We had the good fortune of connecting with Yuliia Bahniuk and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yuliia, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
“Junglee Maau” company was created with the aim to spread awareness about current wildlife and environment situation on our planet, to tell people what are the problems and solutions to them, to show the beauty that lies in nature through art.

I believe that nobody wants our planet to be destroyed, just the problem is that most people don’t have the knowledge which could help to understand how everything is connected in nature and how some of our everyday doings can influence the wellbeing of our planet.

I realised this after I took a course in International Environmental Law And Governance, despite I already was eco enthusiast, the course still changed my mind a lot, and at that moment I thought, if everyone would have such knowledge – the situation on the planet would be totally different. So I decided to start share information so more and more people will become aware.

Currently, on our Instagram page, we post information about wildlife species, what threats they face and how we can help, interesting facts, information on environmental holidays.
Also, we created a wildlife art challenge, and every week we post a new theme related to nature and participants do research on it and automatically learn something new and share the information on their pages along with art so their followers also can learn.
We are planning to create educational products as well, but due to the pandemic situation, we paused our production.

We believe that even small steps can make a huge difference, and even one person can improve the world. We hope that through our art and messages given by it we will find and unite more likeminded people and together help our planet to relive.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I graduated as an artist with the speciality of graphic design but after few years of work in this field, I realised that it’s not what I would like to do and that my real passion is illustration. So I left my job and slowly I started to move towards this speciality. I didn’t have illustrator education, so I created for myself a challenge for 30 days just to practice drawing on certain themes. I liked the result so continued it.
Life-changing for me was participation in The 100 Day Project challenge – I got the opportunity to find my style and improve my drawing skills while drawing 100 days nonstop, also I started to get my first illustration projects.
So participation in challenges helped me a lot in becoming an illustrator, practicing really means a lot.
Meanwhile, I also started to sell my illustrations on photo stocks, and it helped me a lot as a side income while I didn’t have orders. This showed me how it is important to not be dependent on only one source of income, it’s always great to have a few more ways to earn.
It was not an easy way and I’m still learning. I’m happy that in Ukraine we have a community of illustrators, where you can ask for help and suggestion, where illustrators share their experience and useful links, we discuss different topics and support each other. Being a member of such a community helps to become more professional.
Also, a few weeks ago I became one of the winners of the Domestika Scholarship, so I’m very happy and thankful for this opportunity to improve my skills and grow as an illustrator. This will help me to spread awareness about nature and the problems it faces through my art more professionally.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Actually, I moved to India from Ukraine one and a half year ago, exactly one month later the pandemic started. So I still didn’t get the opportunity to discover Pune. But anyway if my friend would come I would show her some nature places, mostly we would go somewhere countryside. There’s a Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary nearby, where flamingos can be seen in a certain period of the year, but also there is a huge variety of other birds. Journey along sanctuary is happening by a boat and the most wonderful time to see birds is sunrise and sunset when birds are most active, so landscapes are so stunning and inspiring that time! As for the city, I would show my friend the local market, it’s very picturesque and colorful, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum with its collection of Indian decorative items depicting the skills of the Indian artists, also old parts of the city and few concerts representing Indian traditional culture.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, first of all, it’s my family. I’m very thankful for the upbringing they gave to me, for their support and that they gave me the freedom to be myself and do what I like. Thanks to my family I’m an illustrator now and also love and respect nature.

Also, I’m thankful to my teacher Tatyana Sosulina from art School, who gave me knowledge in art, believed in me and pushed me.

I’m thankful to my husband Rohan Dahotre who is a wildlife illustrator and always inspire me, support and help in all my beginnings and ideas.

The community of Ukrainian Illustrators helps me to grow as a professional, I’m thankful for all the information they share and the support they give to each other.

I’m thankful to so many organisations who spread knowledge about nature, but especially “Environment – People – Law” who gave me the life-changing opportunity to take their course in International Environmental Law And Governance.

These are my biggest influencers, but I could continue the list endlessly 🙂

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yuliia_bahniuk/

Other: Behance: https://www.behance.net/YuliiaBahniuk Junglee Maau Company Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/junglee.maau/

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