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Can You Name #5WomenArtists?

Most people are surprised they aren't able to complete this challenge, even though the average person has no problem naming 5 male artists! Why is it so difficult? There is still a tremendous gender imbalance in the presentation of art in the U.S. and abroad...

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The National Museum of Women in the Arts created the #5WomenArtists campaign to directly address this issue. iCanvas is proud to support this campaign and our female artists to help eliminate the gap.


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  • vlada-haggerty
  • sophie-gamand
  • nadira-simon
  • hikari-shimoda
  • rongrong-devoe
  • autumn-kalquist
  • geneva-b
  • francoise-wattre
  • amanda-greenwood
  • sara-riches
  • iris-scott
  • camilla-derrico
  • kristina-makeeva
  • ettavee
  • christina-ramos
  • piia-pievalainen
  • ieva-baklane
  • katherine-smit
  • debi-coules
  • sana-jamlaney
  • yolanda-fernandez-shebeko
  • caia-koopman
  • blakely-bering
  • erin-ashley
  • osnat-tzadok
  • shalimar-legaspi
  • vian-borchert
  • catrin-welz-stein
  • jen-starwalt
  • lisa-whitehouse
  • kahrianne-kerr
  • nava-lundy
caia-koopman //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-caia-koopman-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-caia-koopman-mobile.jpg Caia Koopman | Santa Cruz, CA

What inspired you to become an artist?

My great grandmother was an artist, she spent a lot of time drawing with me when I was little. I loved looking at her paintings and she would say I could be an artist too if I practiced.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

I was able to be part of a huge Popsurrealism show in Leon France, it was so much fun and such an honor.

Is there a particular female artist you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

I love the work of Lolo (Lauren Ys). There is a lot of strength and meaning in her work, also just plain fun and super creative.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Be Brave

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Tatiana Suarez, Lolo (aka Lauren Ys), Hueman (aka Allison), Robin Eisenburge, Amy Sol

rongrong-devoe //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-rongrong-devoe-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-rongrong-devoe-mobile.jpg Rongrong DeVoe | Houston, Texas

What inspired you to become an artist?

Fashion Magazines

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Working with Reese Witherspoon and live sketching for New York Fashion Week.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Never give up, be able to thrive under pressure.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

“Future is Female” piece - The future is female, no matter what background you are. Believe you are strong, beautiful and unstoppable.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Molly Hatch. She creates stunning ceramics.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Molly Hatch, Jennifer Orkin Lewis, Ashley Lonngshore, Katie Rodgers, Inslee Fariss.

amanda-greenwood //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-amanda-greenwood-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-amanda-greenwood-mobile.jpg Amanda Greenwood | Vancouver, Canada

What inspired you to become an artist?

I have always loved painting and making things. My mother tells me even as a child I went straight to the painting easel at nursery.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I couldn't afford art school, even though I was [accepted] into a few. So I went to make-up school with the scholarship I had and was a fashion make-up artist for years. As an adult I enrolled in art school, which is when I decided to go for being an artist full-time.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Getting my licensing deal with iCanvas was a big step for me. It was the turning point of me feeling like a real artist.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Just go for it! Women are sometimes stopped by self doubt. You just have to take a leap of faith. Don't Be Afraid To Bet On Yourself.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I love self portraits of artists. I think it reveals so much of the artist. It must take a lot of strength to analyze yourself and display it for everyone. I am always drawn to Frida Kahlo's.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

I just love Camilla d'Errico’s work. Her pieces spark an emotion!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Tamara de Lempicka, Natalie Foss, Amy Sherald.

sana-jamlaney //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-sana-jamlaney-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-sana-jamlaney-mobile.jpg Sana Jamlaney | From India, Lives in Dubai

What inspired you to become an artist?

Everything that I was surrounded with since I was a child inspired me to become an artist. The continuous growth and rapid change in the city I lived, the hypocrisy of culture and its ability to stagnate growth and the human will to push past it.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

I was fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive family and we overcame all the obstacles together as a unit for which I'm very grateful. The biggest obstacle was the stigma attached to being an artist in my culture over a decade ago. It was always viewed as a hobby and never a profession.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

My artwork 'The Silent One II', one of four paintings, each depicting a segment of society of contemporary India, was featured as the cover art for 'Gendered Dimensions of Development' published by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development celebrating 50 years of research.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

You are only as relevant as the work you create today. Strive to create your best every day of your life.

Is there a particular female artist that you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

Shirin Neshat. I was introduced to her earlier photographs by my mentor who is another fantastic female artist named Margherita Abbozzo. Shirin Neshat's work the way I view it explores religious codes and women in Muslim societies.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Yayoi Kusama, Shirin Neshat, Ran Hwang, Niki de St. Phalle, Frida Kahlo.

kate-blacklock //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-kate-blacklock-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-kate-blacklock-mobile.jpg Blacklock Studios, Kate Blacklock | Providence, RI

What inspired you to become an artist?

I am a maker and have been as long as I can remember. Transforming materials into pictures and objects captured my imagination since I was a child. I have inexplicable need to make art. Art enhances our lives. Good art makes us stop, think, remember, feel and connect. It makes us aware of our humanity. It is this aspiration that drives me day after day and year after year.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Work hard and continue to push yourself and not give up. This is the advice I would give to ANY artist. Spend 80% of your time on your art and 20% of your time on your career.

What art piece do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I consider the Vietnam War Memorial By Maya Lin fills this question for me. Although it is a memorial, I consider it a work of art. It has also impacted millions of people, in an arena that has been almost totally filled by men. I think it was a game changer.

Is there a particular female artist you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

Betty Woodman is one of the artists I most admire. She died this year at age 87. Her most recent solo exhibition of all new work opened within the last 8 months. She was a pioneer in many ways. She was the first living woman to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in 2006. She was a sculptor working primarily in clay. She was the first person who bridged the Craft World and became a "heavy hitter" in the much different Fine Art World. She was taken seriously because she took herself seriously and was tenacious in her ambition. Most of all, her creativity was boundless. She never rested, physically or creatively. In the last few years of her life, she had multiple solo shows every year all around the globe.

If you didn’t need to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

Learning a new skill, such as figure drawing, or CAD, or voice training or figure skating!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Betty Woodman, Maya Lin, Louise Nevelson, Tara Donovan, Agnes Martin, Marlene Dumas, Artemisia Gentileschi, Kiki Smith. There are so many.

catrin-welz-stein //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-catrin-welz-stein-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-catrin-welz-stein-mobile.jpg Catrin Welz-Stein | From Germany, Lives in Seoul

What inspired you to become an artist?

The desire to create something new, experimenting with colors and shapes.

What art piece do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

The giant spider sculpture from Louise Bourgeois, because it reflects strength, womanhood, courage, caring, courage in many ways (Even if I normally don't like spiders).

If you didn’t need to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

I would read a good book, drink red wine, make long walks and examine the moon.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

I got an award for best Illustration from CA Communications Arts in 2015.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Believe in yourself.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Flora Bowley , Claire Desjardins, Alice Wellinger, Anne Siems, Betsy Walton

camilla-derrico //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-camilla-derrico-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-camilla-derrico-mobile.jpg Camilla D’Errico | Vancouver, CA

What inspired you to become an artist?

