I’ve recently stumbled across an excellent website called Great Women Animators.
The website is a database of female animators from the 1800’s through to the present. It also covers both animators working in the art world and cinema industry, which is great as there sometimes can be a bit of a divide as to what animation resources cover.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list of women working in the animation field, but as it says in the sidebar, it’s always going to be a work in progress. The database contains several of my favourite animators such as Suzan Pitt and Caroline Leaf, but there are many more that I’ve never heard of. I’m keen to dig in over the next few weeks and find some great animation I haven’t come across before.
I probably don’t need to say it but initiatives like Great Women Animators are a great way to address the gender inequality in moving image and the greater culture which it represents. According to a multiple of sources there are far less Women working in cinema than men. I have not been able to find any statistics on equality in the animation industry itself, but I imagine animation is a ‘bit’ better than the cinema industry as a whole, but probably not by much. The website also has a great resources section if you want to continue delve further.
Hopefully databases such as Great Women Animators help young women(and everyone) to find artists that inspire them and encourage them to dive in and start making. Initiatives like this create a great way to discover new artists that can inspire and influence your work, so check out the website or accompanying tumblr!
The website is run and maintained by Canadian artist/illustrator Heather Kai Smith who’s work you can check out here.