It’s 8th March again! International Women’s Day. Time to shout loudly about how great women are. I was really lucky to be the middle one of three sisters. This picture was a watercolour I painted a few years ago of a memory of us on holiday together as kids. I went on to have three girls of my own and the similarities are frightening sometimes. They can make each other scream laughing and make each other scream for other reasons. When I listen to them talk about the issues that are important to them it blows me away how beautifully articulate and intelligent they are. But honestly, you could say that about millions of women.
I’ve recently started touring the local craft markets with artist prints, books, cards and Sew Together Dolls. It’s all new to me and the one reason it’s turning out to be so great is the brilliant stall holders I’ve met. A boutique owner who designs and makes glorious linen clothing. A perfume maker who frankly was a magician with smell. A plant and hanging basket artist whose attention to detail and meticulous presentation but just amazing. An artist of beautiful watercolours of Australian animals. All of them women, getting up super early on Saturdays and Sundays to set up their stalls and talk for hours to people. And all of them so supportive and generous it makes me want to keep doing this forever. But it isn’t the first female dominated work I’ve done. From school teaching to illustration and publishing, I had a handful of bad experiences but more often than not the women I’ve worked with have been truely incredible.
I was really lucky to be able to get a good education. It certainly isn’t the case for many many women. One of my ambitions for my little business as it grows is to make a regular contribution to One Girl. It’s an organisation that works towards girls being educated. Their website clearly lays out the need for girls to gain an education wherever they are in the world.
Pictures say it all
I was searching for pictures that celebrate women and girls and fortunately the majority of the books and projects I’ve worked on over the years feature women and girls.
The brave and adventurous.
I’m really looking forward to seeing which of my children become mothers, but it’s also completely fine with me if they choose not to. I certainly didn’t know what I was taking on at the beginning. The book ‘Even Mummy Cries’ by Naomi Hunter was a particularly poignant book I illustrated. It tackled the subject of being a mother and the sense of overwhelm that can take over sometimes.
I’m almost at the point where my daughters have grown up and they certainly seem ready to take on the world. Without being too gushy, I hope they know they have each other, and other women, to support them too.