I’ve always loved and been drawn to the creative world throughout my life whether it was Saturday morning cartoons as a kid or falling in love with Japanese manga storytelling. And it was animation and comics that impassioned me to share my own stories. I couldn’t wait, I even started self-publishing in college and submitting to design projects and contests while I was still a student. The more I filled my days with art the more I wanted to be a part of it and create art for a living.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

The way I made art wasn’t always accepted the way it is now, and I encountered some resistance. One of my professors in college tried to dissuade me from drawing and painting how I wanted by telling me manga wasn’t a legitimate art form. I didn’t let that change how I wanted to express myself though. And actually it was years later that same professor contacted me to say he had taken a trip to France and saw how prevalent the visual themes I include in my art were, and apologized to me for trying to squash my style. It was an early experience that taught me to be confident in the face of adversity.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength and equality for women?

I feel a lot of my artwork speaks to people in different ways, and communicates different things I feel about what it means to be a strong person or viewing the world through a perspective of equality. In 2008 I created a painting “Yuuta” that embodies my beliefs about the mind being the most attractive part of a woman, and I feel her message is just as poignant now, or even more than ever. My upcoming solo exhibition collection opening at Corey Helford Gallery in April of this year is focused on equality and diversity as a theme. So each of these pieces would speak to how striving for equality and empowering ourselves as women and people has been important to my artwork for many years.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

I think my advice I have to share is something anyone can take to heart and that it’s to be true to what you want to express, and be willing to work hard to achieve your goals. Talent is a great thing to have, but it’s not going to be enough if you don’t invest in making things happen. There are some amazingly talented people I know in my personal life that don’t push themselves so their art stays as a hobby. But if you’re really serious about making and sharing art for a living, put your all into it! Aim high and keep working at it, and you can go places you never thought possible before.

Is there a particular female artist that you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

There are so many artists that come to mind it’s hard to choose. But I feel from my heart-of-hearts that I’m grateful for Tara McPherson’s support and encouragement as an artist. In 2012 she encouraged my new direction my art took in my showing at her Cotton Candy Machine Gallery. Tara is a strong and capable woman and artist, and her skill and passion is amazing from her toy designs to her cute characters and beautiful paintings. I love them!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

It’s tough to pick only 5 but I would have to say #HikariShimoda #TaraMcPherson #KathieOlivas #MabGraves #ErikaSanada

amy-brinkman //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-amy-brinkman-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-amy-brinkman-mobile.jpg Amy Brinkman - Willow & Olive | From MN, Lives in FL

What inspired you to become an artist?

A strong burning passion for art and design that started when I was a little girl. It’s always been there and seems to grow stronger the older I get.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Do art everyday, in some shape or form, even if you don’t feel like it. Discipline is the key to becoming successful.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

Yes, myself. I would say I am my own biggest obstacle. Lack of confidence in my own abilities and the need for perfection in myself have been my biggest stumbling blocks.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

Being successful in marrying business with art. My designs have been sold as both traditional artwork and also turned into various products which have been distributed and sold worldwide in large chain stores, big box stores and independent retailers.

If you didn’t have to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

Painting watercolor palette swatches. Very relaxing!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Georgia O'Keeffe, Annie Leibovitz, Frida Kahlo, Mae Chevrette, Cat Coquillette

titti-garelli //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-titti-garelli-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-titti-garelli-mobile.jpg Titti Garelli | Turin, Italy

What inspired you to become an artist?

In my entire life, I didn’t think about doing anything else [other than] paintings.

Is there a particular female artist that you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

If I had the time machine I would like to know and see Elizabeth Vigée le Brun.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Today in Europe and the USA it is easier for women to be an artist. So, just do it!

If you didn’t have to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

Studying new paintings.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Frida Kahlo, Angelica Kaufmann, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rachel Ruysch, Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Louise Bourgeois

lee-keller //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-lee-keller-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-lee-keller-mobile.jpg Hippie Hound Studios, Lee Keller | Morgantown, NC

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

My own fear of failure...and the ‘starving artist’ stigma. Took me 22 years after completing art school to pursue my dream.

What inspired you to become an artist?

My mom.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

The thought of being a 'published' artist never really crossed my mind but now I have prints of my work on iCanvas, and in major retailers...Pretty awesome!

What art piece do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I think the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue is a great representation!

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Don’t give up, find a niche and build on it!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Sturtevant, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Keller :)

debi-coules //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-debi-coules-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-debi-coules-mobile.jpg Debi Coules | Melbourne, FL

What inspired you to become an artist?

The impressionists and a love of fashion

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

The obstacle was trying to survive white pursuing my art. At this point in time I can say that I am happily surviving and a bit more.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

I am most proud of everything that I have accomplished,awards,exhibits and illustrating six children's books.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Follow your heart, follow your dream and go for it!

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

"Le Figaro" by Mary Cassatt (1878). This painting represents the new woman. I can't recall a painting of a woman reading a newspaper, as it was always depicted by a man. I feel this was a very significant piece.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Loïs Mailou Jones and Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

elena-kulikova https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/elena-kulikova.jpg https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/elena-kulikova-mobile.jpg Elena Kulikova | From Russia, Lives in Los Angeles

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

Yes so many! Being a woman I feel like it's easy to constantly be taken advantage of, I learned the hard way how to stand up for myself and keep boundaries as a working artist.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Sticking to what I value as my artistic expression and creating photographs that express how I truly feel, and now others appreciate and seek out my art - it's everything I could have ever wanted.

What inspired you to become an artist?

Childhood loneliness helped my imagination grow and want to create.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

My photography celebrates feminine beauty, my latest body of work called Rainbow Lovers lights up the female body with rainbows showing that we're light beings full of infinite possibilities!

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge?

Georgia O’Keeffe. When I first saw her work in 4th grade I remember distinctly being in pure awe, the colors, the shapes, the originality. Her art inspired me then and now!

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

My growth throughout the years brings me joy as I think about the gallery exhibits and publications I've achieved, most importantly finding my voice as the artist I love and respect is my greatest accomplishment thus far.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Being a successful artist on your own is nearly impossible, seek out artists you admire and collaborate with them! Share wisdom, knowledge, and love of life and art together!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Georgia O Keeffe, Miranda July, Sylvia Plath, Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama

liz-brizzi //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-liz-brizzi-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-liz-brizzi-mobile.jpg Liz Brizzi | Los Angeles

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional female artist?

Not really. There were lots of obstacles but I wouldn't call them "unnecessary". If you mean any obstacles that would only pertain to a woman... then choosing to have a child and continuing to have a presence as an artist in the art scene as well as finding the time to actually make art has been difficult. But women are strong, hard working and multi-tasking. We can do it all!

What inspired you to become an artist?

I grew up in a family of artists.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Giving up a full time job and career...to refocus on what I really loved to do.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Don't give up!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Swoon, Soey Milk, Loish, Chloe Early, Becky Cloonan

karina-llergo https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/5women-karina-llergo-a.jpg https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/5women-karina-llergo-mobile.jpg Karina Llergo


Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional female artist?

