5 Philly Creatives Share How Womanhood Inspires Their Artistry
Being a woman is an unapologetically, beautiful thing. We are a multitude of things. We are sisters, mothers, daughters, friends. We are business women, students, leaders and observers. We are mysteries, tales to be told, secrets, and sensualities. We are gentle and delicate, yet intricate and bold. We are poets, artists, lyricists, and designers. We are creatives and we are our own muses. And through our art, we discover ourselves and speak to the world through our souls. And while we’ve got a long way to go, we take strides in bringing to life our stories and our power through our creativity.
On a day that celebrates the magic, passion and ferocity of women, We The Muses wanted to bring it a little closer to home — and so we asked a few local muses to tell us what being a woman means to them and how they let their femininity flow through their art.
What does being a woman mean to you? Being a woman means so much. The older I get the more I recognize and understand how both my gender and my feminine energy as a whole influences the way I interact with the world and how the world, in turn, interacts with me - for better or worse. When I think about what it means to be a woman the words strength, resilience, beauty, power, intelligence bubble to the surface. I am proud to be a woman because it allows me to be a part of a community of feminine beings that want to support and care for one another, and these communities created by women give way to uniquely feminine experiences.
How does being a woman inspire your art and creativity? I design and create jewelry for humans, but specifically women and feminine identifying individuals, so my womanhood is intrinsically intertwined with my art and creativity. That being said, I do feel like I exude masculine energy within my female body, and I love the idea that people are fluid. I try to mimic that androgyny through my jewelry by blending hard materials with soft shapes, masculine with feminine. Jewelry is really just a vessel worn to help women feel confident, sexy, cool, edgy, sentimental, powerful, etc... I always hope to make a woman feel beautiful and empowered through my jewelry, whatever that means for her individually.
Rachael is a self taught jewelry designer based in Philadelphia and founder of by.ren jewelry. Her designs showcase an intuitive, minimalistic style with unique, easy-to-style pieces. Follow along on instagram to stay up to date on new pieces, her creative process, and which local pop-up she’ll be gracing near you!
What does being a woman mean to you? It means I have to try a little harder in my industry, especially if I want equal pay. The graphic design world is ruled by men, and, unfortunately, men love hiring men. However, because of this, it also means I have a strong support system of fellow female illustrators and designers. To me, that's huge.
How does being a woman inspire your art and creativity? Being a woman with strong femme energy gives me a unique voice and perspective on anything I choose to express.
Margo is a graphic designer and illustrator, who’s work you may have recently spotted giving you a thumb’s up on SEPTA’s Walnut-Locust station as part of the #TRACKTAKEOVER project. her work is feminine, bold and dripping in sass, almost like she’s speaking your mind.
What does being a woman mean to you? I’ve come to understand that there is no one way to “be a woman.” We often look at womxnhood through the binary perspective of the patriarchy. Those limited definitions make so many people believe that they’re somehow failing at being who they are, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. “Female” is never a term I use for myself, but living as a black femme is quite special. My identity is often targeted and it only fuels my passion to continue blossoming and helping others do the same.
How does being a woman inspire your art and creativity? Living with the energy of Divine Feminity brings inspiration into my life everyday. I believe that my femininity allows me to feel very deeply and that is often seen as a weakness. Luckily, I understand that those deep feelings allow me to explore ideas that don’t always seem accessible.
Sabrina recently released her self-produced EP ‘Relearning Intimacy’, where her sounds are raw and as real as it gets. Her lyrics and melodies are a vibrational representation of lessons learned, intimacies and soul baring scenarios. || photo credit: shanel edwards
What does being a woman mean to you? Being a woman means soft strength. In today’s society there is power in the delicate nature we as women possess, for example our nurturing nature makes women ideal leaders and sympathetic bosses. Our resilience to rise up and prove our voice matters, that’s what I love about women. We’ve been told no by a man at least once in our lives simply because of our gender and we get back up and and try again. Women are beautiful, strong, and unapologetically woman.
How does being a woman inspire your art and creativity? Being a woman affects my practice in major ways. At every step of my art career, whether it be high school art or college senior thesis, I was taught by a powerful woman artist. These women shaped my practice and dedication to my craft and I don’t take the responsibility of being a woman lightly. We have a voice in the arts and given that choice I have chosen to speak for the environment, something that cannot speak for itself.
Jenna is a whimsical, New York born, now Philly Local artist. Her work emulates a soft, pastel blend of landscape inspired imagery through silk painting, wax and stitching. Her pieces are unique and bohemian, much like her own aesthetic. catch her and other philly artists as part of an all-female featured art show tonight (3/8) at north bowl! || Photos by Tu anh Thai
What does being a woman mean to you? To me, being a woman means balance. It means being strong and soft, decisive and intuitive, open and protective. I strive each day to find a source of strength within my femininity and use that as a driving force to show that we can find harmony within every aspect of ourselves as womxn.
How does being a woman inspire your art and creativity? As a woman, so much of my story revolves around my body. My journey from total self hatred to love and compassion for myself and my body has inspired my personal style and my passion for inclusivity in the fashion industry. All womxn deserve the opportunity to show their true selves through the way they adorn their body. I hope that through my writing and styling, I can show others not only the importance of loving our bodies, but the need for discovering and loving our true selves.