Damsel In Distress

Illustration Series, 2017


'Damsel in Distress' is an Illustration series designed on Adobe Illustrator for my class, 'DN1006 - Foundation 2D II' in my Second Year of University. The prompt of the assignment is the namecard template, 'Hello my name is..' and the Song 'Que Sera Sera'.

Designed using familiar iconography from the feminist icons of Disney animated films like Mulan, Brave's Merida, Frozen's Elsa, and The Incredibles' Elastigirl, 'Damsel in Distress' is a minimalistic dark sattire on the hard truth of women's places in careers and industries today. The tone is cute and minimalist with the pantone colour palettes of the respective films.


Each piece in the series depicts an object representing a career, personified by the role of women using iconography (hair), and its final outcome, which is an inevitable failure, hinted by the subtle cracks or defects in the object. Thanks to the long drawn out patriarchy and persistent inequality in fair wages and societal responsibilities, careers inevitably take a backseat for women. Although society claims to have improved, men and women still carry subtle problematic mindsets about equality in the workplace.


This series is a personal reflection of my fears when I work in the future. The occupations listed in the series, are jobs that I have thought of pursuing. Fun fact - the defects in the form of cracks, actually spell my initials, A.F.K., short for Ayesha Fathima Kamal. See if you can spot them!


Given below is a breakdown of the design in the order of 1. Colour Palette, 2. Object depicting career (like computer, bulb, printer, lamp), 3. Hair representing the female icon (Mulan, Merida, Elsa and Elastigirl), and 4. Defects in the form of cracks that spell out my initials.