I needed to work hard to have credibility in art between my male colleagues, as I constantly heard them refer to it as “my hobby”. Male artists have their own circle and frequently it’s hard to break in.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment has been balancing my family with my art career.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Above all be true to yourself. Move yourself away from the critics and release their scathing comments from your world. Surround yourself with support, inspiration and words of encouragement. Unite forces with females artist peers, work together, help each other.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Carla Bank, Kate Morgan, Jennifer Lashbrook, Kate Tillman, Mimi Damrauer

hikari-shimoda //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-hikari-shimoda-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-hikari-shimoda-mobile.jpg Hikari Shimoda | Nagano, Japan

Hikari Shimoda


What inspired you to become an artist?

I decided to become an artist because I wanted to express my thoughts and ideas about the world and issues through my art.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

Generally speaking, it is not easy to make a living as an artist in Japan. So I am always looking for different ways and connections to survive in the art industry.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

I think it's important for every artist, whether you are a man or a woman, to practice your work seriously and think about what impact it can have on others. Careers don't have genders; girls can be whatever you want to be, and I want to live in a world where the term "female artist" does not exist.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

This year, I exhibited my largest body of work to date in my fourth major solo at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles.

What art piece do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I don't have a particular piece in mind because all of my work is based on my experience, and being a woman, I think it is only natural that my work reflect that. However, I believe art can have the power to reveal the experience of those who suffer from social problems.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Loretta Lux, Bjork, Yayoi Kusama, Masako Ando, Kimichi Nishiki

megan-majewski //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-megan-majewski-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-megan-majewski-mobile.jpg Megan Majewski | Vancouver, Canada

What inspired you to become an artist?

It is the only thing I ever wanted to do.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

I had to overcome the idea that being a full time artist wasn't possible and was only a unattainable dream.

If you didn’t need to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

I would probably spend it working. So it's probably good that I sleep, you need to take breaks from your work to see it with new fresh eyes.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Take the chance, you can always do something else if being an artist full time doesn't work out, but you can't go back in time to take that chance.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

From some of my favourite books and art pieces in my home... Camille Rose Garcia, Mandy Tsung, Samantha Williams-Chapelsky, Redd Walitzki, Tara McPherson. Too bad it's only 5, I could go on and on.

sophie-wilkins https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/5women-sophie-wilkins.jpg https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/5women-sophie-wilkins-mobile.jpg Sophie Wilkins

sophie-wilkins


What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is to have persisted in believing my dream of living my passion.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent International Women’s Day? Why?

My homage to Frida Kahlo. She is for me a symbol of courage and one of the great women who has marked the history of art.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

The advice I would give is that women have a place in the visual arts, it is about believing in oneself.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Frida Kahlo, Camille Claudel, Betty Goodwin, Sandra Chevrier, Heidi Taillefer

viviana-gonzalez https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/5women-viviana-gonzalez.jpg https://www.icanvas.com/img/cms/5women-vivian-gonzalez-mobile.jpg Viviana Gonzalez


What inspired you to become an artist?

I think it began when I was still at school, at the age of eleven. I liked to make illustrations and logos, which is why I eventually studied Graphic Design. With time I perfected my technique and about three years ago I dedicated myself 100% to art.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I've made art for bands and musicians (cover arts and posters). I love to do that because music is very important in my life, and has always been an inspiration.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It's a celebration of all women coming together, celebrating being women.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Leonara Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jay Defeo, Ethel Schwabacher

kahrianne-kerr //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-kahrianne-kerr-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-kahrianne-kerr-mobile.jpg Kahri | New York City

What inspired you to become an artist?

I have always loved making art and fashion and now I get to combine them both.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

I started painting again after my mom died a few years ago. It helped me deal with that loss and I've turned that art into my business.

Is there a particular female artist that you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

There are so many amazing female artists on Instagram. I love seeing their creations every day.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Just do it.

What art piece do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I love Rosie the Riveter in any form.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Yayoi Kusama, Frida Kahlo, Desiree Mattsson, Pat McGrath, Tanya Ling

lisa-whitehouse //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-lisa-whitehouse-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-lisa-whitehouse-mobile.jpg Lisa Whitehouse | Winnipeg, Canada

What inspired you to become an artist?

I have always loved nature and wildlife. Imdrawn to its beauty and energy.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist?

Time! I am a stay at home mom with 3 kids under 5 and finding the time in my busy schedule to paint can be a challenge.

Are there any accomplishments that you are most proud of?

I am proud of the growth I have accomplished both as an artist but as a company. I have seen my skills evolve and change over the last few years and it has allowed me to reach more people with my art.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Just start playing around and do not hesitate to get your stuff out there! I think a lot of people fear rejection so they don’t share their art with others. I sort of went about the opposite way. I started sharing my art right away and got better as time went on. Now I look back at my earlier pieces and cringe a bit!

Is there a particular female artist that you’d like to highlight or acknowledge?

I love Iris Scott! I am just completing a reno in my home and I fully intend to buy one of her fox paintings for my home.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Iris Scott, Richelle Bergen, Kari Lehr, Holly Ann Friesen, Justine Barry

iris-scott //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-iris-scott-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-iris-scott-mobile.jpg Iris Scott | Maple Valley, WA


What inspired you to become an artist?

In high school I sold two paintings,one to my teacher for $50 and another to the PTA for $200. I was hooked. Make money for art?! YES PLEASE

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

The obstacle of having a life that cost $$$... but an income through selling art that was only $. I overcame this obstacle in 2009 by moving to Taiwan and setting up shop for a year. From there, I sold worldwide through Facebook and began covering my life expenses strictly through painting. In the beginning,it's not about how much money you make,it's about how much money you're wasting. I got over my attachment to things and my need for an American lifestyle and that's when I was able to bloom. Eventually, when I could afford it, I returned to the states and later moved to New York. Slow and steady growth wins the race. It takes years to make a living from art, but it can happen much faster when the cost of living is brought way down.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I'm very proud of my upcoming solo show in New York "Ritual in Pairing" that will be curated by Gabriella Aruta of Filo Sofi Arts at High Line Nine. 6-9 pm May 4th @ 507 West 27th St. Hope to see you there!

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Sell all your possessions,sell your house, buy some art supplies, move abroad where the cost of living is low, sell online, ship worldwide, and don't leave home until you can afford to do so on paintings alone.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

Artemisia Gentileschi's work "Judith Slaying Holofernes" - To me this is the ultimate metaphor for Women's Day on multiple levels, some even gruesome. Though Carravagio's painting came first, her rendering is markedly more fantastic. It brings to mind a few ideas for me. 1. Most people don't know a women painted this over 400 years ago. 2. It's depicting women aggressively defending themselves against a giant threat. 3. Most people just assume a man painted this, which is what Women's Day is all about. Women's Day is about getting up on rooftops and shouting, "Hey! I'm here! and I deserve equal pay for equal work!"

