Creative Connection

March 11, 2019 /Adobe Stock /

Seven Badass Women Reveal What Inspires Them In Celebration Of International Women’s Day 2019

Nur Topcu

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, Adobe Stock collaborated with the Young Creative Council’s Badass.gal by working with a group of up and coming female creatives to develop a collection of images, animations and illustrations that champion women and depict what it means to be a ‘Badass woman’ in 2019.

Badass.gal was launched on International Women’s Day 2018 to champion young female creatives. With 60% of creative students being female but only 30% ending up working full-time in the creative industry, Badass.gal was created to hero young female creatives and bridge the gap between education and the workplace.

To mark its first year and celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, Badass.gal supported by Adobe enlisted the help of seven female creatives who each created a piece of art that embodies female empowerment.

Adobe caught up with each of the women –  Abigail Stephenson, Gurleen Raj, Jennifer Hayashi, Cindy Ho, Isabel Rodríguez, Nur Tuopcu and Breje Amar – to delve into what inspires them, and find out what their advice would be for fellow female creatives.

What’s the inspiration behind your International Women’s Day artwork that you have created for Adobe Stock?

Abigail Stephenson:

My piece of work is inspired by the women in creative industries who are already making waves. For too long women in creative industries have been portrayed as damsels in distress, but there are good things happening. Don’t get me wrong there’s still a way to go but more and more creative women are breaking through, becoming leaders of top organisations.

Breje Amar:

The inspiration behind my artwork is women empowering other women to be the best version of themselves whilst thriving for us to be taken seriously. We’ve come a long way in history to finally be seen as equals, however there are still minorities who are trying to break the cycle. International Women’s Day is about celebrating and liberating the differences that we have and our contribution to the planet. Women with disabilities, women of race, women of body size should feel  free and comfortable in their own skin, we can only do this if we uplift each other because we can never do it alone or when we tear each other down.

Cindy Ho:

My inspiration for these pieces is the female form and how we, as women, are empowered. The simplistic line lets the audience interpret the idea of a woman, and ensuring that we’re not overshadowed by what we look like vs what we can accomplish.

Gurleen Raj:

My inspiration has to be the Parisian illustrator and artist, Marylou Faure. Her playful illustrations are so light and bubbly, the colour palette she uses reminds me of sweets! I have always admired her creativity and her advocacy for solidarity between women, which is so important. My Girls Supporting Girls artwork is a representation of this unity – depicting women supporting each other rather than stereotypical ‘catfights’.

Isabel Rodríguez:

I feel inspired all the time by badass women working in the industry. There are so many women out there doing incredible work and creating an impact in the creative industry. When I look at their faces the words that come to my mind are things like brave, strong or powerful. We need more women in the industry, as I think it’s so important for young creatives like me to see fellow women being successful.

Jennifer Hayashi:

I wanted to fuse existing Adobe Stock with my own visual style to create a piece that represents the frustration and hope that women feel in regards to equality and women’s rights. I found this beautiful image that represented the struggle, the constant marches, the focus on feminism in the media and a feeling of solidarity. Using this as my base, I illustrated the woman in the image with a jacket full of hidden messages, as if she is carrying the voices of a thousand women. If you look hard enough you can find them all.

Nur Topcu:

I took my inspiration from the everyday woman that I come across around London. They all go through different fights in order to keep on creating and being badass gals.

Jennifer Hayashi

Gurleen Raj

What would be your advice to any women either starting their careers or looking to break into the creative industries?

Abigail Stephenson:

The best piece of advice I was ever given was “If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right”. And it’s true, you need to have self-belief in this industry. Holding your head high and believing in yourself is half the battle. No one on the outside can root for you if you can’t route for yourself.

Breje Amar:

My only advice is to do what makes you happy. No one has the same creative mind as you or have an internal key to access your thoughts and dreams. When you are passionate about something, you create the most original ideas. Even when times are hard, you’ve got to go down before you go up.

Cindy Ho:

Be the loudest person in the room, with something worth listening to. And as always – Work hard and be nice.

Gurleen Raj:

As the most indecisive person in the world, I can assure everyone that the right time is whenever you want it to be.  I studied and devoted my life to fashion for five years at school and halfway through university when I discovered that I actually hated it and changed my path to focus on graphic design. Within nine months I feel more confident as an artist than I had over the past five years.

Another piece of advice would be don’t be afraid to ask for support from your friends and family, because without their help I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today.

Isabel Rodríguez:

As a young woman, I told myself all the time to think less and do more. Try to create every single day – it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. And share what you do with the world. You never know who’s going to be inspired by your work!

Jennifer Hayashi:

Knowledge is key! It simply is. Be curious, no matter what you are doing. Go out into the world and learn. It doesn’t even have to be related to your industry. The more you fill your head with information, the more you have to draw off of when you really need it. Find the joy in learning and being curious. Ask questions, there’s never enough questions, never a stupid question. Just ask until you find the answer.

Also, never give up. If I had given up, I would never have been a designer of any sorts. Life will throw obstacles at you. Just roll with it, and never give up.

Nur Topcu:

Never take ‘no’ as an answer – fight until it becomes a ‘yes’.

You can check out the Bad.ass Gal collections from Cindy Ho, Abigail Stephenson and Gurleen Raj on Adobe Stock now.

Feeling inspired? Get 10 free Adobe Stock images with our free trial and get creative here!

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