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InspirationMar 07, 2022

Women Inspiring Women: ULTRABOLD Finalists share work of women they admire

Patterns and colours by Leta Sobierajsk Work by Leta Sobierajsk

The theme for International Women's Day 2022 is "Women Inspiring Women." In honour of the theme, we asked female ULTRABOLD finalists to introduce us to women inspiring them and their work. 

Zoë Boudreau Provisional RGD

Designer at Rethink Canada 

2021 Finalist

Zoë is an art director specializing in clever concept-driven designs primarily for identity systems and advertising. 

Inspiration: Leta Sobierajski

"One of my favourite female design leaders is Leta Sobierajski. She uses patterns and colours in a way that she owns. Her style isn't contained within one medium as she's always taking on different projects from branding, to photography, to fashion. Go Leta, go!"

Leta Sobierajsk and Wade Jeffree Leta Sobierajsk and Wade Jeffree

Loren Aytona Arena Provisional RGD

Freelance Graphic Designer

2020 Finalist

Loren's passion and expertise lies in supporting research, educational and public service programs through graphic design.

Inspiration: Janelle Quibuyen

"I discovered the work of independent graphic designer and artist Janelle Quibuyen in late 2019. Formerly the creative director and social media manager of Hood Famous (a Filipino bakery-cafe-bar hybrid based in Seattle), Janelle quickly drew me in with her signature illustrative style and compelling Instagram visuals that both impress and educate. Her multi-disciplinary and strategic storytelling rivals some of the best agencies out there - a balance of creative direction that feels both fresh and familiar and pitch-perfect copywriting that draws you in and leaves you better. Read her case study on navigating Hood Famous and pivoting its service offerings through the 2020 pandemic and prepare to be blown away by the sheer scope of her creative solutions (then go on and review the rest of her impressive portfolio). Janelle is the embodiment of graphic design as a tool for advocacy, education and social change. She is a design powerhouse and represents exactly the kind of visual storyteller I want to be. I am continuously learning from her work.

Janelle is proudly Filipina-American and is generous with her knowledge and experiences ofnavigating the greater Filipino diaspora.  To the outside eye, her work is objectively impressive — but what I can clearly see is a love letter to my community. Her work has the nuance that I didn’t know I was starved for trying to make my way through this industry — it grounds me, fills me with gratitude for where I came from and gives me drive."

work by Janelle Quibuyen Images: Courtesy of

Claudia Yuen

Art Director at Pilot PMR

2021 Finalist

Claudia is an award-winning designer and art director with a diverse background in brand systems, environmental, digital and communication design.

Inspiration: Susan Kare

"Susan Kare laid the foundations for pixel art and user interface design elements. She is behind some of the most recognizable icons and graphic elements in the world. In the early 1980s, she was asked to draw icons and font elements for the Mac computer. She made the then brave new digital world feel more friendly. Among Susan’s legacies are her icons, from the happy smiling Mac to the “command” symbol (⌘) that was taken from a sign on Swedish campgrounds to denote interesting locations. She was able to invent a new symbol because there wasn’t a standard at the time or an existing metaphor but today it has now built up familiarity.

Susan's work goes far beyond icons. She also developed the system’s fonts which have been the default on Apple computers for almost 15 years. Susan has brought her warm style to other tech giants including for IBM and designing the playing cards for Microsoft’s Solitaire. Her work is ground-breaking and continues to influence the way we navigate and interact with social media, websites, electronic devices and software today. Ease of use and understanding are at the centre of Susan’s designs and this persists in the visual language of our interfaces today."

work by Susan Kare OPUS Design Website | cnet article by James Martin


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