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Rosa Bonheur, Tamara de Lempicka, Leonor Fini, Lavinia Fontana, Lucia Mathews

autumn-kalquist //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-autumn-kalquist-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-autumn-kalquist-mobile.jpg Autumn Kalquist aka Nature Magick | Vancouver, WA

What inspired you to become an artist?

I am a creator and storyteller. I create art through many mediums including through my Fractured Era science fiction book series, songs I write and record, my art, graphic designs, and photography. I love helping people find themselves through story. My heart says I must create and so I create!

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I have had cancer twice, once as a teenager (Hodgkin's lymphoma), and then breast cancer seventeen years later. I am currently going through chemotherapy for the second cancer. The first chemotherapy left me with long-term side effects like fatigue and "chemobrain". My biggest goal was to create a business for myself where I would be in charge of my schedule. I wanted to be able to create what I wanted to create each day and pay my bills while doing it. I have done this with both my fiction books and with Nature Magic (the art and photography licensing business I started with my partner.)

Another obstacle I've had to overcome is self-doubt. When I first started creating things, I had other people telling me I couldn't do it. They said it wouldn't work out, and that I couldn't make money "that way". I started writing books and creating art after my daughter was born. I was told it was selfish to take time to create art. I was advised it was irresponsible to invest in my art and that I ought to get a "real" job. I'm so happy I didn't listen to them!

Most artists I know have to deal with this pushback from friends, family and others. Don't listen to them. They may care about you and only want what's best for you, but the only thing that's true is that they don't actually know what you're capable of or what's possible. So do the thing anyway. Life is too short not to do your work. Keep doing what brings you joy.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Books from my science fiction series, Fractured Era, hit the USA Today Bestseller list at #16 in February 2016. I chose to self-publish to maintain control over my intellectual property, and I was the third self-published science fiction author to sell enough copies (20,000+ in one week) to hit that list and was the first female self-published sci-fi author to do so.

My partner and I decided to launch Nature Magick at the beginning of 2017 and quickly grew it into a successful and thriving business. Being able to create from home and pay all our bills and my medical bills while going through cancer has been such a blessing. I am so grateful to all of our customers and licensees.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Create every day and with joy. Create what your heart tells you to create. It isn't for you to judge the worthiness of your work of art. Have faith that if you feel called to create something that there is someone else in the world who needs and wants exactly what you are creating. Then make it and release it into the world so it can be discovered. I have found these things to be true over and over again but it takes a lot of faith when you first start sharing something new. Sometimes I'm the one who most needs that work of art. In creating the art,it transforms me. But many times I find others also need that work of art and want it, whether it be a book, a story, a song, a design,or a photograph. The universe is calling you to be a creator. Be brave and respond to the call.

Also, create abundantly. Don't hold on too tightly to your creations. Don't judge yourself or others according to standards set by someone else. By this, I mean do not buy into all the "rules" your peers and teachers tell you to abide by. The person who wants your art wants your art and doesn't care about the rules known only to people trained in that artform. I see lots of creators become paralyzed by all these rules. They think to be a "real" artist, they must follow them. Nope!

Learn your craft because you want to, but don't take yourself too seriously. Working through perfectionism and keeping faith that there is a person out there who needs your sacred work will help you create more quickly and release things into the world without fear. I call it sacred work because answering the call to be a creator will result in amazing changes in your life:changes in mind, body, and spirit as you both find yourself and create yourself through your artform each day.

You do not need a college education to become a creator and be successful at it. You only need the willingness and ability to learn new things, the bravery to fail and try again, and find tutorials or mentors along the way as needed. My mantra is "I show up every day, I do the work, I release the need to control the outcome."

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I don't have a particular piece. Every time a woman says to herself, "I will not let someone else tell me what I'm capable of" and "I will give MYSELF permission to create what my heart tells me to create." THAT is radical. That is an act of resistance in our society. That's the way to revolution, no matter what kind of art the woman chooses to create.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Taylor Voss. She is a singer, songwriter, and music producer. She also makes art for album covers. We have produced songs together, and she is incredibly talented and has exactly the positive mindset you need to nurture in order to keep showing up every day and creating your art.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Aimee Stewart, Sophie Wilkins, Wendy Ortiz, Eve Ventrue, Monica Worthington (Ravven).

christina-ramos //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-christina-ramos-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-christina-ramos-mobile.jpg Christina Ramos | Los Angeles, CA

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I wouldn't say "unnecessary". Life in general is an obstacle. I am a wife and a mother of four children. I am a caregiver to my elderly mother. I teach and have a very limited amount of free time. However, I believe the fact that many of my responsibilities that have required me to be home have also enabled me to create art anytime I have a free moment. I have always lived by the saying "Bloom where you are planted" and that's what I choose to do.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Shepard Fairey recently purchased one of my paintings which was pretty cool. I have several awards from the Portrait Society of America. Articles in Artists on Art, TRAC Conference, Poets and Artists Magazine, Southwest Art, and four issues of Acrylic Works. I have two pieces going to REHS Contemporary Gallery in New York beginning March 9 for the "I Observe" group show with PoetsArtists. I am also proud to be a representative of the Golden Paints Company as one of their "Working Artists". I get to go to Universities, Colleges and Art Schools and educate people about "all things paint". I am very blessed to not only have art as my passion, but also my job.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Talent is about 10% of the game. Hard work is the other 90%. I have seen some very talented artists who have squandered their talent with a poor work ethic. I do not have a lot of natural talent, however I will paint and paint, and read, and paint until I get it right. I believe in the 10,000 hour rule. Anything you put 10,000 hours into, you will be good at. “The Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell is my favorite book about how to be good at something.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

My painting "The Lookout" I feel expresses a strong, independent, fearless young woman. With a rifle and a pair of binoculars she scans the horizon for any potential threat.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

I love the work of Pamela Wilson. She has such a unique perspective and an incredible imagination. Her work is always pushing the boundaries with fresh perspectives, and an incredibly strong female viewpoint.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Since I live in the 21st Century, I choose to name my contemporaries as opposed to deceased artists: Pamela Wilson, Donna Bates, Sarah Strieber, Jane Davies, Adrienne Stein.

nava-lundy //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-nava-lundy-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-nava-lundy-mobile.jpg Nava Lundy | Parkland, Florida

What inspired you to become an artist?

I can not recall a time I didn’t identify as an artist. It has always been a calling.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Having three young children has forced me to organize my time and maximize any free time I have. I have everything ready to go when it comes to my studio. I know what I am going to work on before I go into the studio and now completely understand that waiting for inspiration is not part of success. Since time is such a luxury for me these days, every free second must be spent working on my art.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I have a painting in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and I know that this would have made them proud.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Work work work! The more you work, the more you will learn about your own unique voice.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I did a painting last year titled "Look Here." Her sheer size at 60x60 commands your attention. Using a black and white palette she feels dramatic and larger than life. Her presence on the canvas and in the space is powerful. She looks directly at the viewer but also does this through the lens of a camera as if we are her subjects. She is in charge, studying us as we look at her.

