art, illustration, charicatures
(Self-portrait of Rori provided by the artist)

A St. Louis cartoonist and illustrator, who goes by the name Rori, recently completed a project intended to raise awareness of powerful women from history.

Loretta Mary Aiken, known by her stage name Moms Mabley, was a stand-up comedian known for her social satire. (Illustration provided by Rori)
Loretta Mary Aiken, known by her stage name Moms Mabley, was a stand-up comedian known for her social satire. (Illustration provided by Rori)

The “100 Days 100 Women” series began as a freelance endeavor but quickly grew into a popular series recognized by UpWorthy and Medium. The project was also influenced by the Democratic nomination of Hillary Clinton.

“I was so inspired, and someone said ‘102 days until the election’ and that planted the seed. A very quickly growing one,” Rori told Wanderer News.

Rori’s list began with 50 women but kept growing and changing right until the end, with suggestions playing a role in her research process.

“Suggestions were wonderful. Not only were great people suggested, but they led me to find even more. I loved this shared aspect of it. I love that people were so invested,” Rori said.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the first modern woman head of state. (Illustration provided by Rori)
Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the first modern woman head of state. (Illustration provided by Rori)

Along with suggestions, Rori spent hours online and consulting scholarly article in her quest to expand her project. Once she completed her research, drawing a portrait would take one to two hours to complete.

From featuring women such as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike to first female stand-up comic Moms Mabley, Rori said she has received wide-ranging feedback, with much of it diffusing any negative commentary.

“Some people haven’t been happy with all the subjects, but that’s okay. One hundred places just isn’t enough for all the remarkable women in history,” Rori said.

Most people have been polite and most seem to have connected with her project, she said.

“So much of the feedback has been suggestions or people asking to use it as a teaching aid,” she said. “I’ve even heard from a few of the women featured and that put me in heaven.”

Rori said publishing her work would definitely be a possibility if the interest remains high into 2017. Until then, she will be offering prints starting within the next few days.

“I’ve learned so much and connected with so many people. That’s beautiful,” Rori said. “It’s worth every hour of sleep I lost, well worth it.”

To see the rest of Rori’s work, follow her on Twitter.