Limited edition with Illustrations.
Trumpets blare and drums roll…I finally reveal one of the surprises I have been working on for some time: the 2023 calendar.
Like every year, I have designed a calendar that this year celebrates some women who have inspired me.
The choice to give space only to women was super easy and came about in June, while I drew between August and September, and it was in September that I finished the work with the cover (which I usually draw first)
But let’s go in order.
The imperative was to look for women who were (all) not very well known and not (only) from the entertainment world.
Scientists, feminists, writers, artists, lawyers, singers, thinkers, and people who can inspire anyone.
A difficult choice, I redid the list several times and I was not satisfied.
However in the difficulty I thought that finally there are so many women who can inspire us, finally the way is open for all!
I asked an American writer friend to list talented but not only white women.
Because in the denied rights of women, there is also a hierarchy whereby there is friction between white and non-white women.
Unbelievable isn’t it?
There is still a scale whereby white predominance drowns out the talents of non-white women.
Nakeysha suggested several names and fortunately for me, I discovered talents I did not know, such as Joy Harjo.
So women, who are or were engaged in a variety of jobs and from backgrounds other than the predominantly white.
A calendar that must include so many women, all different.
I also added a couple of necessities: that they were of all ages, that somehow in their words they were dialoguing about the environment, human relations, rights, the search for self.
I don’t want to tie women to physical appearance, to youth, to the prejudices that have punished us for centuries.
Every woman is beautiful for what she conveys at every age.
In this my limited edition calendar celebrates women without aesthetic choices we are used to.
As I was drawing I was aware that the cover was missing.
I usually draw it before I even create the calendar, and this time it was a blank page yet to be defined.
I was thinking of adding Samantha Cristoforetti, the Italian astronaut. And I already had the design in mind.
The death of Elizabeth II inevitably led me to think of her.
A style icon, a woman who knew everyone in her 70-year reign, a landmark for those like me who were born in the last century and always saw her on TV.
A staple in short, who leaves a void and with her death tells us that our youth now belongs to another period.
I thought of her, of the annual speech she gave in 2019 at Christmas, when she praised young people’s commitment to the environment and climate change and said “it is often the small steps, and not the giant leaps, that bring the most lasting change” (recalling among other things the 50th anniversary of man’s first step on the moon).
Elizabeth II I drew her very young, during the war, when she drove ambulances and took mechanics classes.
A girl who despite her privileges stayed in London and worked hard to help the stricken population.
I deliberately drew the strong and generous woman before she became a queen. I was interested in conveying the message that anything is possible but also that you have to work at it all your life, in small steps.
Each month in addition to the portrait of the protagonist, there is also a sentence said by the protagonist.
And my invitation is to find out the names, read their works, listen to their music, watch their films, find out what they studied to get to the Nobel Prize.
I have chosen them according to my preferences. I openly confess this.
But actually I should make ten calendars to include some of my preferences.
Please feel free to suggest names of dinne you love, I will draw them for other occasions.
I will draw them for other projects. There is a lack of young protagonists, women who are contemporary or belong to the past, women who have made their handicaps their strengths to struggle.
Meanwhile, the calendar has a title, “Small Steps.”
Because it is the small steps that create the leaps forward.
These are words that return in many of the women I have drawn.
It is not settling, it is not fearing revolutions.
It is acting by building each day without losing the ultimate goal.
It is dreaming but implementing dreams.
This is my wish for me, as well as for my friends: to continue slowly, steadily, without stopping, dreaming and implementing ideas, believing in one’s talents, trusting other women, taking the space we want, opening paths to others, exploring male territories that have been foreclosed to us, inviting men to discover through this calendar, interesting personalities that will surely enrich their lives.
To close, one over all, Ruth Baden Ginsburg “Real change, lasting change, happens one step at a time.”
So I wish you to proceed in this ideal groove throughout 2023.
The calendar is ready to be mailed, if you want to give it as a gift I can write a dedication for you. If you want more than one copy write to me.
The edition again this year is signed and limited edition.
I am waiting for you!