If you bump into memories, not a bit. What is your most memorable year? And why?
For us, it is probably 2010, we remember it in detail.

This year our professional development started, we began to work with enthusiasm in the field of font and calligraphy, which is our favorite to this day.

Do you want that we tell you how it was?

Be careful, now there will be a lot of stories with text, skip it if you are not interested. But there is a lot of information about how the newest calligraphic movement began in Ukraine :)

It all started at the end of 2009, from the time when Yura Antonov, Olena Staranchuk, Yulia Marchevskaya, Mykola Kovalchuk and two of our teachers, Oleksandr Mykula and, of course, Vasyl Chebanyk, started Ruthenia, the festival of type and calligraphy.

In Kyiv, nothing of such kind happened then.

In Kharkiv, Oleksii Chekal arranged Svyato Kirilitsy Fest, it seems that since 2007 (?) we went there and knew many people from the livejournal and the communities ua_typography and ru_typography.

They knew Vera Yevstafieva, Alexandra Korolkova, Marina Marjina (Marina’s flickr was our love!), Ilya Ruderman, Oleg Macujev, Svetlana Gorodnichenko, Natalia Toropitsyna
and, of course, lovely ua_typography team: Dima Rastvortsev, Gennady Zarechnyuk, Andriy Shevchenko, Viktor Kharik a little later Kyrylo Tkachov also, etc.

But then we were fearful students, still teenagers, one might say, who participated everywhere, in all workshops, but were afraid to come up to meet someone. And we didn’t have much calligraphy, we just started to get involved in it seriously, so as not to be afraid to show it in the same LJ only in May, 2009.

At Ruthenia, we, being one of the organizers, were already more daring, maybe. What is more, the ua_typography font community already knew us as students of V. Chebanyk and O. Mikula, and we also actively began to write LJ and posted some of our student works. Many have checked them out because there was practically no competition :)
Well, we did them conscientiously, of course.

So, at the end of 2009, we finally de-virtualized with Genik, Dima, Andriy, Dudnik. Mykola Kovalchuk was then our friend, who stirred up all sorts of activities in Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. For example, at the beginning of 2010, in two nights we created an exhibition with Lena Staranchuk, Oleg Hryshchenko and Andriy Sokurko, calligraphy, which was exhibited on the walls of the Gallery on the territory of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy.

We still remember this — can you do it in two days? Five works of the A2 format and a huge horizontal canvas. Of course! We slept for three hours, in our dreams we also dreamed of calligraphy — it was scary :)

Ok, 2010. We were still working hard on student projects, communicating in LJ. Then we already knew Masha Skopina, also from LJ, as a student of Petr Chobitko, and Sabina Aliyarova. They knew a lot about Pyotr Petrovich then, Vasyl Chebanyk told us everything about him.

It is worth saying that now no one remembers this, but Vasyl Chebanyk was our kind of person on a pedestal — we admired his works, his “Ruthenian alphabets” and conversations about the pre-Petrine Cyrillic alphabet. This spurred us to study historical handwriting.

But the engine of this calligraphic process in Kiev was Mykula, our Design teacher, who seemed to be not connected with calligraphy, but was very fond of it. He knew how to write, he was very fond of living instruments (and now he loves!) — kalam, a bird’s feather.

And it was he who then created the optional calligraphy courses in Boychuk Academy. We were sitting and writing in the evenings with Olena Staranchuk, Marina Mikhayloshina, and Yura Antonov.

Spring 2010. We were constantly learning, and came up with the Mal du Pay project, our diploma book, we draw sketches.

We also went to the lectures of Vitalii Mitchenko as free listeners.

One of the best old school calligraphers in Ukraine, he still teaches at NAOMA.

There were some small workshops at the Museum of Book and Printing, at the Shevchenko Institute of Journalism, at book forums.

And one thing in our heads — diploma, diploma.We drew sketches, showed them and asked for advice everyone if it was possible.Then we had a bash at a completely original book — content, design.

Our leaders were O. Mikula and V. Chebanyk, of course.
Oleksandr Mikula got sick and we were practically left alone with the book, with rare comments from Vasyl Yakovych, but not rare from ua_typography, especially Genik Zarechnyuk helped us, Andriy Shevchenko too.

We were taking inspiration from the Underware foundry at the time, then everyone loved them. We communicated in LJ with the Ukrainian and Russian get-together of calligraphers and typographers.

We read tons of professional literature at that time. Especially in typography, type design and The Book. We communicated with Vasyl Chebanyk

Finally, we defended our diploma. It hit the top on Behance.

Then after a couple of days we jumped with parachutes to somehow relieve stress.

Zhenya Spizhovy advised us but twisted his leg when landing, ooops.

And these are not the parachutes where a special is attached to you, a beautiful new bright canopy, no, these are Soviet ones, with so round canopies that open every other time and you yourself fly. Ours opened, we were lucky :)

In the summer, we went to our uncle near Nizhny Novgorod, distracted ourselves from the hustle and bustle, just relaxed

In the autumn, of September, we went to St. Petersburg, where we lived near the Palace Bridge (Dvortsovii Most), in the very center in a communal apartment with our friend Polina, a teacher at the conservatory.
We sat and drank tea from glasses on huge windowsills, walk, went to the toilet with our circle — this was a St. Petersburg communal apartment.

We also went to lectures on the History of Cinema at Lenfilm to Polina’s mother, who taught future cameramen.

We were going to Veliky Novgorod. Ohhh, it was exciting, because we were taking our diploma book to the International Exhibition of Calligraphy, organized by Petr Chobitko.

There we met with calligrapher from Kyiv — Vitalii Mitchenko and Yura Antonov.

We lived in a hostel on the outskirts of VN. One of the organizers of the exhibition for young calligraphers, where we were taking our book, was Maria Skopina. Here we were finally de-virtualized!

We got acquainted with Sabina Aliyarova, Vanya Velansky and with Olya Varlamova (although we were at Olya’s workshop in Kharkov at Svyato Kirilitsi a year ago), these guys seemed incredibly talented to us! And we were met very warmly.Of course, we met Petro Chobitko:

We de-virtualized with Anton Mizinov — Anton was one of the first to write and draw letters even cooler than Luca Barcelona :)

Then we got acquainted with Georgia Angelopolos (Canada, Greece), and with Vitaly Shapovalov (haha, I remember how Georgia and Vitaly smoked all the time), with Manohar Desai (India) — later in India I, Vika, crossed paths with him :)

Then we arrived, Vita continued her magistracy in Boychuk, I applied for an urgent job, went to Vizualizers. I would say that then there were only a few design agencies in Kyiv, and a couple of good ones, so I got a job in a great place.
The guys, Max and Misha, rented an apartment on Sagaidachny str., where some rooms were occupied by freelance designers, among whom was Eugene Pylinsky, for example.

All the guys from freelance designers showed me the work of Sergey Shapiro, they asked, can you do that? Will you do that for me? I said no, it’s too cool :) Well, I didn’t want to repeat, I wanted to look for something of my own.

Among other things, the guys organized the first paid workshops with invited guests for designers. With coffee breaks and other bonuses.I remember that once we went as students, but it was expensive.When I already worked there, hurray, Vita and I went for free, took photo reports later. So, we attended the lectures of Vladimir Efimov, Victor Malamed, Vladimir Chaika, Erken Kagarov.

And at that time, by the way, Evgeny Dobrovinsky stopped by in Boychuk, and we also listened to him.

Then there was still Ruthenia Festival in November 2010 and it was, as usual, so cool!

The year ended somewhat chaotic. But it was definitely the busiest year in professional plan.

Thanks for your attention,



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