Official Introduction to PROW: Jane Austen

So on my website for PROW: Positive Representation Of Women I had a small blog. However I have decided I don’t have the time to run it the way I want to, so this is the first post I posted on it which was the official introduction to PROW that I wrote to act as an extension of the ‘About’ page. You also get my illustration of Jane Austen this week.

 

JaneAusten

 

Initially this project began because I decided that my younger sister needed to read books with strong female protagonists. There are many resources on the internet to find them. My favourite is a website called ‘A Mighty Girl’ who has been my main navigation in the world of literature for young girls with strong female leads. It is very easy to search, you can get it to narrow it down by reccomended age, by prize winners, genre etc. Essentially I wanted my younger sister to read about girls and women who went out and did stuff, not females who either sat around and waited for the guy, or was the guy’s sidekick.

So I ensured we got some of these books for her birthday. We started off with three novels for the 9-12 age group. ‘The Girl who Circumnavitaged Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’ (I adore the title), ‘Goth Girl’ and ‘The Spindlers’.

She loved them. I read them, and I loved them. In fact, ‘The Girl who Circumnavitaged Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’ is firmly on my list of favourite books. It is a beautiful whimsical book. And they all had strong female main characters. I have since bought my younger sister a wide variety of books with strong female main characters.

I wanted to illustrate some of these characters to frame on my sisters wall. I began by drawing Theodosia, September and Liza who I all loved. (I think my favourite is Theodosia, because she lives in a museum and I work with museums because I love them). However for quite a while I’ve also been working on injecting some real-life female heros and role models into my sisters life. I decided to expand the project and draw real women as well who I wanted her to take as her role models.

Now I must admit that one of my fictional heroes is Hermione Granger. Ever since I was twelve and was given my first Harry Potter book by my grandfather, I have related to her. Probably because just like her I was a dark blonde, bushy-haired, large teeth, know-it-all. And Hermione Granger made that okay. I could go on about Hermione and me, but I think that will have to be another blog post. The point is I always admired her for founding SPEW. I tried to figure out a way I could use SPEW, but couldn’t think of any relevant S-words, so I ended up with PROW. Postive Representation Of Women. Like the ‘prow’ of a ship I hope that this work will go forward, be visible and make a difference in how we think of representation of women.

The aim of this project is therefore to illustrate women, both fictional and real, in all of their strengths and beauties. I have also aimed for a very symbolic illustrative style, the objects that surround the women are objects that I relate to them. I hope you enjoy them and learn about some new female heroes and gain some new female role models.

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