To celebrate International Women's Day, we're celebrating some of the most empowering female creatives on Envato...
Ready to be inspired? Let’s meet these leading ladies, learn how they create their work, and hear their words of wisdom for other women in the creative industries…
1. NassyArt (Anastasia Smiyan)
Envato Author NassyArt – AKA Anastasia Smiyan – creates polished and playful graphics and illustrations which she shares on Envato, Behance and Instagram. An artist and illustrator from Kiev, Ukraine, Nassy’s works features a variety of experimental materials and textures, as well as artistic portraits of women, girls and other female-identifying people. Representing feminine individuals of all races, body types, sexualities and genders, Anastasia has been praised for the high level of diversity in her work.
“I draw portraits of women of different races, pregnant women, business and fashionable women – mainly because I understand women’s themes more. While I like to draw women, to me it doesn’t matter what gender you are – the main thing is what you’re capable of. People should be judged for their achievements and hard work, not for their gender. There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish. We have the power to give life, which means that nothing is impossible for us.”
As a woman who has worked in art and design for many years, Anastasia has these words of wisdom for other women looking to do the same:
“I would advise other women to create what inspires them. It’s very important to enjoy the process of your work – for me, the best advice I ever received was to properly set up my time management to balance work and rest.”
2. TasiPas (Tatiana Pastushkovva)
Photographer, artist and writer Tatiana Pastushkovva – AKA TasiPas – has produced over 1,500 stunning photographs and images for Envato Elements since she became an Envato author in 2016. Her work features stunning outdoor landscapes, aesthetic flat lays, flowers, fruits and other flora, in rich bright colors.
As a successful artist and photographer who found her passion later in life, Tatiana is a fierce advocate for changing how older women are treated in the creative industries and portrayed in the media.
“I’m not just a photographer and artist – I’m a 51-year-old model, beta tester, blogger, writer, and so much more. It’s time to change the way that older creative women are represented in the media: we aren’t just grandmothers – we’re just as valid and creative as anyone else.”
Now living out her childhood dream, Tatiana is all about embracing femininity in her work and finding inspiration in both her own lived experience as well as the work of other women.
“My experience as a woman has had a big influence on my creativity. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a little girl’s dream – playing with flowers, ribbons and other beautiful things. I love it! I’m inspired by so many creative women worldwide – Anna Kucherova, Balabolka and many others. Sharing knowledge and experience is the best way to support other women in this industry.”
Tatiana offers this advice to her fellow female artists:
“Woman or not, there is only one rule for creators: do your best. If you start a creative career wanting immediate results or a steady income, it won’t work out. Take baby steps and be patient. The best advice I’ve ever heard is “don’t quit your day job”. The stability of a day job ensures you have security while you strive to accomplish new creative achievements.”
3. A_Slowik (Aleksandra Slowik)
A_Slowik – aka Aleksandra Slowik – always knew that art was her calling. Starting her creative journey at the age of 11, the Russian artist studied art at both school and university, giving her the tools to carve out a career for herself as an artist and illustrator. Aleksandra draws inspiration from esotericism and meditation, and specializes in sacred geometry, and magical symbols – making her one of the most unique and mystical authors on Envato Elements.
However, Aleksandra believes that gender is no barrier when it comes to art and creativity.
“The female experience gives a liveliness, grace, and subtlety to my work. I’ve never faced any difficulties or barriers in my creative career related to gender, but gender should not matter when it comes to art – quality, idea and execution are more important. I think the art industry should be free of gender entirely.”
As a woman who has worked in the creative industry for more than 10 years, Aleksandra urges other female creators to put their self-doubts aside and share their art with the world.
“I would advise new artists not to hide their work. Often artists don’t share their art with the world because they’re afraid of what people might think. If you hoard your work on your desk, you won’t get new ideas. Be generous with your creativity and your community will give back.”
4. helloDigi (Maya Delia)
Envato author helloDigi – otherwise known as Maya Delia – creates everything from enchanting floral and watercolor illustrations to, chic, elegant product mockups. The 32-year-old designer and illustrator, who has more than 12 years of experience, has collaborated with big global companies such as Lukoil and Geely, and she also shares her work on Instagram and her website. Maya’s’s even produced her own NFT collection, CryptoHansClub.
