“Nothing in a portrait is a matter of indifference. Gesture, grimace, clothing, decor even – all must combine to realize a character.”
—Charles Baudelaire, poet and art critic
WE WERE INVITED TO ILLUSTRATE the stories of women across Asia struggling for human rights.
We wanted to create a series of distinctive portraits, using a variety of mediums and techniques. This goal was rooted in both the desire to treat each story as unique as well as the practical limitations of using the available reference photos and videos. For some women we found an abundance of photos documenting their public struggles, for others we found virtually no visual reference, as they struggled alone.
Capturing the essence of a person from a video or few photographs, is a challenging prospect. When the subject of your portrait is a part of a larger narrative, the project becomes even more daunting.
For this project we used a variety of mediums: pen and ink, watercolor, pastel, scratchboard, pencil, and computer to not only reproduce a likeness, but illustrate an individual story of courage.
— Steven John Fuchs, ODDI UX studio head
Brian Williamson, ODDI senior designer