Since the beginning of her illustrious career, Swedish Liselott Watkins as dedicated herself to documenting “all the shades of women” in various media and different art forms. But it all began as a 25-year venture as a fashion illustrator. The Swedish illustrator has been documenting women all ger career.
Watkins is a catalyst for the female spirit and lives in the spirit of solidarity of women worldwide. She has immortalized figures of defiance, melancholy, assurance and vulnerability in glossy magazines like the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
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Swedish illustrator documenting women
Her portraits are as unexpected as her most important material and instrument, and her defiant, backward-leaning women have lived on beyond most collections and trends. Her dreamed ip stylish, hard-edged characters convey both a steely confidence and the kind of nonchalance young girls always seem to be after.
From pen and ink she tells the stories of the supposed frivolity of fashion, colored with a with that can conjure living, breathing persons. For the past years she has even been dreaming up a world outside the lines, creating an army of earthenware women by hijacking antique ceramics and using her hallmark clipped collages.
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The power of women as individuals
Living and working anywhere else but her homeland throughout her career, Watkins has been negotiating the power of women as individuals whose fortitude flourishes in numbers—separate souls enriched by a sense of supportive community. It’s a notion that entered her consciousness through steady exposure to culture shock.
grew up in the countryside about two hours outside Stockholm. When she turned 17 she moved to Texas and went to art school. “From there, I went to New York, where I lived for a while; for a long time, I felt that particular sort of New York loneliness that seemed to be helped by drawing these girls. In a way, I tried to channel their sureness. It was like therapy,” she says.
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Now she lives in Rome with her husband and two children. “This is such a female-driven society,” she says wrestling with the gender imbalance of her adopted country. “The Swedish me asks, ‘Why are these women everywhere, doing everything? Where are the men?’ But then, the whole matriarchy—helping each other, perhaps because you don’t think men are going to be there—it’s so beautiful in a way, because it’s so supportive.”
Swedish Illustrator Documenting Women, written by Tor Kjolberg