Three illustrators using Instagram to empower women

There's more to their work than just a pretty picture


By Ally Faughnan


Kelly Anna, Florence Given, and Polly Nor have been taking over Instagram with their aesthetically pleasing illustrations, but there is more to their work than just a pretty picture. These women are not only preaching female empowerment, they’re giving out positive vibes that should be acknowledged by everyone, regardless of their gender identity.


Kelly Anna


Kelly’s signature style portrays the female figure in action, prancing across her prints looking sporty and strong. The bold and bright coloured paintings aim to encourage confidence and empower women to ‘work like everyone’s watching’. Kelly has collaborated with many major brands, including the likes of Nike Women to celebrate women in sport and she recently worked with designer Josie Tucker to create a zine that champions female strength, commissioned by It’s Nice That.


Although She stole the show was the title of her first ever exhibition, she (Kelly) is literally stealing the show with her illustrations. Recently showcasing her latest intimate collection Her Art Thou at Protein Studios, Kelly continues to create work that not only empowers women but encourages unapologetic confidence, a message for everyone and anyone.



Florence Given


First and foremost, Florence champions the female gaze. Encouraging women to #dumphim, she doesn’t accept patriarchal or sexist bullsh*t. Her straight-to-the-point illustrations encourage women to put themselves first and be treated with the respect they deserve.


Florence embraces the power of her single, queer identity and inspires others to be themselves, whatever that may be. Her tone is refreshing and she isn’t afraid to call out things that aren’t right (she was the one to start the petition against the release of Insatiable, the Netflix show portraying fatphobic ideas). Support her work and check out her eye-catching prints, totes and t-shirts for sale online.



Polly Nor


The demons in Polly Nor’s work are characterisation of what lies under women’s skin: their alter-egos, their insecurities, and their feelings. She pictures the reality of many twenty-first century women, often sitting in their underwear and scrolling on their phone. These women are not perfectly groomed nor embodying patriarchal beauty ideals. Instead, they are Polly’s own portrayal of women, showing that they can be themselves and embrace their so-called ‘flaws’.


“I draw women and their demons” – Polly Nor

There are quite personal messages behind her work and she even called one of her solo exhibitions Airing my dirty laundry in public. However, what Polly touches on is a universal feeling that is recognised by many women, exploring the ups and downs of female emotions and identity. Check out the Polly Nor store to get a bit of Polly's work in your own life.