International Womens Day

Community

International Womens Day

This year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we decided to speak to some of our amazing community and get a first hand understanding of what it’s like to be a woman in the creative industries; a working environment known for it’s underrepresentation of diversity and it’s dismissal of talented women. We stand together, alongside so many incredible people and companies helping reconstruct the industry. We want to support, celebrate and champion the creators that are bringing new ideas to the world and to help establish our industry as somewhere that empowers everyone to share their passion.

@ bluespit

Who are you?

My name is Shingi and I am a 25 y/o freelance fashion and portrait photographer and stylist. 

How did you get into the industry?

It started out as a lazy hobby in my early teens, then a real hobby at 18 and my passion and career at 20.

What’s the biggest issue you’ve faced being a women in the creative industry?

I feel I have faced more issues being a black female than just a female alone, but I am not sure if i have had any issues due to this or the lack of connections I have in the industry - but I would say not getting hired on internships in my most important and “self-moulding” years.

Which women in the industry do you look up to and why?

Nadine Ijwere, a black female fashion photographer. She inspires me because black creatives and female creatives have always been look down upon. Photography is a very male dominated field, and a very white dominated field so when you see people like you in such a competitive field, succeeding, it makes you feel and know you can do it too.

Do you think it’s important to have good female role-models in the creative industry?

Of course, its great to show the world and the younger generations that we exist.

@ kekich

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Kellie Kekich, a 21 year old artist based in the Rocky Mountains. I am both a realist landscape painter and a freelance illustrator. I am obsessed with art of all mediums, variations and styles and am working towards building my career in the world of art!

What do you use daisie for/ how do you use it?

I use Daisie as a sort of escape from Instagram. As an artist on Instagram there is the constant fear of getting my art reported and shadow banned when I post art that may include the female nude, an artistic subject that’s been celebrated for many millennia until now. I wouldn’t care so much about my art being censored if I didn’t use the internet as a platform to sell my work. When I first saw the call for art for Daisie via Maisie Williams, I was initially just stoked to see a young female entrepreneur creating a platform for artists to breathe and collaborate and use the internet to its maximum benefit. I was thrilled to be selected as a Daisie 100, and I actually had a collaboration immediately with a young musician creating album art for him.

How did you get into the industry?

Well … I would say I’m still “getting” into the industry. It’s been a lot of networking, applying for opportunities (and getting rejected a lot!), beefing up my resume all while still making enough time to create art. I am admittedly a bit of a starving artist, and even though art is my full-time job, I still have to work odd jobs to sustain myself. But little by little every day, I keep meeting bigger goals and the ball feels like it slightly rolls. By the time I’m 30, I know I’m going to be crushing it.

Whats the biggest issue you’ve faced being a women in the creative industry?

The biggest issue I face in the creative industry is the huge lack of female representation. Even though we think this misogynist era of suppressing female creativity is far behind us, it is very evident right now. Most art schools only started accepting women less than a century ago after thousands of years of men dominating the art world. There have been a number of badass female artists in the past, but in history books they are few and far between.

Which women in the industry have inspired you and why?

Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) is a big inspiration to me. Because she was such an amazing painter, she seemed to be able to bypass the fact that she was a woman (and pretty much openly gay) and completely devote herself to her work. I find artists, especially women, have been the frontrunners of change in creating a generation of people free from physical and emotional constraints to pursue their dreams and true expressive selves. Female visual artists who inspire me are Rachel Pohl, artist, activist, and outdoors athlete; Zaria Foreman, artist and environmental activist; Amanda Sage, visionary artist and peace monger; Hannah Yata, feminist artist; Rachel Personett, Eliza Ivanova, Colleen Barry, Maryam Gohar (I could honestly go on and on and on!)

What would you like to change in the creative industry?

