Born and raised in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, Volodymyr Olshynetskyi was drawn to street art from an early age, inspired by the likes of Digital DOES. Following art school, he entered Ukraine’s national university for shipbuilding—now reduced to rubble—where he studied industrial design.

He spent three years as an exchange student in China, which opened his eyes to new sources of inspiration and new opportunities--from teaching art to elementary school children, to working with the STONE art collective for clients such as Adidas, Tencent and Vans. 

Returning to Mykolaiv, Volodymyr reconnected with buddies "SKIM" and "RAST" to form "DRD," a street art collective with big plans. But then on 24th February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine and all his plans went up in smoke...

The Battle of Mykolaiv began on the night of 26th February. “Desperation and fear set in, and it was really important for me to find some source of hope," says Volodymyr. "It came in the form of a completely unexpected message from professor Giles Jackson over in the USA, which landed in my inbox just as the first Russian tanks rolled into my hometown. He had this crazy idea to work on an art collection together, in support of Ukraine. And I’m so happy and relieved that despite all the bombings and blackouts, we were able to complete it."

When the war is over, his dream is to create a safe space for artists to get together and create. Russia has stripped Ukraine of her cultural heritage, but they will never break her spirit!