Celebrating International Women's Day With The Women That Inspired My Art Career
Happy international women's day! If you're not reading this on international women's day, don't worry I think it should be a daily celebration too. ;) My family has always been full of strong women that have inspired me to follow my dreams and get creative, however there have also been some outside sources which I thought I'd share with you here! Starting with...
1. Beatrix Potter
Growing up Beatrix Potter was one of my first inspirations. Mum would read her books to my sister and I before we'd go to bed but I'd always be drawn to the beautiful illustrations. They felt so comforting to me like I could get lost in a world of scheming rabbits and naughty mice through any boring school lesson. I loved the characters so much Jemima Puddle Duck and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle being my absolute favourites. She really set my imagination and love for illustration on fire.
Learning more about her over the years and how she's given so much back to the world, with her conservation of the beautiful lake district just fills me with so much admiration.
At school there were a few artists that really inspired me, one being...
2. Bridget Riley
Riley's work always excited me as a teenager, I remember seeing her work in a gallery one school trip and I was absolutely mesmerised by how it played with my eyes. It seemed crazy to me that something that appeared so simple (in comparison to the Pre-Raphaelite paintings I was also interested in) could be so entertaining. I'd love to try some optical art one day, as you may know I'm a stickler for black lines.
3. Georgia O'Keefe
Another artist I studied, either for my GCSE or A-Level I can't remember now, was Georgie O'Keeffe. I used to love her watercolours of nature showing the beauty and femininity of the flowers in stark contrast to the skulls of dead animals. She initiated my love for drawing skulls and flowers to be honest. I remember for part of my coursework I had to do various studies and life drawings of some real animal skulls which I found absolutely fascinating. It's also when I realised how much I loved line drawing as oppose to using paint, especially watercolour, my arch nemesis.
4. Yayoi Kusama
An artist I discovered near the end of my art education but still a huge favourite of mine is Yayoi Kusama. Her dotty patterns and bold colours not only excite me but also look so much fun to create! I used to picture interior schemes at uni just made up in her style, crossing over from interior design to art installation. I'm still adamant I'll one day design a room in my future house inspired by her work. I particularly love that her art spills off the canvas and onto her as her style is pretty-much unmatched, an extension of her artwork if you like. With bold red wigs and colourful spotty dresses she's the ultimate style icon.
While I've been building my business I've picked up some new inspirations along the way, not so much art related but more business inspirations.
5. Holly Tucker
Founder of Not On The Highstreet, I only really discovered Holly Tucker within the past 3 years or so after reading a book she'd written with her Not On The Highstreet partner called 'Shape up your business'. It not only provided practical information to build a brand but also a little back story into the pair and how they created a multi-million pound company. From then on I've seen Holly pop up here and there, including on one of my favourite podcasts 'The diary of a CEO'.
I find her inspiring because of her hard work to get to where she is, her love for supporting small businesses and artisan brands like mine, and just her passion in general for making a success out of life and following her dreams no matter how big and scary they appeared or how many set-backs she got.
I took part in her colour Friday campaign last year in opposition of black Friday and its damage on small businesses that can't compete with the big boys. I just feel like she's a breath of fresh air and positivity whenever I hear or read anything she's a part of.
6. Sophie Tea Art
Although I absolutely love Sophie Tea's bright and quirky art, it's more her as a business woman and brand that I find inspiring. Building her art business initially through instagram, against the grain of the usual artist journey, she made sure to stand out from the crowd and the usual arts scene, building an audience of unique buyers that weren't in to the snobbery of the art scene at all.
I love her concepts, her fashion, her accomplishments, including getting a gallery on Carnaby street in London. Her brand oozes fun and girl gang energy which I'd just love to see in person one day.
7. Grace Beverley
Finally, another one I found through her book, Grace Beverley an inspiration to me due to her work ethic and her openness to help future entrepreneurs. As a woman I find it's easier to relate to other female entrepreneurs and women in business sometimes, as they can come up against similar struggles.
Her book 'Working hard, hardly working' left me with lots of ideas and new ambitions for my brand including the goal to hire external help and to focus on strengths as oppose to trying to boss everything.
It's also great to see younger women making a success of their businesses as opposed to thinking it's something that happens later on in life. It gives me the confidence that if other people can do it then so can I.
I hope you found this an interesting read and I hope I provided you with some new boss women to be inspired by. Let me know of any women that have inspired you in the comments below! I look forward to learning about them.
Thanks for reading,
March 07, 2022 — Hannah King