According to Maya, Envato has helped her not only achieve her dreams but also find creative independence and financial freedom.
“I came across Envato way back in 2010. I saw the ThemeForest website and was immediately inspired by the web templates – it made me eager to create my own. Since then, I set myself a goal to become an Envato author. Many unsuccessful attempts were made, but through hard work and self-improvement, I managed to make it happen.
As a successful designer and Envato author, Maya’s top advice for female artists is to simply dive in and pursue their passion.
“My best advice is to act today and don’t delay! Don’t be afraid, just start creating, make mistakes, and keep learning. You have to believe in yourself and in your work so that others will believe in it too. The most valuable advice I’ve been given is to be original – there’s no point trying to copy someone else. The best way to support female creatives is not to focus on their gender – treat us as professionals and judge us only on our creativity.”
5. Webvilla (Beata Pijanowska)
Envato Author Webvilla – also known as Beata Pijanowska – specializes in romantic floral and watercolor illustrations. A freelance designer living in Poland, Beata produces graphics, designs, as well as website and mobile templates for Envato Elements, which she shares on her Instagram account and website.
“Since the beginning, I knew I would paint flowers – I love them. I like to create floral illustrations in both watercolor and vector. It is small a niche, but a very flexible one – I create designs for everything from wedding stationery and cards, to websites and fabric patterns.”
When it comes to being a woman in the creative industries, Beata has encountered a barrier faced by many other creators – how to stand out in an incredibly competitive creative field.
“There is only one barrier: how to get noticed. There are so many talented artists in the floral illustration industry, each with their own style. So how do you stand out, stay relevant and encourage people to buy your artwork? I’m still trying to figure this out.
You should support female creatives just as same as you support any other artists – buying their illustrations, spreading the word about their work, sharing their art online, leaving positive comments on their social media posts and connecting them with potential customers.”
Beata is passionate about learning and evolving as an artist; here are her words of wisdom for other female illustrators:
“The most important thing is to start now. Don’t waste time overthinking whether you should be an illustrator or not – just get started! Prepare your profile on social media and upload your first photos. The most valuable advice I’ve ever received was to not compare your work to others, as you’ll always find someone better. Just enjoy painting or drawing and choose to create art full of happiness.”
6. Frimages (Franzi)
Six years ago, Franzi decided to turn her hobby into a career – and she’s never looked back. Now working as a full-time illustrator in Berlin, Franzi is passionate about encouraging other women to follow their creative dreams and start their own businesses – despite the challenges and barriers they may face.
“I think as women, we’re taught to not take any risks, therefore a lot of us struggle to start our own businesses. Having a regular job often seems the safer option – my family, for example, didn’t like the idea of me quitting my job at all. I remember taking a course on freelancing before I started to work independently, and there was only one other woman in the course – there were only two of us in a room full of men. But I encourage other women to take the leap.”
Now the owner of a successful business and a stand-out author on Envato Elements, Franzi has this advice for other female designers and artists who are just starting out:
“I just want to let women know that it’s possible to earn a living in the creative industries and that it’s totally worth giving it a try. Be brave, believe in yourself, and join communities with other talented women to help support each other.”
7. EvgeniyaPorechenskaya (Eugenia Porechenskaya)
Eugenia’s photography is all about grabbing attention and sparking joy, and she’s mastered the art of creating unique yet perfectly commercial photographs. Snapping hundreds of photographs that say “pay attention to me, I’m bright!”, her main goal is to create recognizable, aesthetically pleasing work that sells – and that’s exactly what she’s doing on Envato.
As a seasoned creative with plenty of experience under her belt, Eugenia is excited about the new opportunities becoming available to female artists and creatives.
“Everything is available to women now – we can express ourselves however we want. There is a huge community of female designers and creators out there, and this year, more opportunities have opened up for having our work realized. For example, Virtual Reality and NFT art both have huge potential for digital artists.”
