Even so, Rothman and MacNaughton continue to optimize the site, with an aim to drive even more jobs to illustrators. In the past several months, they introduced a tool through which art directors and editors can create accounts on Women Who Draw. By signing in, they have the option of “saving” their favorite artists, creating an easy-to-reference log as new illustration needs arise.
Rothman and MacNaughton have also begun to publish interviews with editors and art directors who are using the site for hiring. MacNaughton describes the feature as an “attempt to add an educational dimension to the site.” In a recent interview, they ask Bridget Watson Payne, the senior editor of art publishing at Chronicle Books, “Do you have any advice for illustrators who want to get a book deal?”
Her answer is refreshingly accessible, and actionable: “I love it when illustrators come to me with big, fully realized ideas that they’re excited about making happen in book form (as opposed to the more traditional illustration industry here’s-my-portfolio-let’s-work-together type pitch).”
This is the type of guidance Rothman and MacNaughton hope to produce more of on Women Who Draw, knowing it can only strengthen their primary objective: “The whole purpose of the site is to gain visibility for less visible illustrators and artists,” MacNaughton explains. “But it’s also to empower them, and help them get jobs. That’s the biggest goal: to get women jobs—and we’re going to help do that in any way we can.”