Born in the Ukrainian town of Simferopol in 1995, Yelyzaveta Bondarenko said her work represents the freedom to express oneself through art, a universal language that has the power to reach people of all races, nations, and social backgrounds and especially bring the beauty of Ukraine to the world.
“I want people around the world to know about Ukraine and our culture and our freedom and our independence,” she said.
Bondarenko, a third-year student of the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv, works in different classic techniques such as engraving and etching.
“I love academic drawing too, but I have been drawing in digital for many years before my academic graduation, and now my education helps me to draw stronger artworks,” she said. “I love abstract painting, and this style comes to my artworks a little bit.”
Talmi Entertainment Producer Dan Talmi described Bondarenko’s work on the NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet poster as a historical representation of 19th-century art that combines earlier art forms with a modern approach.
“Bondarenko’s work draws deeply from the European tradition of poster art from the classic 19th-century masters like Toulouse Latrec,” he noted. “Her masterful interpretation updates the form for American audiences, and we’re excited to have a Ukrainian voice participating in the vision for this tour.”
Bondarenko said she approached her commission to create the tour poster by first looking at all the photos on nutcracker.com, the NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet website, and chose what she considered the best representation of the ballet.
“Then I make the composition more beautiful and add some elements like ribbons and lettering,” she said.
Proud of her work on the poster, Bondarenko described it as “so fresh,” and added that many of her art instructors noted that her initial sketch was “expressive and more alive, and I make this sketch more beautiful and clear.”