As for her words of wisdom for other women wanting to dive into an art career, here’s what Eugenia has to say:
“My advice is for women to just be themselves, be real and do what brings you pleasure. Design should delight and inspire, so don’t be afraid to experiment, use bright colors, do new things and travel to new places to spark ideas. Travel is a must for creative women – your work should be changing and evolving all the time. Don’t sit in one place, go out and explore the world.”
8. Telllu (Ingga Endita Nafasyah)
With an educational background in graphic design as well as more traditional arts and crafts, Ingga’s diverse portfolio includes everything from fonts and graphics to doodles, line art and flat illustrations.
“I position myself as the user when creating an item,” she explains. “I always make sure that everything is user-friendly, well organised and customizable. My favourite item to create is line art, as you can use it in logos, artwork, printed design, branding – the list goes on.
“Keep exploring, always feed your curiosity and stop trying to be someone else. Selling digital assets is not just about creating something good – it’s about ingenuity, consistency, good packaging, good branding, and so much more. I think Nadi Spasibenko is a creator that does all of this very well.”
As an artist who has worked hard to get where she is today, Ingga had this to say about being a women in the creative industries:
“As women, sometimes we feel like we can’t speak up – but in fact, we just need to be heard. Luckily, as artists and designers, we can visualize our female experience in our artwork and illustrations and share them for the world to see. I’m thankful to Envato Elements for always supporting female creatives.”
9. Pixel Colours (Bec Ralec)
Specializing in romantic hand-drawn fonts, Pixel Colours has a portfolio that’s overflowing with gorgeous typography for any project or occasion. Everything is created by the woman behind Pixel Colors Design Studio, Bec Ralec, who’s based in Costa Rica. As Pixel Colours, Bec produces high-quality graphic design elements that are simple, accessible, and perfect for making any project stand out.
Bec’s portfolio is a celebration of all things feminine, including a style that’s simple, modern and refined
“I love anything feminine. I’m inspired by cute things, nature, creation, fashion, and of course, an excess of pink – colors make me happy! I try to convey the sensitivity, grace and beauty of women in my work through shape and color.”
As a professional designer and business owner, Bec’s greatest advice to other designers is to start with what you have, and most importantly – practise, practise practise!
“Start from where you are and with what you have – you already have what you need. Practise is your best teacher; you will improve and learn from every single project you do. We are not perfect, so instead of trying to perfect every little detail, finish that project and move to the next. I admire every designer’s work as I know the hours and even months that it takes to complete a project and the love and effort that is behind each product.”
10. Kaleriia (Kaleriia Tverdokhlib)
Ukraine-based Envato Author Kaleriia Tverdokhlib produces elegant botanical illustrations, portraits, and abstract paintings which combine realism, watercolor and mysticism. Featuring a wide range of diversity in her work, Kaleriia is passionate about drawing women and girls of all shapes, sizes and cultures to celebrate the female form.
“I really love to draw women,” she says. “They fit the overall picture of bright colors and plant patterns better than anything else. I adore the styles of other nations — Eastern, African, Northern, Asian — I love to draw stylish and strong modern women.
My experience as a woman has not only influenced my career – it was, in fact, the beginning and the basis of my creativity. In my acrylic paintings, I only paint women. A lot of people ask me why, and I don’t really know the answer myself – there is an incomprehensible, distant mystery in the female image.”
Drawing inspiration from other artists and creators, Kaleriia advises others to support female creatives by building them up and purchasing, sharing and praising their work.
“I haven’t encountered any discrimination based on gender, but platforms like Envato are great at uniting, supporting and motivating female artists. I am constantly encouraged by strangers who send messages of support, and who repost and promote my art on their social networks. This is an ideal way to support female artists – repost, like and share their work.”
For more creative inspiration, check out our blog on Top 10 Female Designers to Follow on Instagram, 10 Incredible Indigenous Designers to Follow on Instagram or our top Graphic Design Trends of the year.
You can also find International Women’s Day articles on Envato Tuts+, such as Women You Should Know in Graphic Design History and The Influence of Women on Graphic Design Over the Last 100 Years. Or, head over to Envato Elements to start creating today!