“Don’t worry too much about being neat and tidy, that’s the point of a doodle. Relax and draw whatever comes into your head.”
We’re absolutely loving the way feminism and art have been coming together to fight the good fight. After German street art activist Elonë Kastratia’s feminist messages on menstrual pads in her city and Rupi Kaur’s evocative photoseries on periods, we came across UK-based cartoonist and illustrator Gemma Correll’s adorable illustrations that puts a hilarious spin on the deluge of posts we come across online featuring the objectification of women and other absurd patriarchal expectations.
Whether it’s what you’re wearing or what you’re doing in bed, everyone seems to think that a woman does things only for the benefit of someone besides herself. In the digital space, we’re bombarded with countless guides dictating how it is people are ‘supposed to’ dress, speak and behave; it’s a vortex of ‘should be’s and ‘must have’s that Gemma Correll challenges with her illustrations, and she’s going to have you cracking up with how quirky and spot on they are.
“I find inspiration everywhere I go, but mostly from people that I see,” the full-time professional illustrator says in an interview with Milk Tooth Rain. “My work is very narrative-based so often I am influenced by overheard conversations, or something that I read in a newspaper.”
That’s probably what makes Correll’s work so easy to identify with; these assumptions that people make about what it is all women want to read about, these conversations you overhear - this is something you’re subjected to regardless of which part of the world you’re in. Correll, who has always enjoyed drawing, started making her own ‘books’ where she’d write and illustrate stories in old notebooks that she found. She went on to make her own comics in primary school, drawing and photocopying them. “I’d spend my pocket money buying ‘Penny sweets’ (sweets that cost 1p each) and sellotape them to the front cover of the comic,” she says. “Then I sold the comics at school for 20p each.” Always been an entrepreneur then, eh?
Through wordplay and wild exaggerations, she highlights exactly how ridiculous society’s notions are, with a healthy dose of cat thrown in because hey, it’s the internet. And with Correll, it’s definitely being used for good, not evil. Check out her illustrations right here:
If you like what you see, you should definitely check out more of her work right here.