Art has always been a reflection of the way people see and experience life. Throughout history, it has told the story of ancient civilizations, intense battles, and the magic of love. Art can influence ideas, encourage change, and foster new opinions through sculpture, paintings, song, dance, and many other forms.
Women Artists’ Role in Gender Equity Movements
Women artists have long played a role in creativity and Design, changing how people see each other. We hear a lot about the #girlboss movement, but consider the #womenofillustration, too. From the use of words to images, women have helped to shape the world around them, including during the suffrage movement.
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” – Ida B. Wells.
Henry Mayer, The Awakening, Puck, centerfold illustration, 1915, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC
Through poems, beautiful pieces of art, and insightful works of fiction and nonfiction, women have used art and their creativity to raise awareness around civic movements for the right to vote. As a tool for self-expression and self-discovery, art has also served as a tool for conscious-raising and community building. Consider some of the most impressive of these women that have influenced more recent change.
When talking about her creative process, hooks shares that the couch was quite the unique space for her, not a place to sit and relax, but rather a place to spur creative engagement. She says, “This solitary space is sometimes a place where dreams and visions enter and sometimes a place where nothing happens. Yet it is as necessary to work as water is to a plant to grow things actively.” She continues, “It is this stillness, this quietude, needed for the continued nurturance of any devotion to artistic practice – to one’s work – that remains a space women (irrespective of race, class, nationality, etc.) struggle to find our lives.”
At the same time, hooks make it clear that it is often the personal cost of labor on the shoulders of artists that prevents their own leisure. This is often evident during times of struggle.
The Creative Process is full of letters and color for Dyneisha Gross, who is a multidisciplinary designer noted for her punchy, super-fun designs. While in college, she worked with a nonprofit organization that worked to protect and expand the reproductive rights of Americans. During her time with that organization, she realized how impactful Design can be in creating a purpose.
When speaking about her creative process, Gross offers that every part of her designs reflects who she is: a young, black lesbian woman. She confidently brings that into her designs, allowing her to create designs that truly represent her. She says, “My work doesn’t follow a specific style as much as a feeling. Everything I make is punchy and colorful, representing a quirky part of me.”
In speaking about her decision to work in a prominent women’s repro nonprofit in Washington D.C. during her junior year, she says, “This experience allowed me to tap into the social Design and impact side of the industry, and I grew almost immediately as a result. I learned that I could be the designer that makes beautiful things while also creating purpose and being a part of making change. I was tasked with lots of fun projects, including designing projections, stickers, and pins for San Francisco pride; graphics for social, and quick web graphics that confronted the disparities women face in the pursuit of choosing.”
A young designer from Brazil, Giulia Fagundes has already had an impressive start to her career as an independent designer. She’s been recognized and awarded the Young Talent of Latin America by the Latin American Design Festival. What motivates her through the creative processes is curiosity and how what she does can foster change. She says, “Design is a global profession. We have designers worldwide, so let’s be open to references and projects from outside our familiar context.”
Fagundes shares that as she pursued art and Design, she wanted to be just like the big names, but she didn’t like the same music, clothes, or background. She questioned her place in the industry and then worked to change her perception.
She gave a speech about her Design and won the Young Talent award. She says, “My speech focused on opening the audience’s mind to these questions and underling that if we don’t start questioning our own references, we perpetuate the problem. We will still have people who do not believe they can be designers just because of who they are.”
What does the #creativewomencommunty bring to the table in your life? What are you doing to push the envelope and break down gender limitations?
Creativity as a Tool for Good
Creativity is more than just a way to sell a product or a service. It is a tool that can be used to foster change and open the door to new visions, insights, and opinions.
At Kingdom Branding, we work with people and brands who want to open their eyes and those of their target audience to a comprehensively different lifestyle. We support #creativewomen and #ladieswhodesign.