A colourful, hand-drawn illustration of a spunky, spectacled lady with green and black hair reads: Clara is an engineer and she’s done hearing that women and mathematics don’t go together. Relax Clara. Those who think that gender determines intellectual performance can’t really have good logical thought.
A series of over 30 such illustrations, profiling women who are tall, skinny, overweight, disabled or different in anyway, have been making the rounds of Facebook lately, winning over 5,000 likes. Their creator, Brazilian designer and illustrator Carol Rossetti, originally conceived them in Portugese, which have become immensely popular on the web and are now being translated into 15 different languages.
Rosetti, in an email interview, says, “This is a personal project. I did it mostly to show my work as an illustrator, and hoped people would call me more often to illustrate children’s books, or something.” She has included a variety of illustration styles. “When I started posting this series, it actually turned out to be quite a success. The drawing, the texts, and the concepts are all done by me,” says the 26-year-old.
The series features women who have decided not to shave, who are tall and still want to wear heels, women who want to lose weight but can’t, two women in a relationship who are encouraged to not keep it a secret and many similar illustrations. The idea was to create a web series that would give the same message to women — to feel free.
“I started my work with situations that I saw happening close to me, with me or with people I know. I heard some people saying on the Internet it was so silly to defend women who didn’t shave because nobody really cared about that. May be that’s true in many European countries, but in Brazil, it is still a big issue, and it is worth talking about it,” says Rossetti.
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Currently, an Australian co-worker translates the text from Portugese to English. Rossetti’s illustrations have been featured in magazines and people from all over the world were offering to help with translations. “What can I say, the web is a huge place,” she jokes. We quiz her on her future projects and she answers, “Right now I’m very focused on my online shop, where I’ll sell prints and postcards. I hope it will be ready by August.”