Creatives who inspire us

02 March 2020 | Community


Sunday 8th March marks International Women’s Day – a movement to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

One of the missions of International Women’s Day is; To increase the visibility of women creatives and promote their work. So we asked our AV1ders who they admire and seek inspiration from when it comes to generating creative ideas and event experiences. 

Here are just a few of those incredible creative women we love.

Es Devlin. Photo: esdevlin.com

Es Devlin

Number one on our list is artist and stage designer Esmeralda “Es” Devlin.

Known for her incredible theatre sets, arena shows and fashion runways – Es comes up with what could be described as ridiculous ideas and then somehow makes them a reality in a way that resonates with audiences every time. 

Es works with a range of media, often mapping light and projecting film onto kinetic sculptural forms. Her set designs are always technically dazzling. 

Luke says;

“I love Es Devlin’s stage designs. They are unique and have a massive visual impact. I’m always looking forward to opportunities where I can take similar design elements and translate them to the corporate world, especially in terms of fusing art with conference set design.”

Donna Rankin. Photo: Heart to Heart Facebook

Donna Rankin

Up next is Donna Rankin, an esteemed portrait artist. 

After experiencing the devastation of losing her eleven year old daughter in 2006, Donna turned to art as a kind of therapy to help cope through such difficult times. 

Seeing the positive impact it was having on her own life, Donna created a program to connect with young people in the community who are also struggling. And Heart to Heart was born. 

Heart to Heart is a unique art-based program offering its participants a window into the power of creativity, mindfulness and connection to others. Through a carefully structured eight week program, the participants are taken on a journey to connect with their spirit, whilst learning the skills and incredible satisfaction of creating a masterpiece of their very own. 

Bridie says; 

“I’ve known the Rankin family for 14 years and am continually amazed and inspired by Donna. She turned her grief into an incredible program for young women and chose love and light rather than anger and bitterness. Donna and her husband David are both wonderful people and guiding lights in my life. I am often moved by Donna’s stories of who she has helped and who she has painted. There can be light at the end of the tunnel if you open your heart to your creative soul.”

AV1der Brooke (right) with Zan Rowe (centre) and Brooke’s wife Lydia (left).

Zan Rowe

Previously the host of triple j mornings and now a host on Double J, Zan founded and co-hosted the Bang On podcast with Myf Warhurst. She’s often invited to guest speak on women’s rights and achievements, especially on the topics of music, art and culture. 

Brooke says;

“Zan totally rocks my world. A super smart, funny and talented human being that I’ve listened to growing up on the radio. She’s so passionate about what she does and I find that very inspirational.”

Rebekah Robertson. Photo: transcendsupport.com.au

Rebekah Robertson

Rebekah is an Australian actress, author and activist who has appeared on television and on stage. She founded Transcend in 2012 – the first parent-led peer support group and information hub for transgender kids and their families in Australia. 

Rebekah received an Order of Australia this year for her work advocating for transgender kids.

Dylan says;

Rebekah is amazing. She’s almost solely responsible for changing the laws which forced underage transgender children to have to go through a court to access cross-sex hormones. Her daughter Georgie, now 19, inspires me to no end as well – and now stars in Neighbours

Stevie Nicks. Photo: stevienicksofficial.com

Stevie Nicks

American singer and songwriter Fleetwood Mac is next up on our list. She’s known for her distinctive voice and her work as a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist has sold over 140 million records, making her one of the best selling music acts of all time.

Janet says;

“I love her stage persona and her symbolic lyrics. She inspires me because at the age of 72 she still belts out amazing tunes with no signs of slowing down!”

St. Vincent. Photo: consequenceofsound.net

St. Vincent (Anne Clark)

St. Vincent is a brilliant songwriter, performer, artist, model and actor. She creates a great aesthetic on all she does; album art, songcraft, production and fashion.

She was the first solo female performer in 20 years to win a Grammy in the category Best Alternative Album for her 2014 album St. Vincent. 

St. Vincent is proof that you can have style, substance and swagger all in one.

Nathan says;

“An expert in her field – her approach blends virtuosic music with ‘just sounds cool’ alternate pop, but also face-melting guitar-shredding whilst being dressed like she is about to attend the Oscars in wearable art.”

Tori Amos. Photo: nytimes.com

Tori Amos

Tori, an American singer-songwriter and pianist, is a muso who confronts stereotypes, discrimination, abuse and authority with her songs focusing on a broad range of topics, including sexuality, feminism, politics and religion.

Classically trained as a child in a conservative and religious household, Tori ‘broke free’ to use both those traditional constraints to shape her future into a positive.

Kealan says;

“Tori is a strong, powerful woman who has inspired me since my own childhood. She’s someone who is first and foremost an amazing musician, and an incredibly creative artist.”


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