Book Illustration: Activist Dame Whina Cooper
Book illustration created for Education Diversa‘s educational electronic book project: Feminist Movements for Fairies and Fighters book, an A-Z book that simplifies feminism for girls and showcases famous feminists and their movements, including for each illustration also the line drawing in order to be colored by children.
For this commission, I had the honor to illustrate the portrait of Dame Whina Cooper, in both color and line drawing (inking) versions. Dame Whina Cooper was a proud Kuia, Maori elder, who founded the Maori Women’s Welfare League – a league formed to empower women in New Zealand, after WWII. The league’s focus was to help women resolve issues about racism and a new cash system whilst maintaining Maori culture so that women and children could get social security and housing.
I created her portrait in Adobe Illustrator, on a Wacom Cintiq tablet, inspired by two of her portrait photographs. My aim was to reflect her bold and kind way of being, through the use of bright and warm colours. I mixed in my composition modern and vintage aesthetics: flat colour, block shading, elegant inking, grain textures, realistic and stylized shapes. In the background, I illustrated a Nikau palm, the only palm native to New Zealand.
On behalf of Educación Diversa I highly recommend Loredana for her illustrative work. It’s concise, on brief and absolutely beautiful. She has contributed to a few of our projects which are all related to women’s rights and women empowerment, and as her art is of such a high standard, I’ve invited her to collaborate on-goingly with us.