See how our talented employees contributed to Not Here to Make You Comfortable.
When activist and author Grace Tame did not smile at a reception with the then prime minister of Australia, she was widely criticised in the media for her demeanour. Instead of focusing on Grace’s achievement in being named the Australian of the Year, the public narrative instead centred on the fact that she did not smile when she was being photographed with Scott Morrison.
In reaction to the news stories, the women of Penguin Random House Australia’s Young Readers publishing team got talking. ‘Once we had observed Grace Tame’s honest expression we couldn’t help noticing examples of women’s courage everywhere.’ And thus, Not Here to Make You Comfortable was born.
A collection celebrating boldness, the book highlights fifty women who have done something brave. Something disruptive. Something exceptional.
Inspired by these women, the team at PRH AU and women around the world have been given the go-ahead to be a little more confident and a bit bolder.
To make the project even more special, several PRH AU employees played a role in illustrating the book.
Read on to learn about their experiences and see what they had to say about working on the project.
I hand-lettered the pull-out quote pages in Not Here to Make You Comfortable, and it was a lot of fun! It was refreshing to put pen to paper and create something that gave me a feeling of nostalgia, as it was how I started my creative pursuit many years ago. I was given full creative freedom to draw and design the words and layouts however I liked, so it was quite different from my usual design work where we tend to follow a brief. The process of lettering is therapeutic and artistic in a way that differs from designing digitally, so I got to flex some different creative muscles. Overall I’m very proud to have the opportunity to contribute more lettering to our in-house books, especially alongside many of our coworkers’ gorgeous work!
It was a thrill to be part of this project, and knowing that so many talented colleagues and other creatives were involved in pulling it together made it all the more special. I was also glad to have the chance to illustrate some women I admire – Rachel Cusk, Chanel Miller and Chloé Zhao – and to pay tribute to them in a small way. As an editor in PRH’s Adult Publishing department, I spend most of my time working with words, but I've also always loved drawing and art, so it was wonderful to get to step into that side of things and contribute to a book in a different capacity.
It was such a joy to illustrate the four portraits – Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Millie Bobby Brown, AJ Clementine and Taylor Swift. My main aim was to highlight their power, fearlessness and courage, and to bring to life the brilliant words from our in-house editors. I digitally painted the portraits which allowed me to create depth, pairing soft feminine backgrounds with strong, striking portraits.
I also had the pleasure of drawing the background patterns spaced throughout the book. With such creative freedom, I was able to really get imaginative and had a lot of fun drawing these quirky, abstract patterns.
I’m proud to have my work sit alongside the brilliant work of my colleagues’ illustrations, and I know they enjoyed delving into their creative side as much as I did. My role as a designer often sees me showcasing the work of other illustrators, so it’s been a great opportunity to express my own style.
Interested? Learn more about the book, here!
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