What better way to wrap up March – the month of International Women’s Day – than with feelings of inspiration, vulnerability, and compassion for one another at an event put on for and by international women?

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, we had all that and more at our Viva Women in Art & Design: Panel Discussion and Workshop.

From our empowering speakers (in order from left to right) Annette, Leticia, Nataline, Jen, Niamh, and Liuba, we learned about each of their unique beginnings in their careers in art and design. They courageously opened up about the challenges they have faced/currently face and how they overcame them/are dealing with them now. And they gave tangible advice for those interested in entering the industry.

It was refreshing to hear successful women talk openly and honestly about their struggles. Liuba shared about sleeping 3-4 hours a night for years to balance working at her full-time job while losing herself in her art after work hours. Jen explained both the exciting and difficult sides of being an entrepreneur, artist, and business owner during COVID times.

We also learned just how diverse a career in art and design can be just from the range of those of our ladies:

– mural painter

– portrait painter

– drama teacher

– entrepreneur (co-founder of art workshops, founder of music record label & store)

– digital illustrator

– industrial designer

– drawer (and seller of drawings on earrings (pictured below!), calendars, cards, keychains, mugs…)

– museum & institution consultant

– curator

– visual artist

After the insightful discussion, Annette led a stunning collaborative art workshop. We started with a phone detox, where we all put our phones away in a box.

Then we took some time to reflect on the role art has played in our lives by thinking of the color that we associate with it, our earliest memory of art, and the art-related event that impressed/motivated/changed our lives.

We each took turns sharing, then added our unique parts to Annette’s painting.

We closed with lots of hugs and genuine feelings of connection and release. Thank you to everyone for the respectful, safe, and loving environment we created, for your vulnerability, for your time, and for your presence.


Together, we raised CNY 3,000 for Ukraine support.

Looking forward to seeing you at our next event!

Photography credit and special thanks to Yulia – JPFStudio:

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