Liza Donnelly
Liza Donnelly. Image: Eric Korenman

Inspirefest snapshot: The woman who drew #MeToo

23 May 2018

Cartoonist, author and observer Liza Donnelly is a true force for good.

Liza Donnelly is always watching the world around her. Since she was a young child, her creative mind has been drawn to visual expression and this led to her eclectic career as a cartoonist for publications such as The New Yorker.

For Donnelly, a desire to make a positive change in the world has always fuelled her work. “I wanted to use my skills for either political cartoons, cultural commentary, as well as fun. It came from that and wanting to use what little I can to help.”

An accomplished author and speaker, Donnelly is not shy about her passion for social justice and communicates her thoughts via social media, where her live-drawing using an iPad and Twitter has taken off in recent years.

From the Academy Awards to the monumental movement that is #MeToo, Donnelly’s work is thought-provoking and powerful in its simplicity. She finds nuances in small moments like few others can.

As she put it so succinctly in a recent interview, “Some people tweet about events in words; I draw about events in pictures.”

Feminism is a vital element of Donnelly’s work. “Around the turn of the millennium, I began to think about using my cartoons in a more purposeful way to help women’s rights around the world.

“I embody that attitude so I think it comes out in ways I am not even aware of.”

As the #MeToo story snowballed, Donnelly felt she needed to contribute in her own unique way, by shedding light on the shared struggles of women all over the world. “As a cartoonist, I consider that one of my jobs is to shed light on things that we, as a culture, are doing.”

Art and advocacy

Donnelly will be taking to the stage at Inspirefest 2018 as part of the Media Makers panel on 22 June, where she will be discussing advocacy through content – and she’ll also be working her live-drawing magic during the event.

In her view, art and creativity are vital communication tools that can spark change. “I try to use my art to continue the conversation in a way where we are not attacking each other all the time.”

For inspiration from extraordinary thinkers, catch Liza Donnelly and more at Inspirefest in Dublin on 21 and 22 June. Get your tickets now.

Ellen Tannam
By Ellen Tannam

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects. She keeps her library card close at hand at all times and is a big fan of babies, chocolate and Sleater-Kinney.

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