There as so many amazing women working right now, and kind of the running joke is if you’re a woman and you take sexy pictures in front of your work you’ll get far more “likes” and more “followers.” I think it’s important for women to embrace their sexuality, but I hope one day this can stand independent of the work being created. I want to be able to post a beautiful classical nude I spent hours drawing without the worry of “female presenting nipples” turning my work into a shamed, sexualised object deserving of “violating community guidelines.” I am praying for a future where we celebrate women as the goddesses they are and eliminate the corporate male dominance that is so prolific and controlling of all aspects of our world today.

@ heathermccutcheon

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Heather McCutcheon, I am a fine art photographer specialising in film photography and I was born and raised in North London. I use my photography as an exploration into the concept of “home” by tracing my own family lineage and locations, presenting the images in the form of photographic poems. When I work as a freelance photographer I usually take portraits of musicians and artists for magazine features, headshots and event coverage.

What do you use daisie for?

I use daisie for sharing my progress when I’m working on photographic projects. I love being able to discuss ideas with other creatives, share ideas and tips about our work. It’s so wonderful to surround yourself with creative people.

What’s the biggest issue you’ve faced being a women in the creative industry?

It’s always a little daunting meeting up with a client on my own, and having to lead the meeting being as confident and welcoming as possible in order to put the client at ease when I’m shooting them. I’m a quiet person and being a woman working on my own in London can be a bit anxiety inducing. However, I have found that being a receptive and engaged person with the subject can create the most intimate and best photographs. I’ve also come into contact with a lot of male colleagues who often feel the need to explain to me how to use my own equipment, offering unsolicited advice on how to get the best lighting or which lens to use. If I’m hired to do a job, I know what I’m doing!

Which women in the industry do you look up to and why?

I look up to women in creative industries who march to the beat of their own drum and are true to their own artistic vision, no matter what is popular or trending at the time. Female artists I admire include Linda McCartney, Georgia O’Keeffe, Virginia Woolf, PJ Harvey, Susan Sontag, MIA, Olivia Bee, Alison Scarpulla, Vicky Grout, Solange, Missy Prince, Noname, Sian Davey - so many more!

Do you think it’s important to have good female role-models in the creative industry?

It’s absolutely necessary. In order to progress in a male dominated industry like the art world you need to see an example of who/what you can be. I think it’s so important for women to lift each other up, offer support to others when you are in a good position and work together to create the space for our artwork.

@ mariabuigues

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Maria Buiges, a 17 year old artist from Spain. I love doing portraits of people that I admire and that inspire me, it is my favourite way to explain my feelings and thoughts to the world. I mostly draw and paint portraits of characters from my favourite books or films. My aim is to touch the person who is looking at the portrait by capturing the essence and the soul of the character on paper.

Which women in the industry have inspired you/do you look up to and why?

There are lots of women who inspire me, not only artists but also musicians, actresses and writers. I really admire actresses Keira Knightley and Lena Headey. As a portrait artist, I feel inspired by their external beauty, but what really moves me is their inner world and their incredible talent. I can feel their strength every second that I draw them.

Do you think it’s important to have good female role-models in the creative industry?

Women have been kept away from art world for centuries, and they are still sometimes underrepresented. The best way to deal with this issue is to share women’s amazing talent from all around the world and to set them as our role-models to better ourselves. Platforms like Daisie are helping everyday to improve that.

@esmephoto

Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Esme Buxton and I am a portrait and lifestyle photographer

How do you use daisie? 

I use daisie to showcase new projects and communicate with other photographers. It’s also a great place to find new models to work with.

How did you get into the industry? 

I didn’t study photography at uni, so I had to network quite a bit. One of my first jobs was with fellow daisie member and Game of Thrones star, Brenock OConnor, which helped put me in the public eye a bit more. Social media networking helped a lot too.

Whats the biggest issue you’ve faced being a women in the creative industry? 

Getting simple tasks mansplained to you!

Do you think there’s enough female representation in the creative industry? 

I feel like certain avenues attract more women and therefore get more female representation, such as acting or modelling. I would like to see more female photographers being taken seriously and striving for the top.

Which women in the industry do you look up to and why? 

