3 things you can do right now to better support female artists

When an artist stops creating, Launch Bubble Artist servicesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. There are many incredibly talented female artists who stop creating because their work doesn’t get the celebration it deserves and they don’t get the support they need. Here are some ways you can support female artists right now. 

Why female artists need you

Art and creativity is a vital life force. It helps people dream, to feel less alone and to imagine a different future.

When an artist stops creating because they feel burnt out or unsupported, it’s not just a personal loss for that artist. It affects everyone.

A study of the Australian music industry by Triple J’s Hack reveals:

  • Female artists are still only getting 40% or less of radio airplay on Triple J, Double J, and Triple J Unearthed, compared to 60% for male artists.
  • Of the top 6 Australian music festivals in the last 12 months, male artists made up 63-90% of the artist lineup.
  • Of the 120 independent Australian record labels registered with AIR, only 20% of them are managed by women.

There are many reasons why artists stop making art, and all artists could do with better support, but female artists are at particular risk, especially mid career. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Jess McAvoy

Jess McAvoy, Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today is the final post in a series of 31 interviews. I am incredibly excited to finish it with a bang, introducing today’s feature artist, Jess McAvoy, a prolific singer-songwriter and performer who has self-funded 13 records. She didn’t mention it in her interview, but she also writes and paints. I first met Jess at the Big Hearted Business Conference in Melbourne last year, and was blown away by her steady presence, and her immediate willingness to connect openly, honestly and vulnerably about things that really matter.

At that time, she was about to perform her first shows as the front woman of her new, seriously heavy rock and roll band, “HEROiNE”, and then jump on a plane to New York. (At the time she was best known for her quieter, acoustic style songs.) She was a bit nervous but the image that stuck with me was her steady light, and her willingness to dive in through the fear to see what was on the other side.

1. What art do you make?

I make music. I also make impressions on people. I would say that a big part of my creative output is interacting with all kinds of people. My main drive that has let me do this over the last twenty years has been music. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Maeve Marsden

Maeve Marsden Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Maeve Marsden, cabaret artist, performer and writer.

1. What art do you make?

I make cabaret. I perform with three other women (and our band) as Lady Sings it Better, a ridiculous feminist comedy cabaret.

I’m also working with Elly Clough on a new cabaret about the history of gin called Mother’s Ruin, and Van Badham and Richard Wise are writing a musical for us based on Conan the Barbarian which is absurd and hilarious. And I write sometimes. Here. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Maddison Wilson

Maddison Wilson Celebrating female artists Launch Bubble seriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Maddison Wilson, a singer songwriter turning heads with her powerful voice, and her stunning single “Birds”.

1. What art do you make?

I write silly pop songs about love and life. I’ve come up with the term “Raw/Pop” (slightly quirky, mostly soulful) to define my genre and help people get a gist of what my music sounds like without actually hearing it.

The past few years I have really been focussing on writing and performing. I hope to start producing my debut record by the end of this year. In the mean time, I will be releasing my first EP in the coming months and hopefully touring the country. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Rachel Power

Rachel Power, Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Rachel Power, a writer and visual artist best known for her book of interviews with artists who are also mothers, exploring their experience of feeling torn between their creative drive and their devotion to their kids.

1. What art do you make?

I write. I also do a lot of drawing, but not in any professional capacity. Recently I contributed some monoprints to a group exhibition, Intersection: The Art of Motherhood, at Red Gallery in Melbourne, and it felt really good to have a that chance to work on something visual. Writing is so cerebral. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Sophie Koh

Sophie Koh, Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Sophie Koh, a musician, songwriter, and singer, currently making waves internationally for her incredibly powerful song “I Understand”.

1. What art do you make?

I’m a musician, songwriter, singer. I also play piano and sing backup in other bands like Emma Heeney and for Ben Lee when he toured Australia last year. I learnt classical piano for most of my life and it’s really nice being able to use my piano chops in a pop setting.

I also collaborate with other musos as a songwriter, currently working with an electronic grunge pop outfit called Sugarglass. Recently I did a stint as a music supervisor on TV show called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I also do a bit of vocal work for various people.

2. What is one of your proudest achievements as an artist?

1) The China tour with my band was one of the proudest things I had ever done.