Thought Provoking Question: If you didn't need to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

Not even a question. I always wish I could paint all night long. When I finish a piece, I always fall asleep thinking of the painting I will do the next day.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

I just discovered Sarah Steiber on Instagram. Her palette reminds me of neon signs. It’s so cool and hits a pop culture nerve.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Nancy Rhodes Harper, Mary Pratt, Iris Scott, Daniela Stone, Erin McIntosh.

vian-borchert //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-vian-borchert-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-vian-borchert-mobile.jpg Vian Borchert | Maryland, USA

What inspired you to become an artist?

My mother is an artist. She inspired me to become an artist.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I have encountered many obstacles. Yet, I believe a true artist stays the course regardless of the hardships being faced. In my artistic career, I had to take the obstacles that I encountered as a learning experience towards my growth and journey as an artist and as a person.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I have gotten a number of awards throughout my art career. I am most proud of the fact that some of my paintings are in the permanent collection in the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

The advice I give to aspiring female artists is to stay true to yourself and believe in your dreams.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

I like the work of sculptor Louise Bourgeois. Bourgeois' artwork is very strong and deep and full of raw emotions. Her work speaks to me.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

My favorites are: Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keefe, Käthe Kollwitz, Yoko Ono, Louise Bourgeois.

sara-riches //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-sara-riches-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-sara-riches-mobile.jpg Sara Riches | Denmark Western Australia

What inspired you to become an artist?

Becoming an artist happened gradually for me. My mother is an amazing painter in the methods of the old masters so I grew up with a fascination for the arts and always loved drawing. Around 2013 events happened in my life that led me to start drawing again and I made a conscious effort to draw every day as a form of therapy. Art became my voice in a time I was not able to speak my truth and my journey started from there.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I grew up in a religious cult which frowns upon higher education and a career, especially for women, so this was a headspace I had to grow beyond personally to achieve any success as an artist. Also, I lived in an isolated country town which made sharing art difficult, and also three small kids at home, one with special needs so fitting in art around life around me was a crazy time. Starting out I felt like I had no real style of my own and it was overwhelming.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Overall I am proud of my art journey as a whole and how far my art has grown and progressed. Inspiring people from around the world who find something in my art they relate to is a beautiful humbling thing.
Having my art accepted into the Seattle Erotic Art Festival has been the highlight so far!

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

I would say jump in, draw, paint, take yourself out of your comfort zone trying new things. Share your work even if you don’t think it’s your best. If you don’t have room to paint make room. Who needs a kitchen table anyway right? Haha.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

It’s hard to choose one piece for this. All of my art celebrates and acknowledges female strengths, fragilities and emotions. As a cult survivor, I think my strongest piece to show strength and equality for women is “Advertise Advertise Advertise”, which shows a marionette cutting the strings, freeing herself from the male-dominated cult where she was forced to be submissive.

Thought Provoking Question: If you didn't need to sleep at night, what would you spend the time doing?

I do like doing my art at night after the kids are in bed. I also love sleep though!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

#Dorina Costras #Pamela Wilson #Lisa Murphy #Raffaella Bertolini # Sandra Chevrier

erin-ashley //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-erin-ashley-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-erin-ashley-mobile.jpg Erin Ashley | born in Naples, FL, grew up in California

What inspired you to become an artist?

I never thought about becoming an artist and never had any training in the arts. I tried painting for the first time and it just felt right so right away I was hooked!

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Yes. It was very frustrating at the beginning when I was trying to find what was my style. I remember the moment I stopped looking at other people’s art and really looked within myself. That is when my style started to bloom. I also asked myself what I would like hanging in my home which is a good question every artist should ask themselves.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

My most current accomplishment that I feel very honored to be doing is 12 large paintings for the inside of the Bank Of America Stadium in Charlotte NC.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Never give up! Try, try and try again you will get there.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

My mother. I grew up with a very creative mother who was always painting or drawing - she is amazing and at 77 yrs old her pencil portraits look more real than a photo. She also teaches art.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Elizabeth Peyton, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe, Mary Abbott and I have to mention myself, Erin Ashley.

blakely-bering //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-blakely-bering-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-blakely-bering-mobile.jpg Blakely Bering | Houston, Texas

What inspired you to become an artist?

Growing up with an artist mom, she always had us in the art room creating and experimenting. Those days inspired me to be a constant creator, I knew my hands were designed for making.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I have had to overcome the constant comments "Oh, how is that art hobby of yours?". I just smile, knowing I have collectors across the world and grace more living room walls than you can even imagine.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

My goal has always been to create art that would make people feel happy and to have my art in people’s living rooms. My goal in my early 20's was to have my art in the Horchow catalog. I met that goal not long after it was set. I owned an art gallery and curated over 100 shows, furthering artists careers. I love helping others find success with their art.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Always be creating, no excuses. Paint through the highs and the lows. Don't underestimate your talents. Get a thick skin and let negativity roll off your back.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

Frida Kahlo’s “Self portrait with Braid.” Frida is a constant symbol for strength. I was in an accident when I was 15 and her life has always reminded me to not let anything get in the way of creating art. Her determination to be an individual strong woman is incredibly inspiring.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Stephanie Gonzalez. She has incredible talent and work ethic. I am fortunate to paint alongside her every week brainstorming and experimenting. Collaboration is a beautiful process.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Frida Kahlo, Margaret Keane, Lee Krasner, Georgia O'Keeffe, Terrell James.

sophie-gamand //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-sophie-gamand-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-sophie-gamand-mobile.jpg Sophie Gamand | New York, US

What inspired you to become an artist?

I never had a choice, I was born that way! I tried more "conventional" careers but always came back to the arts. I struggled for years before finding a path that worked for me. Finding the message that mattered to me the most, understanding what I wanted my art to say, is what finally opened a career for me.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Photography is incredibly macho. Being a female photographer who takes pictures of dogs, was a big obstacle. It was impossible to be taken seriously. Women artists are constantly belittled and kept in sub-categories, especially when it comes to photography. Women could be pet photographers, wedding or maternity photographers, but "nothing more". They were viewed as cute hobbyists. Over the years though, women have revolutionized the industry in many ways, and we are slowly gaining more respect.

I once organized a meeting with one of the most important photo labs in New York City. I wanted them to sponsor prints for a local animal rescue organization. We spent an hour talking about the work the rescue did, my work, what we were trying to achieve. At the end of the meeting, the director of the lab, a very well respected man in the industry, looked at me and asked "What about you, what do you do? Are you a housewife?" It was humiliating. My work was everything to me. If I had been a man, this person would have never thought to ask "Are you a stay-home-dad?” It was like my work wasn't important enough to be a career. I still fume when I think about this meeting because I didn't dare to tell him off.

Since this meeting, I have successfully navigated the art world to find my own place and I don't have to hear the opinions of silly men behind their oversized desks anymore! In particular, finding my place on social media has been extremely freeing. Through social media, women artists can finally take their power back and write their own story, without being silenced or controlled by the men of their industries.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

My first big project, Wet Dog, won several awards and it was amazing! In particular, I won a Sony World Photography Award in the Portrait category. That was an amazing accomplishment. Here I was, with pictures of soaked dogs, competing against incredible photographers with very serious human-centric projects. When they called me to tell me I had won, I kept telling them they had made a mistake. I said "No, no, no, you are mistaken, my series is the one with the wet dogs. I think you meant to call another person". I was shocked. A lot of people in the photography industry didn't take a woman and her dog portraits very seriously. I could see there was a real stigma around my type of work. The judges had been unanimous, but some people in the audience were upset. Winning was the confirmation that I was on the right path though, that my dog portraits had something to offer. I wanted to photograph dogs as if they were human, and here I was receiving one of the most prestigious photo awards, in a category not primarily dedicated to animals or pets.

