Inspiration can be found through the creatives we admire and the design community at large. For Shillington Post 08—The Creative Women Issue, we asked six teachers from our campuses around the world to talk about the women who have had the biggest impact on their creativity and their work.
The answers we received were broad, ranging from the work of illustrator Malika Favre to Veronica Ditting, Creative Director of The Gentlewoman, to inspiring big sisters and the entire female “village” around them. Read on to find out more.
“There are a few people that often spring to mind who I admire and that I think are doing great work, some of which are the big names in design, others are people I know as friends that are smashing it.
I think the person that I feel I have admired the longest would be, Malika Favre. I have followed her work since her time at Airside in the mid 2000s, when she was first producing her super stripped back, stylish and elegant prints for the Airside Shop. It was the first time I had seen a design company champion the talents of its team so openly. Since then I have been following her freelance career and have loved to see how her style has developed and who she has been able to work with. Hearing her talk at Here London in 2016 was humbling and inspiring. How she approaches her work with such enthusiasm and balancing it with living her life is kind of what we all aim for, I think.”
I take my inspiration from women everywhere, my family, my teachers, my bosses, my friends, the women who fought for equality before I was born (and after!), the women who work twice as long and twice as hard as guys in their respective fields and make a difference but aren’t (or are) recognised for it.
“One of my students from last term inspired me so much to take illustration back up again as I haven’t touched it in over 10 years!
But I guess the woman that influences me the most is me, sounds corny, but I hold myself so accountable and to a higher level and that ends up driving me to be better and do better everyday!”
In creative terms, there is a plethora of women that are storming ahead and breaking the stigma of male dominance that is still, unfortunately, a part of design.
“To name a few, Morag Myerscough and Camille Walala, who have become powerhouses in their own right, and Danielle Pender of Riposte and Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman, who are taking the lead with innovative and forward thinking magazine design and content.
In graphic design terms, Joy Nazzari (dn&co) and Frith Kerr (Studio Frith) are just two inspirational creative directors that run incredible studios. It’s way too hard to pick just one creative influence, so my answer is many. Also can’t forget my mum and nan—without a doubt.”
“I had to give this question a good think before I answered it. There’s no one path to get to a particular career destination. I believe in the “it takes a village” mentality.”
Such is the case, I look to many women, particularly black women in my industry, to see how they navigate spaces that often don’t have people that look like us.
“My older sister is my greatest female influence. Growing up she would protect me from the bullies at school whilst dishing out a healthy dose of ridicule and banter which still keeps me humble to this day. She taught me to stand up for myself and to have an opinion without taking myself too seriously. Qualities that I feel are very relevant in an industry rife with subjective criticism and differing opinions. Stand in front of the things you care about and believe in but also bare in mind, when it’s all signed off and sent, it’s only design.”
“Veronica Ditting, creative director of The Gentlewoman magazine, is probably my biggest female influence I would say (apart from my own mother really). Especially in terms of my own career path and future goals. I saw her speak at a design conference in Dublin in 2015 and I was completely blown away, not only by her work, but her approach, her elegance and her vast and varied achievements in the design industry.”
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