Power Girls are becoming a big thing for me right now. It's a bit of a history project where I search out outstanding women who have either not received the recognition they deserve or have been omitted from history altogether. (Sadly, this happened a lot. ) As well as women today who are influencers and powerhouses in their own right.
I'm working on a colouring book at the moment. I have enough images to publish the first book, which is super exciting, and I'll let you know when it's ready! But I also want to do more with this project. Maybe portraits of all these women, followed by a show so we can honour these heroes. Or something, I haven't quite figured it out yet...but it's coming. But how did I get to this place of researching and a mild obsession with 1850 to the present?
For a big chunk of my adult life, I read books on personal well being, self-help or improvement, trying to make a better me, and learning to change and just be an all-around better person. The list of books varied but ranged from spirituality, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success By Deepak Chopra to the BulletProof Diet by Dave Asprey and financial stuff like the classic Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kyosaki. Then I started to branch out to a bigger me. I wanted to understand more about why I'm here. The age-old question of WTF are we doing here, and since we are here, what do we do. Super Brain by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi was next in line, followed by a dive into Stoicism. Why Stoicism? I read this one book called How Not To Be Wrong by Jordon Ellenberg. It's not about not being wrong, but about learning to filter information, so you're not fooled. Oh ya, this was a game-changer for me. This got the hair on the back of my neck up and rattled me. Had I been fooled by misinformation my whole life...probably—another WTF. This is where Stoicism came into play. Stoicism has taught me not to be so reactive, think things through logically, and live by "rules."
I grew up in a lawless land. Our household was filled with drugs and alcohol, food was scarce, and escape was vital. Survival was the main focus. Becoming an adult was painful and slow, and being dyslexic didn't help. School was impossible, and reading was hard. I graduated with a grade nine reading level, which isn't horrible but not super helpful. But I knew I was a survivor. I also knew that what was going on around me was wrong, and I would be different. I absolutely refused to have drugs and alcohol in my life. So my first life rule is born.
As I got older, I kept reading. It was a slow process, but I was determined. I knew school was out of the question, so I had to plow through. I also started reading out loud to myself. This was a terrifying thing for me. I knew I could do it by myself, and I had to get over it, whatever 'it' was. So whenever I read aloud to someone or even a small group, I would start to stutter and then panic. This isn't a helpful thing in life...so I made myself read aloud ( alone ) until I became confident. I still do it to this day. I'm definitely not one of those who make a living as an audible book reader, but I can read aloud when I need to. And I may still stutter or have to use my finger, but now my attitude is, whatever...
As I plowed through reading, my choices broadened. I was browsing a used bookshelf one day and saw this book called A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment by Phillipp Blom. Hmmm...it was $5 and intrigued me. This "random" five-dollar impulse buy changed my reading habits forever. Phillipp Blom is a master storyteller of history, and I was fixated from page one. In his second book, Fractured, there was talk about the suffrage movement and how radical these women were, which got my attention. I didn't actually understand the depths of what women had to do to get the vote. The layers of this are incredible and sad. Women died to make this happen; only white women were included when we finally won the right to vote, and it would be years before this would change.
I read on...History was my new love with a focus on women. But not women's history; that wording bugs me. We make up 50% of the planet, shouldn't it just be history...ah but it isn't is it? I started discovering how many women have been omitted or overlooked in our history books. And it's not a small number. My blood began to boil as I read on. I know this isn't breaking news, but why do I have to be a detective to find out what women have accomplished!
I need to do something! But what...what can I do to better the world and bring these women to light. If the historians cant do it, how will I? I was so mad I decided what I can do is make a colouring book!! Haha, and thus, Power Girls is born! Now I'm wondering where to take this project. A colouring book is fantastic, but what else can I do?
Here are a few colouring images of some of my heroes. I hope you enjoy them. When the first book is ready, ill let you know. If you have any women you think should be on my list, please let me know!
As for where this project will lead...I don't know, but it feels essential! I'll keep you posted on my direction and ideas. Have some ideas of your own? Please share them with me!