Like most professions throughout history, careers in the humanities and the arts were often restricted to men only. Despite massive hurdles, there are women creatives who worked tirelessly to become noteworthy figures in their artistic disciplines. To commemorate International Creativity Month, here are 10 uplifting quotes by modern-day creative women.
10 Quotes for Creative Women for International Creativity Month
1) “Don’t wait for permission to do something creative.” ~Ava DuVernay, Director
DuVernay is the highest-grossing black woman director in American box office history. She developed several films to educate the public on criminal justice, systematic and systemic racism, and contribute to other projects to show a different representation of black people in other genres, like fantasy, drama, and romantic comedies.
2) “My hope is that we continue to nurture the places that we love, but that we also look outside our immediate worlds.” ~Annie Leibovitz, Photographer
Leibovitz works as a portrait photographer. Her career began in Rolling Stone, where her photographic style of celebrities and choices of colors made her stand out above the rest. She continued her career in working for Vanity Fair as well as other ad campaigns.
3) “Play is the state of mind that we can use in our creative process to our advantage.” ~Jessica Walsh, Graphic Designer, Art Director, Illustrator
Walsh is a graphic designer, founder, and creative director of her own company, &Walsh. She has worked for several magazines and worked for various well-known companies, like Snapchat, Apple, Benefits Cosmetics, Barneys, Levis, Adobe, and many more.
4) “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” ~Toni Morrison, Novelist
Morrison is one of the most prominent novelists in the world. Her novels shared a rich, in-depth perspective of black women. She discusses not only their roles within the United States but also their position within the black community (poster part of Learning for Justice poster series).
5) “Every time I have had a problem, I have confronted it with the ax of art.” ~Yayoi Kusama, Painter, Contemporary Artist
Kusama’s label could be Queen of the Arts. From researching her and her work, you will discover that she has dipped and dappled in every art form there is. According to a piece from The Guardian, Kusama grew up in an unhappy household. Her mother disapproved of her work; she only encouraged Kusama to study etiquette to make herself fit a good arranged marriage. Despite this, Kusama continued to paint. Her art helped her express herself and cope with her mental illness and other misfortunes in her life.
6) “As a woman in architecture, you’re always an outsider. It’s okay, I like being on the edge.” ~Zaha Hadid, Architect
Hadid was an Iraqi- born, British architect. Her work earned her the Pritzker Architecture Prize; she was the first woman to receive this award. Her designs were called radical deconstructivism.
7) “What is fascinating about illustration is that there are no limits. You are only limited by your imagination.” ~Malika Favre, Illustrator, Graphic Artist
Favre, a French artist, is known for her dynamic, bold rendition of Pop Art. She has worked for Sephora, The New Yorker, Vogue, BAFTA, and Penguin Books.
8) “Don’t be afraid to take time to learn. It’s good to work for other people. I worked for others for 20 years. They paid me to learn” ~Vera Wang, Fashion Designer
She’s one of the most iconic and celebrated fashion designers in today’s time. She started her fashion career in bridal dresses, but it quickly extended to home products and jewelry. Before creating her fashion empire, Wang worked as a senior fashion editor for Vogue and design director for Ralph Lauren.
9) “I never saw myself as a pioneer. I just was driven to tell stories in a medium that I love.” ~Brenda Chapman, Animator
Chapman has worked on numerous Disney and Pixar films, including ones that we know and love today, like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Prince of Egypt (she was the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio). Chapman is also the original director and creator of another beloved Disney film, Brave.
10) “Anything that speaks to your soul is a great project.” ~Mara Lecocq, Digital Creative Director
Lecocq has worked for 14 years in advertising. After learning and growing within the ad and marketing world, she launched Secret Code, which offered customizable children’s books that starred girls as protagonist tech heroes. Lecocq is also behind the extensive database Where Are The Boss Ladies? With more than 1,000 entries, the database offers role models in advertising that women can work for.
The journey to learn about female creatives doesn’t need to stop here. If these quotes by powerful women inspire you, dig deeper. There’s no better time than International Creativity Month to rediscover established creatives or find emerging ones.
Written by Latee’ Wilburn
Top photo by Elina Krima from Pexels