We toured 12 cities all over China, 14 shows in continuous 40 deg heatwave for three weeks. Staying in dodgy hotels, band relying on you to communicate in Mandarin for nearly everything. Waking up, bullet train for few hours, arguing with taxi drivers, soundcheck, show, then doing it all over again the next day. Always sweating through your clothes. One day it got down to 35 degrees and that felt like winter.  Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Fiona Dalwood

Fiona Dalwood, Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Fiona Dalwood, a visual artist, animator, and graphic designer. Her bittersweet honest, quirky project sharing people’s stories of grief has connected and resonated deeply with people all over the world.

1. What art do you make?

I write, draw, make things with my hands and animate them. In my more grown-up moments I’m a graphic designer.

2. What is one of your proudest achievements as an artist?

My short film “Good Grief” (www.goodgrief.tv) has been one of my proudest achievements to date. I made the film in 2012 while I was doing my Masters of Film & Television at the Victorian College of the Arts. It’s a short documentary about the things we can learn from losing something we love – a parent, a friend, a pet, a limb.

I found making the film cathartic in terms of helping me understand the process of grief (having lost my mother to cancer in 2010) and being better able to relate to and empathise with other people who have gone through a significant loss.

The film has connected me to people all over the world who I would never have imagined having as an audience for my art – from funeral director associations and grief counselling organisations to world class documentarians. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Sarah Belkner

Sarah Belkner Celebrating female artists Launch Bubble seriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Sarah Belkner, singer, songwriter, arranger and producer.

1. What art do you make?

I make music. I create my own songs and also arrange and produce music for other artists. Anything that involves seeing a fantastic musical idea form and bloom I want to be there for.

I love uncovering a good idea, for myself when they pop into my head or for someone else when I hear their idea or song and see it unravelling and helping them make it the clearest they can.

I am fascinated by that process and the many different ways it can be done. I love arrangement and orchestration. I am a hermit writer type at heart but I love performing too, creating live atmosphere for an audience and singing my heart out for people. Emotional engineering. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Catherine Crowley

Catherine Crowley, Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Catherine Crowley, actor, improviser, songwriter and musician, changing the way that people feel about breast-feeding in public.

1. What art do you make?

I absolutely LOVE performing. I’m not sure if I’d survive without it. In recent years I have created work as an actor, improviser, songwriter and musician.

Sparrow-Folk, a collaboration with Juliet Moody, is a comedic, “glam-folk” band and has been the realisation of all these things for me. Together, we write songs, play our ukuleles, dance (not well) and dream. We’re both improvisers so we play around a lot with what we do on stage to keep it fresh for us and fresh for the audience. Our most recent cabaret show, SuBIRDia has been an exciting journey for us both.

We really wanted to put cabaret alongside our most common existence. What’s more common than a house, car, two kids and a dog? Most people are living the ‘suburban experience’ and yet no-one wants to talk about it, celebrate it, etc. We do that. We like exploring the issues and experiences of people that no-one else wants to talk about. Read more

Celebrating female artists: Introducing Emma Heeney

Emma Heeney, Launch Bubble Celebrating Female Artists SeriesMarch the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists from Australia.

Today’s feature artist is Emma Heeney, a songwriter and musician who successfully worked out how to beat years of writers’ block!

1. What art do you make?

I’ve been a musician since I can remember. These days, I’m primarily a songwriter, and sometimes play live as a solo artist (with a band of excellent musicians). Over the years I’ve played in a bunch of different bands as a singer/guitarist/keyboard player and independently released and toured bunch of albums.

I’ve also been a backing vocalist for some higher profile acts and whizzed around the country doing that, as well as a singing cartoon voice, and have made music for documentaries.

2. What is one of your proudest achievements as an artist?

Late last year I released an album called “After the Fireworks”. The lead up to the album was a tricky period for me.

I was in a world of confusion about what I was doing with my life, hadn’t written anything in years, and could barely bring the word artist to my mouth when people asked what I did.

I decided I wanted to start writing again but I had no idea whether I’d be able to finish anything.

Over 2 years I slowly put together a bunch of songs that sounded like they could be an album. Then I got some friends on board and we played them as a band, and the sounds started to take shape. After that it all just fell into place. I was successful in getting funding from Arts Victoria to record an album, and one of my favourite musicians and producers, Greg Walker, agreed to record/produce the album. Read more