In tough times, designing and discovering art can offer a reprieve. It’s a way to practice self-care and to also connect with others, no matter where they might be in the world. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for illustrators doing exciting things, especially when those artists are creating important conversations about self-love and body image. Fortunately, we found one such site that provides just that.
Women Who Draw, created by Julia Rothman and Wendy Macnaughton, serves as an inclusive online space for showcasing the work of female and non-gender conforming illustrators. It’s a call to arms (or, in this case, art supplies) against the idea that female illustrators aren’t out there.
Because they are — and they’re creating some amazingly impactful work.
The idea came about almost by accident, when Rothman decided to look a little more closely at the glossy magazines we see everywhere.
Not only does the website feature ~tons~ of talented illustrators (we could scroll through it all day), it also encourages illustrators to come together in a virtual community. Using #wwdtogether, artists can share their work on a different theme each day. Rothman and Macnaughton choose some of these to feature on the page.
Illustrators simply need to meet a few requirements: They should be available for freelance work and have a professional website. Along with their submissions, they need to create an illustration of a woman (or trans or gender non-conforming person) to submit. As Rothman explains, “Anyone who is a professional illustrator with a professional website can join.” That makes the website a highly inclusive space — as some sites require artists to pay an application fee and jump through other hoops for a chance to be featured.
WWD also shows the gender, ethnicity, and religion of each illustrator to “show the diversity of women that exist out there,” as Macnaughton explains. This is also meant to “encourage art directors and designers and others to seek out women from less represented groups.”
Plenty of illustrators and creatives have shared WWD on Twitter, spreading the word about the database to artists from a range of backgrounds.
Macnaughton hopes that the site helps “creative women all over the world” find new outlets.
We’re loving WWD’s mission and hope that more online spaces are created to showcase the talent of women and non-gender conforming creatives. Despite the negativity that can dominate the Internet, the art community can still be a powerful tool for connecting people and offering support.
Excuse us while we go back to scrolling the site’s gorgeous illustrations.