biography we can conclude that Podorozhnyi possesses not only the above skills, but much more – his current performance on the podium also includes drawing and subsequent animation. Because the creative man founded his own company in 2017, Strumer Production, which was honored as the most creative company of its kind in 2020. In addition to his duties as a director of the company, the creative person primarily took on duties as a team leader for 2D motion designers. Because of the war, he had to leave his home and move to Krakow, Poland. Now he is looking for work. Podorozhnyi used Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Illustrator in his jobs, and worked with clients such as Nike, Unilever, Coca-Cola and the British Council. Before founding the company himself, he worked at the Ukraine TV station, where he headed the new media department. He started his career as a website editor at Bogmark Ukraine. EMS

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