27 Apr Woman in Design: Eugenia Mello
Why are women designers important contributors to the discourse on global change?
Inclusion is an essential part of change. I think a great big part of the fight for equality is bringing light to how much that goal makes us all grow stronger and widens our perspective of the world, while creating a fairer, more hopeful environment for the next generations. In the field of Illustration, talking about gender-related issues — in particular focusing on the topic of women – I find the contributions of female illustrators CRUCIAL in constructing a new, more inclusive,visual discourse. I feel very hopeful about the future the more I start paying attention to the big and subtle ways in which women illustrators are creating change. Be it by challenging patriarchal stereotypes and preconceived notions of how we should look, act, dress, speak; how much space we should take; what shapes our bodies should have… I believe women illustrators have a unique power right now to question the status quo and start imagining and creating a new, more inclusive, more diverse, more empowering future. That is true global change.
Women are working in teams, in communities and with governments to find ways to collaborate and have an impact. What was the last project you worked on to improve your community?
I try to incorporate with the values I strive to fight for – promoting inclusion, diversity, empowered women – in each project I work on. This is especially because I feel in most cases, all projects include the depiction of diverse people and the opportunity to depict women; the choice is continuously there to depict the world as you see it or as you want it to be. That said, specifically, I feel very grateful to had had the chance to work on a women-led (extraordinary) team to develop a campaign called ByHerSide, an initiative of the organization Pathfinder International, to raise funds for the organization. It supports millions of women in developing countries by advocating for better health and reproductive rights, providing resources and education, and strengthening their communities.
I also recently worked with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, creating the key visual for the recent Immigrant Heritage Week. It was a beautiful chance to celebrate, through illustration, the diverse heritage that makes, enlivens, and strengthens the city of New York.
Name a woman designer other than yourself, living or deceased, that you think made an impact on the world.
The fact that very few women designers come to mind easily while very many male designers do, is, well, a reminder of what we are fighting for. Nevertheless, I feel very inspired by the landscape at the moment, because it feels more abundant with examples, and the number keeps on growing. I admire and feel grateful for the women that have fought for a place and cultivated long careers and have also passed their wisdom on to new generations – in particular Louise Fili, Paula Scher, Susana Licko. But there are so many others, contemporaries, who inspire me and help me find a goal of what I’d like my career to become.
Eugenia Mello is an illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently living and drawing in NYC.
She studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires, where she also taught Design and Typography courses for several years. She holds an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from SVA. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Creative Quarterly, among others. In 2018 she was awarded a Gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for her illustrated moving piece Hope for the Day.
She is passionate about rhythm and movement. Using color, texture and lively gestures she is always hoping to get music out of her images.
With every new piece she makes, she grows more convinced on the power of illustration to create change by drawing a more inclusive, more diverse, more
empowering image of our world.
Clients include the New York Times, Airbnb, Pentagram/Texas, Simon & Schuster, among others.
Images © Eugenia Mello. Used with permission.