I also won several awards for my animal advocacy (for the work I do with shelter dogs), and those mean the world to me because advocacy is the best thing an artist can pursue. Being recognized for my charitable efforts is always an amazing feeling.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Women have incredible intuitions. We don't need to be told what to do! Just go for what feels right in your guts. And don't listen to silly men (or women) who try to dim your light.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

Each time a woman dares putting her art out there, it's a victory for equality. We have been belittled, mocked, we have been kept out of HIStory for millennia. Now that we have social media and direct access to our audience, nobody can stop us as we write HERstory in the arts.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

I have been following a few female artists who are truly revolutionizing their industry and the art world. I was always a fan of photographer Jill Greenberg (for her animal portraits and also for daring to photograph crying babies!), and I love what she is doing for gender equality. She recently launched Alreadymade.org, an online directory for commercial women photographers. Jill Greenberg believes that gender disparity in advertising photography not only limits the careers of women photographers, it also negatively affects our culture because we’re exposed primarily to a male perspective.
I am also in awe of Ami Vitale, an amazing photojournalist - one of the best of her generation. She also gives back to nonprofits a lot, which I think is important nowadays.

I love the work of illustrator Polly Nor (@Pollynor on Instagram), who draws women and their demons. Her work is powerful and thought-provoking in the best possible way. She talks about menstruation, female sexuality, body image.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Jill Greenberg (photographer), Ami Vitale (photojournalist), Polly Nor (illustrator), Ashley Longshore (painter), Anabela Chan (jeweler).

osnat-tzadok //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-osnat-tzadok-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-osnat-tzadok-mobile.jpg Osnat Tzadok | born and raised in Israel, lives in Canada

What inspired you to become an artist?

At the age of thirty-three, I was a housewife, busy raising my two children. My whole life revolved around running and managing my family’s home, as I didn’t have a work permit at the time. It was one morning when a friend of mine gave me a book to read “The Power of the Subconscious Mind”, by Joseph Murphy. She told me it changed her life and handed it on to me. I thanked her but was too tired to read the book as I preferred to sleep when I could. I left the book on my night desk for few nights before getting curious about it. However, the moment I started reading it I couldn’t leave it.

What is this book about you may ask? Well, “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” explains the mechanics, so-to-say, of our subconscious mind. It teaches the reader various techniques for removing obstacles that prevent us from achieving the success we want/deserve.

When I finished the book, I was still a full-time mom, and I didn’t even know where to start or what to ask, but I did have faith in the ideas and techniques I read in the book. So as suggested, I decided to create my own bedtime prayer that I repeated night after night. In essence, I prayed to find my purpose in life, with the conviction that the answer is already given to me, and with the sincere feeling that I have already accomplished this goal.

Two weeks went by, and another friend came over, asking me to go with her to an art supply store. I refused to go as I needed to make dinner and it was too late to take my two little ones with me. However, she insisted, and I need to thank her for that. The moment I stepped into that store I felt strange, I felt ignited. I felt exasperated and intrigued… I was staring at the canvases, brushes, and paints with a strong attraction. So I bought a few basic materials, rushed home, cleared the kitchen table and started to paint. I felt like I was in a state of flow with my own creation, and it felt awesome. I started to fill my house with paintings in within a month; all my walls were virtually covered with new artworks.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Yes, trends keep changing all the time and I had to expand my boundaries.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Keep doing what you love and success will follow. Believe in yourself and don't listen to those who tell you to quit.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

A piece of mine titled “Shine” describes a strong woman. In this piece, I painted a bold, colorful woman that can't be ignored.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Frida Kahlo: a female artist in a world of male artists that could get a “name” for herself. She was disabled and alone but she knew how to 'fly'.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Debra Hurd Mueller, Anna Razumovskaya, Nava Waxman, Ayala Raiter.

yolanda-fernandez-shebeko //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-yolanda-fernandez-shebeko-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-yolanda-fernandez-shebeko-mobile.jpg Yolanda Fernandez-Shebeko | McHenry, IL

What inspired you to become an artist?

My mother enjoyed drawing and taught me to copy as well as experiment.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Yes, I gave up an art degree for one in a more practical field of endeavor.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Success in nationally juried exhibitions, especially the Bowery Gallery and Blue Mountain Gallery, 2018 & 2019, in New York.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

To make your art part of your life, no matter how little time you may have at the moment to focus on it, and continue doing it for yourself first. Don't give it up.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

“White Flower”,1985 by Agnes Martin The artist's vision and statement with this piece stands up to any other artist's bright, more violent explosions.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Yes. Beate Minkovski (and Kelly Hensen), co-founders of Woman Made Gallery in Chicago. WMG is in its 27th year and has shown the work of over 8,000 women artists in a great venue and provided an opportunity for women artists working in all mediums to meet and interact with their peers.

Who are you #5WomenArtists?

Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Pat Passlof, Elizabeth Enders, Lois Dodd, all have reached a pure distillation of their own vision in their work. I envy them.

vlada-haggerty //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-vlada-haggerty-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-vlada-haggerty-mobile.jpg Vlada Haggerty | Los Angeles, CA

What inspired you to become an artist?

The desire for freedom and creative expression.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I think all of the obstacles that I had to overcome were necessary for my personal and professional growth. Losing a job has helped me discover my creativity.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I'm most proud of my gallery show at AFA Gallery in New York in 2017.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Support each other. We can all make it.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

To me it's my Rose Gold photograph it represents the inner strength I didn't know I had.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Italian/Canadian artist Camilla d'Errico has a very unique style. Her artworks combine two of my favorite things: bees and drips. Her artworks are colorful and dreamy and the varnishing videos she shares on her Instagram page @camilladerrico are simply mesmerizing!

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Margaret Keane, Camilla d'Errico, Ren Maddox, Mimi Choi, Sally Hewett.

francoise-wattre //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-francoise-wattre-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-francoise-wattre-mobile.jpg Françoise Wattré | Born in France, lives in Germany

What inspired you to become an artist?

There was and is this deep, mysterious and wonderful need for me to paint. I think that everything I experienced in life and what I capture – the sad and the happy things nourish this need.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I had to give myself the permission to pursue my great passion which I already felt as a child and to make my profession out of it.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I would prefer to say I’m grateful for having gallery exhibits, press mentions in Art Magazines and to participate in an international Art Fair this year. To be honest, the moment which touches my heart and soul most is when somebody tells me how happy my painting makes them. Then I feel so much joy and gratitude – after all, I paint to bring joy into this world.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Paint, paint, paint – and find your own voice, be kind to yourself and don’t compare yourself to others. When you think you’ve found your own unique voice, start to sell your work. Be brave, be patient and take every step with love.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I think the “Nanas” from Niki de Saint Phalle are strong symbols of female existence that express the energy of life, femininity and for questioning conventions.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Camille Claudel – she was a French sculptor and I love her work, especially “The Waltz.” She was fascinated with stone and she studied at one of the few places open to female students. She studied with sculptor Alfred Boucher. At the time, the École des Beaux-Arts barred women from enrolling to study. She met Rodin in about 1884 and afterward their artistic association and passionate relationship began. It’s still unclear how much credit has been taken away from her – I would love to travel back in time to look at her work and follow her process...

