It’s in the details: the crumbs dusting an old t-shirt, or the crook of an elbow leaned against a messy counter.
The women in Sally Nixon’s drawings are just going about their business, but Nixon’s quaint, down-to-earth style turns the mundane nature of their activities into extraordinary portraits that women everywhere can see themselves in.
“I just draw what I consider very mundane moments of everyday life and try to make them beautiful,” Nixon wrote in an email to INSIDER. “I prefer drawing women because I am a woman so I have plenty of reference material. I’m not really sure what motivated me to draw these women. It all sort of happened naturally as I began being inspired by moments in my own life.”
Inspiration can, and does, strike at any moment.
“I came up with the girl brushing her teeth in the shower while I myself was brushing my teeth in the shower,” she said.
Other moments Nixon highlights include daily routines, such as cooking dinner, and leisurely moments like curling up on a couch with a friend or reaching into a bag of chips. Both food and female friendship are common themes throughout her work – another way that Nixon’s experiences inform her art.
“Like a lot of girls, I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t conscious of my weight and how I looked,” she said. “But I also loved food. A lot. So I guess drawing it was another way for me to enjoy it. Now, the addition of food adds a layer of detail and helps tell a story about the women I draw.”
Sometimes Nixon’s characters are alone. Other times, they’re in the company of other female friends. In both instances, they’re clearly comfortable and relaxed. “[Female friendships are] a big part of my life and most women’s lives, so it seemed only natural to depict them in my drawings,” she said.
In a world when images of women are often manipulated to appear flawless, Nixon’s drawings offer a refreshing alternative.
“I’m still a little shocked at the response my drawings have gotten because it shouldn’t be a novel or newsworthy message that women are real people,” she said. “I mean, duh.”
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