And just like that, it’s already March and a year has passed since the global pandemic began. Luckily with March, we have something to celebrate as March marks Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day. To mark both occasions, we’re partnering with the Female Design Council (FDC) for the second year to highlight five talented women-identifying designers, artists and makers and their incredible work. The Female Design Council was launched in 2016 by kinder MODERN founder Lora Appleton as a platform to support all women in the design industry. The design world has long been male dominated but female and female-identifying designers and artists are breaking molds every day, especially with organizations like the FDC aiding the process, and it’s a welcome sight! In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, we’re sharing five of those designers and artists that are changing the game.
1. Season Evans
Pennsylvania-born Season Evans is a self-taught quilt and textile artist whose work proves that while quilting is rooted in tradition, the outcome can be modern. Based in Seattle, her quilts are canvases that tell stories inspired by traditional patterns she remembers from childhood and having lived in different cities and the experiences that come with that. Season finds the quilt making process, with its intimate, tactile and repetitive nature, a form of meditation which translates to the hypnotic patterns she creates that perfectly fit contemporary life.
2. Tom Lerental of Tomma Bloom
Located in Boston, Tom Lerental is a textile designer, artist and founder of multidisciplinary design studio, Tomma Bloom. After earning a B. Design in textiles (Cum Laude) from Shekar College and an MA in Interdisciplinary Art from Tel-Aviv University, she began a studio practice that thrives on visual and material exploration. Incorporating a love of color and textures, the studio creates surface designs, woven fabrics, tufted art and object designs that merge history and folklore to tell a contemporary story.
3. Anishka Clarke of Ishka Designs
Jamaica-born, Brooklyn-based Anishka Clarke is the Interior Design Director of Ishka Designs, a firm she leads with partner, Niya Bascom, where she focuses on creating beautiful, timeless spaces that are nature-inspired, minimalist and modern. After a decade working in finance, her love of interior design smartly came calling leading to accolades like being named on Elle Decor’s A-List for 2019 and 2020, and the firm’s projects being featured in various forms of media. Just last month, the Obsidian Virtual Concept House, the first initiative of The Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), was unveiled revealing 25 virtual spaces designed by independent Black designers, artists and makers, with Ishka Designs being one of them. Anishka and Niya were tapped by BADG to conceptualize one of the virtual home’s spaces and they created a tranquil outdoor space centered around wellness and functionality.
4. Lotta Jansdotter
Although artist and designer Lotta Jansdotter lives and works in Brooklyn, she brings her Scandinavian roots to her print patterns and motifs, something she’s been doing for 25 years now. After taking a class in a California community school at age 19 to learn screen printing, Lotta found her calling after falling in love with the process that was organized and dirty, rhythmic and unpredictable. Screen printing allowed her to reproduce her hand-drawn patterns on fabric, opening up a world of possibilities to create stylish yet practical home furnishings and linens. Since then, her work can be found on fabrics, table linens, pillows, bags, sketchbooks, etc., standing out for their distinctive patterns that are clean, minimalist and natural. For the last 15 years, Lotta has licensed her designs to brands, including Herman Miller, Room and Board, Heath Ceramics, Target, ABC Home and more, and now she’s back to doing her own production again, with offerings of hand screen printed pillows to the trade through Shoppe Object.
5. BOA of OI Studio
BOA is the founder and creative director of OI Studio, a design firm in New Orleans that focuses on bespoke furniture and home accessories made using sustainable materials and processes. Growing up on St. John, US Virgin Islands, she saw first-hand the need to preserve a balance between the natural environment and the man-made world, leading her passion for sustainable luxury. After studying graphics at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BOA taught herself how to design furniture while honing her aesthetic which combines nature, minimalism and fine craftsmanship. She shifted to green design in the early 2000s, and spent years spreading the word on sustainability throughout the industry, years before manufacturers and clients were on board. And like Anishka above, BOA is a member of The Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) and was one of the 23 designers tapped to design a space – in her case, a suspended lanai – for the Obsidian Virtual Concept House.
Join Female Design Council and the Grant 01 Selection Committee:
International Women’s Day, March 8th at 7pm ET for a special digital talk celebrating the recipients Luam Melake + Mia Wright-Ross and six honorees of FDC Grant 01.
Each designer will present their design proposals, offering an opportunity to learn about the creative process behind their project.
Join the Female Design Council
Our mission — to provide professional support and work opportunities for female and female-identified persons in the design industry. This support takes many forms: PR opportunities, exhibitions, connecting with other like minded creatives who are open to collaboration, offering experience and sharing of resources. Click here to join Female Design Council.