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Niki de Saint Phalle, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O´Keeffe, Camille Claudel, Flora Bowley.

katherine-smit //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-katherine-smit-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-katherine-smit-mobile.jpg Katherine Smit with Spacefrog Designs (Global Citizen)

What inspired you to become an artist?

Since about 3 years of age drawing came naturally as well as experimenting and creating with different mediums. All of my family members were/are creative individuals, so I grew up in a very artistic environment.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

The whole stigma attached to be an artist and having to suffer and struggle to make a living. That’s the beauty of present-day technology which has helped to dispel that myth…my emphasis had been on painting and printmaking, however, in order to adapt and expand my art exposure it was necessary to widen my skill set to include graphic design…digital art is amazing the creative possibilities are endless!

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I have been fortunate to have been published and participate in various exhibitions. However, I am most proud of being able to be a full time artist as my career and income!

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Follow your heart and creativity – don’t fight it, especially now with a global stage to showcase your talents! Hard work, constant practice and continually trying to push your style as well as keeping an open mind to learn new techniques… Don’t fall prey to negativity and self-doubt….

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

Pretty much most of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits – very ahead of her time expressing emotion without hesitation or as a weakness. An emphasis on feminine inner strength– a true visionary for paving the way for future female artists!

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

The following 3 current artists all have vastly different styles all unique and inspiring…. Jennifer Fairbanks (classical oil painting style with contemporary undertones), Elisabeth Fredriksson (brilliant commercial organic style) and Sofia Bonati (stunning stylized modern portraits)

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe Louise Nevelson, Beverly Doolittle, Frida Kahlo.

kristina-makeeva //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-kristina-makeeva-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-kristina-makeeva-mobile.jpg Kristina Makeeva aka Hobopeeba | Moscow

What inspired you to become an artist?

I show the world that everyone is surrounded by the amount of magic that he/she can see. I try to teach people to see.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I am proud of all my exhibitions and awards, but the most important thing that I am proud of is the comments from my viewers that their day became a little brighter when they looked at my work. They again believed in magic.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

I do not like to give advice because every artist has his/her own way, but if really needed then my main thesis is: everything is achieved through persistence and work.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

No matter how trite it may sound, for me, the most powerful woman is still Frida Kahlo.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Audrey Kawasaki

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Audrey Kawasaki, Ami Sol, Annie Leibovitz, Maria Svarbova, Agnieszka Lorek, me - Kristina Makeeva @hobopeeba.

shalimar-legaspi //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-shalimar-legaspi-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-shalimar-legaspi-mobile.jpg Shalimar Legaspi | Raleigh, NC

What inspired you to become an artist?

There isn’t a particular event in my life that inspired me to become an artist. I never even really aspired to such a title. It’s just always what I’ve been. Art has always been a medium of expression for me, as naturally as some people speak or sing or dance. I’ve always felt I could express myself better with color than with words.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Advancing professionally in any endeavor comes with obstacles. Over the years I have put a tremendous amount of effort into teaching myself how to work with paints resulting in a lot of trial and error that has helped me develop the techniques I use to express myself accurately. As I grew professionally the obstacles became more logistical in nature: finding places to exhibit and sell my art, learning how to promote myself and find those most interested in collecting my work. This takes a lot of time and patience.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I have yet to enjoy much recognition from the mainstream/academic art community, but I haven’t really catered to that market either. I guess I’m just super happy with the following I’ve cultivated organically. Where I used to struggle just to find a local venue to exhibit my work, the more recent challenge has been having pieces left to display that haven’t sold before my events. I’ve never believed in chasing a target market; I paint for myself, I paint what makes me happy. If someone finds my work so inspiring they choose to take it home to share in that joy forever, then by this metric I have succeeded.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

I think it’s crucial to be honest with yourself about who you’re painting for and what your goals are. Do you intend to make art your full time job? Then prepare to be beholden to the market. Are you trying to challenge or influence the national discourse? Then be daring and take risks! Just remember: while art is for everyone, all art isn’t for everyone. If your goal is to shock your viewers, to push them uncomfortably out of their comfort zones – and there is a place for this, to be clear! – consider that your work may not hold broad commercial appeal. I love art that challenges me, but it may not be what I hang on my wall to wake up to in the morning. Harmony is achieved when you can cultivate the following of people who genuinely enjoy your style and subjects as much as you do. It is easy to just say “paint what inspires you” but, I’ve learned that with a very competitive market, you should paint what inspires you and also try to appeal to a larger market. I’ve learned that telling a story through your art allows your audience to connect with you and want to purchase your art even more. You have got to be brave at putting yourself out there. Social media is a big reason for my success and it takes a lot of dedication and discipline to promote yourself on a regular basis.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

I wish I could name even one female artist who has really inspired me artistically. There are certainly historical figures, giants from the Impressionist movement, whose shoulders I stand on stylistically. But I honestly can’t name a single modern female artist who has significantly influenced my work. This certainly reflects not a lack of serious women artists, but the need for platforms like this one to help bring more attention to their work. I feel honored to be featured here next to so many other successful women on iCanvas. #IrisScott, #DenaTollefson, #JulianSpencer, #MonaEdulesco, #KimParker are some of my favorite female iCanvas artists.

jen-starwalt //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-jen-starwalt-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-jen-starwalt-mobile.jpg Jen Starwalt | Hermosa Beach, CA

What inspired you to become an artist?

From a very young age I can alway remember loving art. Art was something that always came naturally to me. I was never the top student in the class or the best athlete on the team, but art, that was my place. It was my place to be free, to express and to feel. Art is my joy.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I’m a fairly small build and I work very large, so I always get comments about how such a small “girl” can work so large. I’m not sure I ever viewed this as an obstacle, though it’s certainly a judgment but I always embraced it and used it to my advantage.

