MEET 9 WOMEN USING THEIR CREATIVITY TO RIGHT THE RATIO
Working Not Working has partnered with Pinterest on its initiative to Right the Ratio. To promote the cause, we're bringing our Bay Area members together for a happy hour and panel discussion hosted at Pinterest's headquarters in San Francisco on November 8th. Featured panelists include Erika Olde (Founder & President of Black Bicycle Entertainment / Founder of the Women’s Studies Program at Ghetto Film School), Sadia Latifi (Head of Creative at Pinterest), and Elysa Fenenbock (First Designer-in-Residence at Google). [Update: The event has sold out. We'll add the RSVP link if more spots open.]
As part of this collaboration, we've also commissioned original works by nine female artists from the WNW community that speak to Pinterest's initiative: to empower the next generation of creatives to overcome gender inequality in the advertising industry. We're really proud of these artists, illustrators, and designers for each contributing their distinct creativity and unique voice to this cause. Scroll down to see their work and read their artist statements.
Learn more about the #RightTheRatio initiative in the FreeRange article here: Pinterest Rights The Ratio.
My art often elicits current socio-political issues translated with emotions through the human figure; using lines, colour, shapes, texture, and movement. In my piece, “Speak Up” I wanted to reflect the importance of having women’s voices heard, whether in business, friendships or romantic personal relationships. I strongly wanted to share a message for women to have the courage to speak up. I used pen & ink, rolled/hand painted textures that I collaged in photoshop.
I am naturally a shy person and tend to hide away but with art and creativity, I feel that I am able to express myself. I use watercolors in my work because I love the subtlety and delicacies it can create, which makes it the perfect medium to explore my own insecurities and to be able to express the issues I believe in, such as women in the workplace.
Mye De Leon
When I created this piece, I wanted it to be simple, feminine, and it needed to have a strong message. I tried several different attempts on the text, particularly working with serifs because they usually create a stronger appearance. However, those didn't work well with my message. When I decided to create a sans-serif text, I made it simple with an inline and let it pop off the page with a drop shadow. It was layered on floral line work to give the piece a calm, serene and thoughtful touch. Basically, the very process with which I go through in every stage of my work.
Participating in a cause like Right the Ratio is something I have been wanting to do for a while now. I have this strong sense to make a difference in the world and I think the major contributing factor to that is the fact that I am raising a child with special needs. With my son, we always encounter social issues and discrimination in terms of medical treatment, education, down to the daily interaction we have with people. That to our family is being in the minority and that is something I want to change. So imagine my excitement when I was given this opportunity to be a part of this campaign. It's like raising awareness on a whole new, different level and being a mother, a wife, a woman, this hits so close to home.
My artwork idea, "Sorry not sorry for wanting what I deserve", is inspired by my self-destructive career patterns of the past. I was a people-pleaser, let myself drown on work situations that did not help me to grow or benefit me, and lost my battle by never saying no. Then I found my self-respect to making healthy decisions. It lead me to becoming who I am now as an illustrator. I will accept no less than what I deserve when it comes to my job. I believe I'm not the only one who has experienced such a situation. This artwork is a reflection for women in creative industries who found their confidence.
For creative process, I always start with a story or scribbles on a blank sheet of paper to stimulate my visual imagination. This piece was about a fearless, free woman. It is drawn and painted by hand with a watercolor technique before being screened. I'm super excited to be part of Right the Ratio conversation! I hope every woman in creative industries never feels sorry for wanting the most out of her life.
This piece is absolutely about highlighting the quote. When beautiful words are beautifully designed, I feel like they're doubly powerful. And right now it's so insanely important to speak up and speak truths. This piece, unlike a majority of my other work, was created completely digitally in Illustrator.
I'm terribly excited to be a part of this conversation because it, obviously, impacts me directly. Being a woman, being a gay woman, and being a freelance designer and illustrator all translate to some difficulty. I absolutely love, love, love what I do for a living and I want it to be just as important as everyone else's contribution in the world.
This drawing, like most of my work, started out hand drawn on paper and then was digitally colored. I knew that I wanted this piece to challenge me in creating a scene, showing a diverse group of women, in a straightforward way conveying the message of women not being given adequate opportunity "in the game" since they are all on the bench. It was very important to me to work on this campaign as a woman in a creative field, where the majority of the creative directors on projects I work on are males. It would be great to see more women in those positions.
In all fields, but especially the creative field, you must have vision. As a woman, it is all too easy to let that vision become clouded through internalizing the messages of inferiority that are constantly pushed on us whether verbally or otherwise. That vision is what gives you that unique perspective, that vision is what propels you to take the steps in molding your own future, that vision is what sustains you. So when false messages create self-doubt that unravels that vision you need to hold on to it more than ever.
My illustration addresses the concept of intersectional feminism which states that many overlapping identities contribute to a woman's experience. Trans women are at much higher risk for violence than cis women, black women face racism as well as sexism. Too often when we discuss feminism we're only thinking about white, cisgender, middle-income women. And only solving their problems.
Women are often conditioned to think that being likable should be one of their highest priorities, but that makes it really hard to step outside of the box or assert yourself. As an illustrator, it's really important for me to have my own style, and part of that is accepting that not everyone will like it. I wanted to convey that concept, and the idiom "not everyone's cup of tea" felt like a really clear way to visualize my opinion that it's perfectly okay (better, even) if not everyone loves you or what you create, an idea that I would love to see more women take to heart. The final piece is watercolor, which I scanned and perfected digitally.