Q + A with Girl Power Illustrations

Hannah is an illustrator currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is actively fundraising for Girls Build and each month, she poses a question to her viewers and illustrates those who answer the question. 

The one thing I always try to remember is that only I can draw like I draw, and only I can create what I create.
— Hannah
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1. You started Girl Power Illustrations in hopes to making social media a more "empowering, authentic, and reciprocal place". What has your experience been like thus far? 

The experience has been magical! The three words that guide Girl Power Illustrations are words that I think more social media users need to think about as they create, post, and interact with the community.  I realize "empowering" and "authentic" are overused buzzwords right now, but there is a difference between using them because they are trendy, and using them because you truly want to embody them. With every illustration I create or interaction I have with a collaborator (some people say followers or audience, I say collaborator) I hope it is apparent that I work hard to embody those words. Reciprocal is a word I hear less often in the context of social media. I included this word as one of my guiding words after I read a statistic that said, “89% of social media messages to brands go ignored”. That isn’t okay and I think this lack of reciprocity directly impacts our mental health. I am really excited about Girl Power Illustrations because in just a few months we have created a community that I think embodies those three words and is empowered the pass the message along. 

2. Your illustrations are for sale, and with each sale, a portion is donated to Girls Build. Why did you choose this particular charity?

Last year I had the opportunity to spend an hour at a Girls Build camp. When I walked up I saw young girls hammering, using a table saw, measuring, and painting. They were all so confident and I think it was partly because of the hands-off approach the leaders had (the girls were in full safety gear and were never in danger!) Instead of the girls interacting with someone who doubted them, they were interacting with leaders you were confident in their abilities and believed in their capabilities. Once the girls started to name all the tools in their tool belt and I hadn’t hear of half of them, I was hooked!

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3. What are some long term goals for Girl Power Illustrations?

I really want to paint a collaborative mural somewhere in the word, so if anyone has a wall, please let me know! 

I will continue to collaborate with organizations and be an outspoken advocate for more kindness and reciprocity on social media.

4. What inspired you to start this project?

When I got my Wacom tablet in January 2018, I started practicing right away. I started my drawing my friends, but I quickly got bored of drawing the same friends over and over. 

It was a time when I was learning a lot about self-compassion, and because I am very visual person I was looking for a lot of quotes and visuals to remind me to be more kind to myself. I had some trouble finding art I really connected with though, and I realized other women likely have the same issue of not seeing themselves reflected in art quotes or art they see. That’s when I decided to start Girl Power Illustrations on Instagram. I could combat the rough world of social media and create art with women who needed it most. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started. It was scary to start posting my art on Instagram because I was (and still am) new to drawing. The one thing I always try to remember is that only I can draw like I draw, and only I can create what I create. There are a lot of artists that are better than me, but if I stay authentic to who I am, my art will be unique without me trying to be unique.

5. We are thrilled to have you with this collective, especially because your goals align closely with ours! Other than doing Hope + Easel, what is next for you in 2018?

I received a big custom order last week for an organization that promotes girl power, so that will take up a lot of time! I will share it when I am done. 

And once again…I want to do a collaborative mural in 2018! Spread the word!

Learn more about Girl Power Illustrations here. 

Jessie ReynaComment