32 Illustrators Who Nail What It's Like To Be A Woman Today

In honor of Inktober, these are the women and gender non-binary artists drawing our lives.


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What we know as October, some illustrators consider Inktober ― a 31-day charge to celebrate the benefits of drawing on a regular basis. For the entire month, budding and established artists alike have been posting their work alongside the hashtag #Inktober, motivating themselves and others to relish the beauty of setting pen ― or brush or charcoal! ― to paper. 

In honor of Inktober, we rounded up the illustrators we follow on Instagram, hoping to provide fans with a varying list of artists that could inspire even the least dextrous among us. We soon realized there was a theme to their work: many of the illustrators we chose (loosely defined) are women and gender non-binary individuals who explore the daily ups and downs of being a woman ― whatever that means to them ― today.

From simple pleasures to harsh realities, these artists explore self-care, friendship, motherhood, dating, queer identity, body image, mental illness and more. While some illustrators choose to adorn their images with text that speaks straight to their audience, others communicate the quietest of messages without a single word. A naked woman crying over a cup of hot liquid is abstract (courtesy of Maria-Ines Gul), while a visual diary entry featuring the words “They don’t treat or see me as human here” is more direct (courtesy of Ebin Lee, who uses the pronouns they/them).

Taken as a whole, these artists show just how vast and expansive a woman’s or genderqueer person’s experiences are. They also highlight how powerful a few splotches of color and carefully placed lines can be. Happy Inktober, everyone.

1. Frances Cannon

My illustration for my collaboration with @refinery29 💦💦💦💦💦

A photo posted by Frances Cannon (@frances_cannon) on

2. Ayqa Khan

ruff draft

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3. Bianca Xunise 

4. Akujixxv

5. Megan Schaller

@skyferreira 💞 DOWN WITH MUSIC INDUSTRY SEXISM! quotation from her twitter.

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6. Amber McCall

munchin' down the street

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7. Yumi Sakugawa


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8. Gemma Correll

9. Cynthia Merhej


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10. Maria-Ines Gul

Back in the Dollhouse

A photo posted by Maria-Ines Gul (@mariainesgul) on

11. Ambivalently Yours

💜 "I wanted to control it But love, I couldn’t hold it" - Camera obscura, French Navy #pink #drawing #ambivalence

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12. Hailee Va

just made a very chill playlist to low key bone to even tho I just listened to the whole thing by myself 🌹

A photo posted by hailee va (@slimesistren) on

13. Novoduce

More than Less #doodle #drawing

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14. Polly Nor

Too good for u 💋

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15. Mari Andrew

Bonus Mari illustration today (and every Friday) on :)

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16. Kaye Blegvad

you made an impression

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17. Ebin Lee

18. Elsa Chang

Day 20: Squeeze #inktober #inktober2016 #suzuki #scrambler

A photo posted by Elsa Chang (@elsasketch) on

19. Celeste Mountjoy

20. Alexis Winter

Personal growth takes time. 🌻💛

A photo posted by Alexis Winter (@alexiswinter) on

21. Leah Goren

22. Yelena Bryksenkova

i started going to an aquacise class twice a week and i love it so much i had to paint it 💦

A photo posted by yelena bryksenkova (@ybryksenkova) on

23. Yas Imamura


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24. Wriply M. Bennet

The Devine trinity.

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25. Kate Pugsley

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26. Esther Olsson


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27. Phoebe Wahl

Would you wear a Warrior Woman tee, tote, pin or patch?

A photo posted by Phoebe Wahl (@phoebewahl) on

28. Dinara Mirtalipova

29. Jordan Sondler

When you're having a bad day, just remember that you're awesome!

A photo posted by Jordan Sondler (@jordansondler) on

30. Julia Rothman

31. Rachael Cole

sitting in bed having emotions about the death of my kid's first goldfish when I should be sleeping

A photo posted by rachael cole (@rachaelcole) on

32. Moshtari


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