When Carol Rossetti began posting her illustrations from her “Women” series online earlier this year, she had no clue the images would generate a following of 184.7K Facebook users.
Rossetti, 26, a graphic designer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, illustrates women using kraft paper and colored pencils. Each drawing features a portrait or figure with a hand-lettered message in response to many kinds of discrimination, addressing issues such as sexism, body image, self esteem, gender identity, and ageism to name a few.
Rossetti graduated with a degree in design three years ago, and it wasn’t until recently that she began focusing more seriously on her illustrations.
“I thought it would be nice to share a positive message to my close friends who already followed my work,” Rossetti said. “And so I started drawing women and saying things that bother me.”
Once Rossetti began posting the illustrations, the audience quickly turned international. Soon, viewers offered to translate her work, and now her drawings have been portrayed in more than fourteen different languages. According to Rossetti, more than thirty translators are currently working on her pieces.
Rossetti draws inspiration for her art from her friends and family, and her observations of the world surrounding her. She is influenced by cartoonists and artists such as Will Eisner, Craig Thompson, Milo Manara, Moebius, and Charles Vess, to name a few.
The themes explored in her drawings incite overwhelming feedback on Rossetti’s Facebook and Tumblr pages. Once an illustration in Portuguese is posted, followers quickly request a translation. Some followers even request that Rossetti create drawings surrounding specific themes, and now she even does commissioned illustrations.
The series of drawings, which often touch on controversial or taboo subjects, occasionally ignites controversy among her followers.
“I [have] had negative responses…but they were not nearly as strong or frequent as the positive ones….But I don’t think we can talk about some themes without annoying some people, right? Otherwise, feminism wouldn’t be a fight,” Rossetti said.
In the future Rossetti intends to sell her work online and design a book. However, for now she continues to produce new images for her series.