Being a mother of young children I also battle with that work/family balance. I grew up in a very supportive home, but my mother was a stay at home mom who was always there for everything. Naturally I also wanted that for my own children so for a very long time I stopped creating, thinking that was what I had to do as a woman and mother.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

One exhibit I am the most proud of and always enjoy is participating in the South Eastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) every year in Charleston South Carolina. It’s a three-day wildlife conservation and fine art show. Being surrounded by a ball room full of the world’s top wildlife artists and people who care deeply for the conservation of this planet and the creatures that call it home is a wonderful experience.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Do what brings you Joy. Your time here is never guaranteed so don’t let fear, others opinions or your own limiting beliefs hold you back from sharing your passion with the world. Everyone has something special inside whether it’s art, music, physical gifts or an amazing brain, find your unique gift and share it.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I don’t deal with the feminine that much in my work but I do have one piece that is dear to my heart. It’s a large painting of a Black Bear titled “Guardian Mother.” I created it live at an event then auctioned it at the end of the night. The woman who bought it had been back and forth watching the painting come to life all night. After the event I got to know her and her story and while I won’t share those details, it’s a story that really shows the strength of a mother. So that painting for me really holds a strong place in my heart for symbolizing feminine strength.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

I would have to say Sharron Deems. I’m sure that name is not one anyone will know. She was my color theory and drawing with color professor in college. She introduced me to my all time favorite soft pastels and really pushed me to see and use color as an expression not a representation.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Zaria Foreman, Kathryn Mapes Turner, Beatrix Milhaze, Reisha Perlmutter, Erin Hanson.

piia-pievalainen //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-piia-pievalainen-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-piia-pievalainen-mobile.jpg Piia Pievilainen | Finland

What inspired you to become an artist?

What inspired me the most was the understanding that I am free to create. What inspires me most in everyday life? Dreams, laziness and sudden thoughts.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Working as an artist was never part of my plan, although I spent my childhood drawing, dreaming, and creating fairy-tales. Instead of arts, I ended up in a completely different profession and worked in healthcare for 10 years.

At some point I found myself dreaming again - and soon I found myself painting and drawing. It filled all my time and thoughts. The decision to completely throw into the new matured slowly, but in the end, it was the only option.

So far my greatest victory has definitely been to overcome my fears and limitations, to give up all familiar and safe, and throw myself into a new. In the end, it only required trust in myself and my dreams.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Put your all into it! Believe in yourself and just trust. It may require a few steps out of your comfort zone, but usually, it’s worth it. What’s stopping you?

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

For me personally, my constantly growing Lady art series represents all that. It’s my personal victory and example of strength.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

I live in a small, scandinavian country with lots of special features. For example, we don’t see much of the sun in the winter, but in the summer, our nights are bright. Because of these special features, I believe our people are special too. Although artists worth mentioning are found worldwide, I’m privileged to bring out some Finnish artists here. Here are five to highlight: Helene Schjerfbeck, Tove Jansson, Karoliina Hellberg, Jenni Hiltunen, Sofia Kukkonen.

nadira-simon //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-nadira-simon-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-nadira-simon-mobile.jpg Nadira Simone aka GNODpop | New York

What inspired you to become an artist?

I've always loved the process of creating.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

There have always been naysayers, people who were quick to tell me what I can't do, what I won't accomplish. The little engine that could voice inside of me has always been louder, saying “I think I can, I think I can.” It may be more stubbornness than confidence.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I'm most proud of being able to create and do what I love for a living. Every time someone cares enough to display, purchase, compliment a piece of my work I am proud. Simply because I know they didn't have to, so many things and people get ignored. To be seen, heard and appreciated is a beautiful thing.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Do what you feel, create the things that move you. There's an audience for every artist.

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

Carrie Mae Weem’s “Kitchen Table Series” for me represents the strength and beauty of women. One table, one light and the multitude of images that represents one woman's story, that can easily be all women's story. From the caressing of a lover to the mimicking of a mother and daughter. From the solidarity of friendships to the solitude we all must endure.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Marcia Jones. She's the definition of a dope artist and teacher whose work I have always admired.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Carrie Mae Weems, Faith Ringgold, Frida Kahlo, Kara Walker, Elizabeth Catlett.

ieva-baklane //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-ieva-baklane-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-ieva-baklane-mobile.jpg Ieva Baklane | Vancouver, Canada

What inspired you to become an artist?

I come from a family of artists. Both parents were well known and respected artists in Latvia. I grew up with art and by the age of 12 joined a classical art education school.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

It is quite an irrational decision to become an artist. For the most part, artists struggle to make it financially and it's not always easy. Only a minuscule percentage of us "make it”. I love what I do and have been fortunate and lucky to make a living from my painting. I have also many times questioned how reasonable it is to be an artist.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I started exhibiting in art galleries at the age of eighteen in Riga, Latvia. I had many solo shows in Riga and won a couple of art competitions too. After moving to Canada I had three sold-out shows in Buckland Southerst gallery in West Vancouver (2006, 2007, 2008).

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Believe in yourself and your uniqueness. Get a good classical(or not classical) art education. Don't compare yourself to other artists too much. Take good care of yourself emotionally and physically-it is very important. Art can be very physically and emotionally demanding and draining. As females we are born caretakers, so doing art especially after having children is at the times hard and challenging, but it is all worth it!

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

My mom, Latvian artist Vija Maldupe (1947-1996). I love her paintings. She was an amazing colorist. Many of her paintings are in Latvian State Museum of Art collection and many private collections throughout the world.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Peyton, Lee Krasner and Vija Celmins.

geneva-b //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-geneva-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-geneva-b-mobile.jpg Geneva B| Sylva, North Carolina

What inspired you to become an artist?

Video games! I played a lot of Japanese role playing games as a child and they had a huge impact on me. The scenery, music and lore are so inspiring and keep me fueled to this day!

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

Being black I have had general institutional hurdles against me in upbringing and having the materials to even draw but I feel extremely blessed to have had such a supporting net of parents and teachers who have helped me pursue art growing up.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

I'm very proud to have won a 2018 Hugo Award at Worldcon! Two close seconds would be being the illustrator of a children's book about Beyonce (Beyonce: Shine Your Light), and writing a children's book of my own (Allie & Gator).

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Rome wasn't built in a day! A lot of young women artists work for the "recognition" while they are still young. I say pace yourself. You have your entire life to work on your art. You don't need to be "famous" or known for art by some arbitrary age.

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Anna Dittmann's ethereal portraits of women are so breathtaking! She is one of my biggest inspirations.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Faith Ringold, Frida Kahlo, Elizabeth Catlett, Mary Cassatt, Elaine Sturtevant

ettavee //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-ettavee-b.jpg //a.icanvas.com/images/artist-featured/5women-ettavee-mobile.jpg EttaVee from US | Lives in France

What inspired you to become an artist?

Colorful editorial photo shoots found in fashion magazines growing up.

Did you have to overcome any unnecessary obstacles to become a professional artist? If yes, please explain.

I would say that my own tendency for being a perfectionist held me back for many years.

Are there any accomplishments (awards, accolades, exhibitions, etc.) that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it!

Having my artwork picked up and sold in my favorite store of all time!

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists?

Own your fierceness, be kind and learn how to pitch yourself!

What art piece (yours or another artist’s) do you think is the strongest piece to represent strength & equality for women? Why?

I think my "Yes Girl" piece is simple, but packed full of optimism and empowerment. Yes Girl, you can do ANYTHING!!

Is there a particular female artist that you'd like to highlight or acknowledge? Please tell us about her!

Nikki Cade is a Texas-based artist who creates beautiful hand painted globes and holds inspiring artist retreats around the world.

Who are your #5WomenArtists?

Nikki Cade, Jade Purple Brown, Lisa Congdon, Erin Summer and Melissa A. Mitchell