| GIF, Editorial Illustration, Women Empowerment Illustration, People Illustration by Illustrator and Artist Yaansoon |
I created this women empowerment illustration for UK-based DIFD Inclusive as part of #16DaysofActivism, marking the International Day to End Violence against Women & Girls, coinciding on 25 November 2017.
DIFD Inclusive, part of the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DIFD), ran an inspiring interview on their Medium blog with ElsaMarie D’Silva, the Founder and CEO of India-based project, Safecity.
The project, which also runs an app called @pinthecreep, is a platform that crowdsources personal stories of gender-based harassment and abuse in public spaces. Its aim is to help “individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that cause behaviour that leads to violence and work on strategies for solutions.”
I was asked to create a GIF animation along with one or two still illustrations for this editorial piece. My work process started with doing research on Safecity and understanding both the cultural background of the project, the activism of the people behind it, as well as other art-direction details like the project’s colour palette and branding choices.
I was also conscious of the fact the interview was part of 16 Days of Activism, launched by UN Women and relevant INGOs on Twitter and elsewhere on the web, with the hashtag #OrangeTheWorld. That’s why I decided to weave in the colour orange into the GIF and illustrations, to tie everything together.
One of the things I wanted the illustration to convey is emotion coupled with a sense of dignity. The main character, the Indian lady who is being stalked by a creepy looking man, is annoyed, and probably disgusted, but she’s not afraid. I wanted to draw a woman who is self-dignified, and whose face conveyed the annoyance she experienced as she “sensed” the stalker behind her. But I also wanted to convey feelings of self-confidence, especially in the moment when she turns around and we see her mobile phone “confronting” the perpetrator. She then goes ahead and pins him to the app.
I feel deeply passionate about issues related to women abuse and women empowerment, which are both cross-cultural and universal issues that are starting to gain momentum wordwide. That’s why I integrated a series called Illustrated Women Who Can into my illustration blog.
This strong passion and infinite empathy towards victims of gender-based violence have given me the inspiration and the creative fuel to finish this project in one evening. I ended up submitting the illustrations several hours ahead of deadline!
This illustration is for the Indian context, depicting an Indian woman stalked by a predatory Indian man in an Indian city such as New Delhi, as per the brief I received from client.
Client: DIFD Inclusive, part of the UK Government’s Department for International Development, is responsible for leading work to build societies where everyone has voice, choice and control over their lives #leavenoonebehind.”
Illustration Technique: This women empowerment illustration was created digitally using several android drawing apps on Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, followed by digital painting and editing using desktop software, Adobe Photoshop, with the help of a Wacom tablet.