Women have had to carve a path for themselves in most modern-day professions and Art and Entertainment are no exception. Originally dominated by male counterparts, women today have better access to opportunities than ever before, even if there is still a long way to go. The art community is flooded with countless talented females that managed the working challenges of womanhood and societal expectations to pursue one’s passion.
Artistic outlets whether visual, audio or in written form, need inspiration. The Ethiopian art scene has countless female artists looking to make their mark in the industry. From photography to painting or writing and video and audio content creation, a variety of female creatives are making their mark now.
Amongst these woman artists is Lily Hailu, a talented painter and a mother of a three months old. Lily is actively involved in the art industry and continues to create works of art that were recognized after having been selected as one of the few female artists that will debut their work at the Alle fine art exhibition on March 5th to commemorate international women’s day. It is clear that the recognition is the result of her passion and talent.
“Working as a part of the Women’s Day celebration at Alle fine art gallery was a great experience to meet and see other female artists,” Liliy said about her time at the exhibition.
Lily commented on what it is like to be a woman working as an artist with a three-month-old, saying motherhood had definitely made it harder but passion defeats hardships.
Lily shared with The Reporter how making a living as an artist in Ethiopia has it’s though moments, where people trivialize their work.
“To make a decent living off of art alone is hard. That is why I have my own business on top of pursuing art as my passion and calling,” Lily said.
Lily describes the art industry for women as being an untapped field, even though more and more women are dipping their toes in the industry.
“I believe that we can only grow as artists, if we dare to explore different styles and strokes. Sticking to one style would only limit us. Expression takes on different shapes and being, so should we,” added Lily.
Other women involved in artistic fields that demand creativity on a constant basis to be recognized in that field. Fields like fashion are predominantly occupied by women yet the challenges designers and stylists face are countless.
Natanem Wondwosen, a fashion designer, continues to blaze a trail in the fashion industry.
The fashion designer explains how the industry had been welcoming to her.
“I have had a pleasant ride so far. I believe my womanhood has been positively impacting my work. Especially when compared to female designers that came before us, a better path has been laid out for us. I am eternally grateful for being able to put my passion into something tangible,” Natanem said.
Even in music, radios are flooded with eclectic voices of female artists that found their passion in telling their stories through music. Female musicians have had the ability to leave behind great legacies, with unforgettable tunes for generations to sing and dance to. For all the singers who have perfected their art through hard work and graft, there are also those new up and coming female artists.
Navigating their passion and resistance put on them by the society; these talented women aspire and inspire the next generation of creatives to build on what they have already built.
Womanhood and the experience of being a woman is more complicated than fulfilling a quota for these artists. They are striving to do their part in creating better opportunities and environment for artists of the next generation.
Lily Hailu says she is only getting started and that she has already booked international gigs that would allow her to showcase her art in a bigger manner. Lily believes her work can inspire more people into pursuing their passion and that women can be the future of art and have so much to offer when it comes to creativity.