Illustrating change: meet the artist bringing our work to life1 November 2023
When women’s rights organisations have the freedom and resources to do what’s best for their communities, they can achieve positive, transformational change and contribute to peacebuilding, gender equality, and women’s empowerment and participation. This week, we published a briefing – Localising Women, Peace and Security – that demonstrates the amazing work that women’s rights organisations can do when they have access to core funding (which covers the costs of their day-to-day operations) and the flexibility to use that funding to identify and address their own priorities.
The briefing was published as part of our 'Resourcing Change project'. In partnership with Women for Women International and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the project has provided 27 women’s rights organisations in Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen with core and flexible funding.
To accompany the briefing, we commissioned illustrator and animator Céline Moya to design three images for each of the countries described in the research. Céline’s storytelling approach really resonated with the narrative of progress described in the briefing. Here, she describes her creative process and shares some of her sketches.
I started by writing down all the information I had. The brief was to show the different activities undertaken by women’s rights organisations (WROs) in three countries: Yemen, Nigeria and South Sudan, using illustrations that are people-focused. I tried to decide which activities would be interesting to illustrate for each country and came up with a few different composition ideas. The tricky part was figuring out how to create illustrations that would work for different devices. After considering different compositions, it seemed like the best option was multiple panels showing different activities. The advantage of this is that the elements can easily be resized and repositioned to fit different platforms. For Instagram, the widest illustration could be cut into three and posted as a carousel that seamlessly forms the final illustration.
Quick sketches for the roughs, to figure out the placement of the panels.
Rough for Yemen. For each country, I created two roughs to show how the panels could be repositioned and resized to fit different dimensions.
Notes of changes to make based on the feedback for the roughs for the Yemen illustration.
First draft for Yemen.
After the first round of feedback I made a few changes, like making the characters’ clothing more traditional, or changing the gender or age of the characters. This stage involved a lot of research and back and forth with the country specific teams to make sure the representation and clothing of the characters were accurate.
Second draft for Nigeria. The second drafts were pretty much the finished illustrations with a few things to add, such as the text on the blackboard.
Final illustration for Nigeria (regular version)
At this stage, I added the final details, changed the colours slightly and created versions for the different platforms.
The Yemen illustration as a seamless carousel for Instagram.
The final illustrations can be found in the the briefing: Localising Women, Peace and Security.
Céline can be found at www.celinemoya.com or on social media platforms as celinemdraws.
Read more about Saferworld's work on gender, peace and security.