brassy

Women routinely have their lives described to them, their identities handed to them in a package topped with a bow that is strangling their sense of self. brassy is a project that seeks to unpack what womanhood means for female identifying folks and empower women to claim their agency and care for their true selves.

Built on the foundation of my original book, Brassy: an exhibition, this new expansion brings the ideas of self-discovery and womanhood into a public sphere. Where my original printed work was a personal exploration that reflected my own experiences, this digital iteration invites women from all over to ask questions, see through new lenses, and reflect on their own experiences together as part of a greater community.

Through this project, women are able to interact with the brassy platform as well as the ideas and conversations it brings up around womanhood, agency, modern society, self-discovery, and feminism. brassy is now more than a single book, it is a state of mind and a movement.

To learn more about this project, my process, and the making of brassy, visit my project page. Stay connected by following us on Instagram!

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Building a Brand

Beyond the ideation process, my research, and my conversations with women, I worked to form a graphic identity that allowed for flexibility and that created a space where all kinds of women would feel welcome. Using Brassy: an exhibition as a launching point, I created a simple yet engaging design that would work online as well as in print. Womanhood looks different for every female identifying person and it is important that brassy allows for intersectional, broad-reaching accessibility.

Warm tones, only loosely defined, embrace the traditional sense of femininity but also break away into a firery spectrum of color that feels alive with energy. Gradients breathe life into almost every asset, visually representing the full spectrum of women. Additionally, while the official title for brassy is in Benguiat Pro, I wanted to make sure that every woman was able to see themselves in the project. With that in mind, 11 additional typefaces (including the original in Helvetica Neue) have been selected to be alternate word marks as well as to diversify digital graphics on Instagram. Knowing that this brand needs to flex with trends and societal culture, and as women grow and explore identity, change has been built into the brand. At any given time, there remains the opportunity to add or amend new typefaces as needed.

Finally, art direction for brassy focused on traditionally feminine mediums, embracing still lifes, illustration, embroidery, and textures like fabrics, florals, and softer imagery.

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Contributors

 

My goal for brassy has always been to empower women. Knowing that my own perspectives cannot and should not speak for others, no matter how welcoming of a space I created, I was never going to be able to provide an authentic experience if I did not start including other voices immediately. As a result, I contacted women who’s work I admire, to be contributors to this first iteration of brassy. Illustrators, writers, organizers, and other women all with meaningful stores, submitted pieces that spoke to their own experiences in womanhood. Thanks to the generous support and inspiration of numerous women, brassy now includes essays, illustrations, and other narratives from women living out their truths. Alongside my own ideas, these voices help create an online space that allows women to explore their own thoughts, find commonalities, and support one another.

 
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Experiencing brassy

 

website: brassy.co

The website brassy.co., acts as home base for all the content created for and by “brassy women.” I initiated this by showcasing some of my content from the original project as well as creating and curating additional work from women across the country. The site includes essays and visual assets, a database of resources, a monthly book club of recommended reading, Spotify playlists, accounts to follow, a brassy shop, and more.

instagram: @brassy.co

Instagram is an obvious choice for building an audience, but it is also a great way to share daily doses of brassy badassery. Each day, posts remind women to pratice gratitude and self-care, reflect on privilege and encourage intersectional work, as well as share random thoughts, song lyrics, and other fun things to break up the day. Additionally, content from brassy.co. is shared through posts, crediting each contributor and working to drive traffic to the main site.

 

the workbook

When I decided to expand brassy from a personal project to a public platform, I knew I wanted to help other women explore their own identities both online as part of a community and individually through a workbook. In order to ensure that I was creating something that was both meaningful as well as accessible to a majority of women, I worked to write questions and exercises that acknowledged perspectives I had not needed to explore in my own self-work. While designing the workbook, I allowed for ample space to write, draw, and otherwise explore the activities and questions. I also incorporated tracking and ways to monitor emotions while completing the book. Full color, texture, and images align the book with brassy’s brand. This workbook is currently in development and will be available in 2019.

 
 
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