Featuring the experiences and advice from female artists and creators.
FROM ONE TO ANOTHER
We asked some of our In Spring exhibiting artists about their experiences and any advice they could offer female artists and creators in the form of these four prompts:
- What is one piece of advice you would give to a fellow female creator?
- Is there a woman that has inspired your work or mentored you in your field?
- Have your experiences as a female artist/creator influenced your work? How so?
- What is your hope for women in your field?
Check out their responses below
"My work is intricately linked with being female. It’s autobiographical, allowing viewers glimpses into my heart aches, my loves, my losses and my triumphs. It wouldn’t be my art if I wasn’t female."
"Females are known as house keepers and family caretakers. Observing the same activity of females around me often allows me to think of the Idea of Home to a Female being a female. The meaning of Family and ones own identity in the same. My exhibited work is also in the same regard, wherein I have documented houses of two females living for 12 years and 20 years, each alone. It really keeps us thinking about their thoughts, as they feel lost without family and their activity in life almost becomes negative."
"A piece of advice I would give to a fellow female creator is to keep creating. Keep creating despite how down your emotions might be. Keep creating even when it feels like you are making no difference. Keep creating when people tell you it's useless, because it's not. Everything created makes an impact even if it only impacts one person, even if that one person is you."
"[My advice to fellow creators is to] be close to your authentic self. Express what YOU want.
My friends Petra, Sabine and Corine. They always believe in me and give me a hand to find my feelings deep inside me. My inspiration is me and my mental states.
Frida Kahlo. The most inspiring woman. Her story, colours, and way of life are such a mystery. Mysteries are necessary in art.
[My hope for women in my field is] that they believe that they can, and that no one or any obstacle stands in their way. That all woman fight for the same rights as man. Fight for each other, put yourselves out there."
"To my fellow female artists on the rise in the art world, I advise them to be straightforward and sincere about their work, and to believe in their own worth, because if they don't, it will be difficult for others to believe in them. Always show your peers, the women who came before you, and the women who will come after you support and encouragement."
"My experience as a female artist definitely has influenced my work. Most of the stories that my photography conveys is the feminine perspective. Themes of motherhood, and sisterhood as well as the divine feminine. I speak from my very own life experiences and creating a world I dreamed of as a little girl."
"In my works, I focus on the themes of the female body and modern consumption in society, and it reflects my view on the modern fake reality. With the help of my work, I want to formulate what it means to me, how I see fake reality. I think that art means confrontation between life and aesthetics, and it is a hard struggle for both of them. Understanding art is one of the main working specialties of an artist. I believe that keeping up with ephemera fashion shall not serve as a factor of art work modernity. A statement that humans shall study and develop oneself for a whole life impresses me very much. I believe that a talented person is obliged to find out something new throughout their life, to reach new heights. If one ceases to develop oneself, it will have nothing more to say to the audience by means of its works."
"The word, 'Woman' can be the synonym for sensitivity. Today, she is a symbol of strength. Women should identify who they are. They have to be as they are and should be committed to whatever they are creating. Women creators should represent their own identity, their own persona through their creations. In this creative journey, ‘consistency’ plays a key role, hence it should be maintained in the practice."
"One piece of advice I would give to a fellow female creator is to embrace what it is that you might not like about yourself or a situation you are in by putting it in your work. Your art is where you can work these things out. Especially in the case of stuff that seems indescribable or that you think no one would understand. Your art is your world. You have the power to create it however you'd like. More times than not, I believe other people also appreciate when we go there with ourselves. They too can feel they are not alone as they experience our own vulnerabilities.
A woman who has inspired my work is actually the musical artist Angel Olsen. I tend to listen to her music as a comforting tool when I am going through some tough stuff. She is the first person through her work that I felt actually knew what it was like to be just as sad as I felt. That really changed for me what I wanted to be doing with making art.
Creating art was one of the real places I could feel I had something valuable to give. Something was valuable about myself. I can say being female is a part of that predisposition I have of not feeling good enough or worthy, however the majority of this internalized messaging is really from my childhood trauma.
[In regards to my hope for the field] I would absolutely say respect. That is really my hope. I believe once that comes, then equal pay and access to better opportunities will naturally happen."
"The advice I give to other creative females is to follow her feminine intuition and not to take things personally, your artwork comes from you and nobody has the right to stop you from expressing yourself through your art. Fight for what you love to confront society and dare to be the artist you want. To realize your projects that you like and to achieve your aspirations.
A woman that has inspired my work is Nan Goldin. I have my mother as a mentor, she is a traditional Algerian musician and singer.
My experiences as a female artist/creator influence my work. Living in a country where society sees women as non human, a sexual object and not respected as human beings, revolted me and pushed me to express my dissatisfaction using mediums like photography, to express the situation that women endure in Algeria.
I started being a female mentor on a female project in 2020 when I saw that there are no women in my field. I took part in this project (@tilawin.project on Instagram) where we help females to prepare their own photography career. I hope for more accessibility, equal pay and being more respected in the art field."
"[My advice to fellow creators is to] be yourself and believe in yourself, go your own way, without looking back at others.
My art teacher and artist friend, as well as my two sisters who support me in every possible way on my creative path [have inspired my work].
An excerpt about how my work has been affected by being a female artist:
"A continuation of the main theme of mental health is the theme of the internal sensations of a woman living in restrictions imposed by society, patterns of behavior. In my paintings, I convey inner tension, protest. In this series of works, I represent a person who is in uncomfortable psychological conditions due to certain expectations of society about what is normal for a woman, how a woman should or should not. So, I draw attention to the inner world of a woman in modern realities. Through this series of works, I broadcast women's freedom and the right to express themselves regardless of society's expectations.
Art for me is not only the result of my experience and reactions to everything that happens, but also the opportunity to draw the viewer's attention to their own world of sensations, for which in the modern globalized world sometimes there is no time left."
[My goal for women is to have] the opportunity to conduct social and work activities regardless of society's expectations and prejudices, the ability to feel safe in the event of domestic violence by a husband or cohabitant (in Russia, a law on domestic violence has not been adopted, in connection with which women die every year at the hands of their husbands or ex-husbands)."
"My advice to fellow women creators is to ignore the people who tell you that you can't do what you want to do. So often the people who tell you that you "can't" are the people that are too scared to try and do things for themselves."
"As a female artist, growing and evolving into the person I am now started when I focused more on nature and my self-awareness. I draw my inspiration from the female figure with its sensual contours, its expansive volumes, its vibrating radiance, and sublime finesse. A tremendous artistic influence on my creative work comes from the bon mot: "If I had had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter."
"My hope is that women gain more representation in galleries, museums, and shows in the future. Having more female representation in the art world normalizes female creators. It helps to push back against the ingrained assumption that men's art is more important and culturally significant. Eventually, I would like to see a time when female artists are so common that being a "woman" is no longer a defining feature of their accomplishments. And while I believe women-only shows will always have importance, I hope that we get to a point where women do not have to rely on exclusively female shows for access to the traditional art realm. The art world is slow to change and the importance of women's inclusion goes beyond inspiration for other women artists. It is necessary for institutional and social change and our understanding of ourselves as a species."
"My mother taught me how to paint when I was 8 years old and really encouraged me to be creative. She is still very involved in my art practice since she buys the Bogolan (mudcloth) fabric I include in my paintings. She goes to the market in Bamako (Mali) and picks the fabric she likes then sends it to me all the way to the U.S.A. She continues to inspire and motivate me to create."