As a photographer, Erin Sullivan is a huge inspiration to me because she has forged her own path within the industry and is doing some incredible work. Filmmaker Chai Vasarhelyi is another inspiration to me because she creates documentaries about male-dominated sports and gets such an amazing vulnerability from them. 

Do you think it’s important to have good female role-models in the creative industry? 

Absolutely! It’s a lot easier to believe in yourself if you’re able to see it being done by someone you identify with.

@ emmy

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Emmy, an artist based in France. I mainly paint and create visual content. I like to bring worlds together that would normally not meet and invite the spectator to visit them along with me through my images.

How do you use daisie?

I use daisie as a means to meet other creatives, connect with them and, in some cases, work with them. The versatile side of the app helped me discover people or industries I would have never checked out otherwise, and has already allowed me to broaden my artistic skills.

How did you get into the industry?

I am still studying and I am freelancing on the side. As a beginner it is quite hard to properly “enter” the industry since it’s such a long way in, but making contacts and putting my art forward is a good start down that road.

Whats the biggest issue you’ve faced being a women in the creative industry?

I am introverted and feminine and most of the time I am associated with the stereotype of that “quiet ladylike girl,” which is part of who I am, but that should not discredit whatever I have to say through my art.

Do you think there’s enough female representation the creative industry?

Unfortunately not, and it has been a problem for a long time. A woman in the creative world is not so controversial anymore, but there are a lot of clichés and preconceptions that come with statements like “I am a female artist”. With the recent feminist waves, there has been this idea that women in the art industry are supposed to only speak of the Woman’s condition, but I don’t really feel like this is what feminism is about. I am sure that many women would have a lot things to say through art, but might be afraid of this unspoken rule and the position that comes along with it. It’s important to remember that feminism is about equality and freedom, and I think it would help everyone to break these stereotypes and finally consider that an artist can be male or female or somewhere in between, instead of having sections like “artist” and “woman-artist”.

Which women in the industry have inspired you/do you look up to and why?

I have always admired strong figures who are not afraid to speak for themselves and explore their creativeness, either to show problems in our society or just simply explore and share their inner world. That includes painters like Frida Kahlo, or the more traditional Artemisia Gentileschi and Berthe Morisot, who had a lot more trouble getting known for their work back then but still fought and continued to show that their art was every bit as interesting as the men’s.

Do you think it’s important to have good female role-models in the creative industry?

It is very important to have female role models and people we can relate to in general for inspiration and self confidence. This is why the industry needs new faces, with new statements and new ideas, to create not just a Women’s category in art, but help break that gender barrier, elevate all the categories and broaden the spectrum.

@ phoebecowley

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Phoebe Cowley and I was born and raised in West London. I am a fashion and portrait photographer.

What do you use Daisie for?

I mainly use daisie to showcase photos/projects as well as seeing what other creatives in my industry are creating. I also love that I don’t have to worry about how many likes or follows I gain and that really takes the weight off posting.

How did you get into the industry?

I kind of fell into the industry and I’m still not really sure how I managed to get to where I am now, but when I was given a camera for my 16th birthday I didn’t look back. I managed to get some men from my local homeless shelter to pose for me and when I was eighteen I had my first exhibition. That’s when I realised I could possibly make a living from photography.

Do you think there’s enough female representation in the creative industry?

As a portrait photographer I hadn’t realised there was any prejudice because I was working alone, however, when I moved into fashion photography I have experienced a much more male environment. When you think that with only 24.6% of women in the creative industry you realise there is still so much more that could be done. Women could help women by employing them more often and giving them a chance when previously they may have gravitated towards successful men. It is about women being given the opportunity as it certainly not about them lacking talent!

Do you think it’s important to have good female role-models in the creative industry?

Massively so! I don’t personally have many close female photographers as role-models in my life, but I really wish I did. I think having women to look up to, that you respect who are in the same industry as you is such a powerful thing. Annie Leibovitz is the obvious one but why are there so few? Creative groups like daisie can be a great vehicle for change. Women and men alike need to help promote each other and then equality in the creative industry will flourish.