Countless women have contributed to the world in a unique and artistic fashion. August 26th–Women's Equality Day–serves as the perfect time to celebrate these inspiring individuals. In honor of the talented women we admire, we've compiled a list of our recent favorites. These are the female artists, designers, architects, and inventors who have impacted others with their tremendous, creative talents.
Photo source: INKtalks
Elora Hardy aimed to make a difference after she left her successful fashion career behind in New York. She then moved back to her childhood home in Bali, which is where she's currently building sustainable bamboo homes for a living. Over the course of the last five years, Elora and her team at Ibuku have revolutionized bamboo construction. They believe that this plant is underused and that it's an ideal renewable resource that will change the future. With her expert craftsmanship and resourceful mindset, Hardy hopes to redefine eco-friendly architecture.
Katie Joy Crawford
Photo Source: Sean Richardson
Photographer Katie Joy Crawford thoughtfully portrays her inner struggles through the series My Anxious Heart. This impactful project features evocative self-portraits that explore general anxiety disorder, which affects 6.8 million American adults. Using insightful imagery and metaphorical props, Crawford symbolically bridges the gap between the inner mind and the outer world where mental illness symptoms can go unnoticed. Ultimately, Crawford hopes that her portraits will inspire others to shine a light on the stigmatized challenges they may be facing.
Photo Source: Zaria Forman
Zaria Forman creates large-scale pastel drawings that “document Earth's shifting landscape and the effects of progressive climate change.” Traveling to the arctic northwest of Greenland and witnessing the rising oceans of the Maldives, Forman uses her gifted abilities to allow others to see the fleeting beauty she's witnessed firsthand, all while drawing attention to the rapidly changing landscapes across the world.
Photo Source: PhilDev Foundation
Aisa Mijeno created SALt Lamp–a cost-effective light source that's changing people's lives in the Philippines. This revolutionary invention was developed by the engineer as an asset for the many households that are unable to access or afford electricity. Rather than having residents rely on oil lamps (which can cause fires) or expensive battery-powered lights, Mijeno's device requires only one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt to supply a night's worth of light. Even if salt isn't readily available to mix with water, the product is able to run on nearby ocean water–a feature that will most definitely come in handy during a crisis. Both Mijeno and her invention have demonstrated that a little bit of light can go a long way.
Photo Source: Jade Beall
Jade Beall highlights the raw beauty of mothers' bodies post-childbirth. After a history of discomfort with her own appearance, pregnancy and giving birth to her own son helped the photographer reevaluate her feelings of self-worth and develop respect for her own body. By shining a light on every wrinkle, scar, stretch mark, and fold of skin, she seeks to provide an alternative to the heavily airbrushed images of women presented by mass media, all the while spreading empowering messages of body positivity, diversity, and self-love.
Photo Source: Rosie Hardy
At only 24, UK-based photographer Rosie Hardy has a client list that includes the likes of Maroon 5 and The 1975. What's even more impressive, however, is the incredibly influential role she's played in helping nurture a growing community of young, conceptual photographers on Flickr. With her portfolio of breathtaking images, coupled with how much she's inspired other great photographers like Alex Stoddard and Phillip Schumacher, Hardy is an undisputed star of the movement of youthful, internet-savvy creatives who express themselves through surreal portraiture.
Photo Source: Thuisbezorgd.nl
Yulia Brodskaya is an amazing paper artist who has brought the art of paper quilling to the forefront, shining a light on this intricate craft that had previously gone unnoticed by the masses. What may have originally been seen as mere embellishments or secondary decor is now an art form all on its own, due in large part to Brodskaya's creative renderings. She adds a modern, eye-catching twist to the traditional art, inspiring a whole new generation of paper artists.
Photo Source: Harper's Bazaar
Zaha Hadid is responsible for some of the most striking and innovative architecture seen around the world. Throughout her career, she's designed cultural centers, commercial complexes, and has even made a parking facility look modern and exciting with a bold form and elegant, sweeping lines. It's no wonder that her design of the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan was the first architectural project to win Design of the Year from London's Design Museum.
(See more: Website)
Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan
Messner Mountain Museum Corones embedded within Mount Kronplatz
Photo Source: Rachel Ignotofsky
Growing up, Rachel Ignotofsky was interested in being both an artist and a scientist. While she ultimately chose a career in the arts, she still honors both her passions with a unique series that pays tribute to women in science. Her whimsical drawings highlight the amazing accomplishments of female pioneers like primologist Jane Goodall and chemist Marie Curie. Depicted doing what they love, Ignotofsky's artworks celebrate these strong, female role models while familiarizing younger audiences with their work.
Photo Source: ArtAnimal
Lalage Snow is a photojournalist with one mission on every assignment: to give people a voice. In one of her most powerful projects, titled We Are The Not Dead, Snow offers an alternative perspective of war and its effects on those that fight in it. Rather than focusing on the carnage, Snow turns her lens on the men and women who have enlisted, capturing three portraits each–before, during, and after their deployment in Afghanistan. The setup is simple, yet the visual implications are emotionally intense. She infuses each image in each project with a very human perspective.
(See more: Website)
Private Chris MacGregor, 24
Private Matthew Hodgson, 18
Photo Source: Lucia Pittalis
While makeup is commonly seen as something trivial, used by women to make themselves look “prettier,” it becomes a powerful tool in the hands of professional makeup artists like Lucia Pittalis. The Italy-based beauty expert can transform herself into famous figures such as Marlon Brando and Keith Richards by using a skilled combination of accessories, wigs, and cosmetics. Through her jaw-dropping before-and-after photos, Pittalis demonstrates the endless possibilities that can open up for anyone who uses makeup.
Red Hong Yi
Photo Source: Red Hong Yi
Red Hong Yi is a multifaceted creative who refers to herself as an artist who “likes to paint without a paintbrush.” Rather than focusing on traditional practices in the creative process, Red chooses to challenge the norm, leading a new generation of artists who use unconventional materials–instead of paintbrushes and paint, she uses coffee cups and coffee; instead of a slab of marble and a chisel, she uses suspended bundles of chopsticks. Red also reintroduces the idea of ‘fun' in art, proving that playfulness doesn't take away from how innovative you can be.
Portrait of Jay Chou created with coffee cup stains.
Portrait of Ai Weiwei created with 100,000 sunflower seeds.
Photo source: Shutterbug
Photographer Beth Moon has spent the past 14 years journeying to almost every continent in search of some of the world's oldest, biggest, and rarest trees. This quest has taken her to remote mountainsides, private estates, and protected lands, all in order to capture and document the staggering beauty of ancient trees that have stood the test of time. Her quest has culminated in two books: Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, and Diamond Nights, which shows these majestic plants against a glittering night sky. She is single-handedly preserving nature through her photography.
(See more: Website)
Heart of the Dragon
These are just a handful of the countless women who are currently shaping the world in a creative way. Who else would you add to this list?