Smartworks exhibition - 'In her own way' in our Spanish City shop until 3rd April 2020

This International Women’s Day, Smart Works and For the Love of the North have partnered with 8 incredible female designers to create "In Her Own Way".

In Her Own Way is a celebration of female empowerment and shines a light on the amazing female talent we have in the region.

Each designer has created an A3 print inspired by #IWD2020. 

The prints cost £25, and all proceeds from each print sold will support our designers and the Smart Works service.


Smart Works Newcastle is a North East charity supporting local women back into work, helping them to gain financial independence and transform their lives. Their core service offers free clothing and coaching for women ahead of their interview. They empower each woman by giving her the confidence she needs to succeed. Since opening in April 2018, over 500 women from across the North East have accessed their service and over 68% of the clients they are able to contact go on to succeed at their job interview within one month of visiting.

The Artists

Almudena Rocca

“Inspiration comes from a very personal interest in mental ill-health, politics, feminism and the role of women in art in today’s society.
Having worked in a number of socially engaging art projects where the practice is based on the principles of collective working, diversity and inclusion I came to realise that this is the environment in which I wish to develop her work.
My designs start with a continuous line drawing and then develop into a piece of 3D work. The hands which feature in my print reflect an environment where sharing and collaboration contribute to mental ill-health recovery and emotional good health and well-being.”

Almudena is a multi-disciplinary artist. In the last few years, she has been developing her skills using a variety of materials including metal, glass, clay, wood, digital photography, pen and pencil.

Caitlin Penaluna
Caitlin is a Digital Designer based in London and originally from Newcastle upon Tyne. Although she spends her time finding new styles of illustration, her signature prints are bold, colourful and quirky.

Caitlin’s In Her Own Way Prints are a testament to the idea that we are not defined by one thing - we are incredible, multifaceted women.

Alice Clark

"With this design I wanted to showcase a community of women, each individual in their own way but coming together to support each other. I tried to highlight the different passions and professions these women might have, everything from reading and writing to medicine. It’s a celebration of all things woman and I hope it does these women justice in my vibrant and quirky colour palette."

Alice is an illustrator based in the North East of England. Her work is vibrant, bold and ideal for use in editorial work, packaging design, branding and more! Alice’s work is created digitally so it can be used at any scale and anywhere.

Melanie Kyles

“I wanted to highlight the importance of fair and sustainable fashion that improves the lives of women, an ethos I share strongly with Smart Works. When wearing something that has a positive connection to other women, whether that be the person making your clothes having a good quality of life and financial independence, or your money going towards a good cause, you naturally feel empowered! To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, I was inspired to illustrate a modern-day goddess modelled on the stance of a 1920’s feminine statue and balancing the scales of justice, bringing attention to the environmental, social and ethical aspects of our fashion industry and their importance for gender equality.”

Melanie Kyles is a hand-embroidery specialist based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Her creative work has reached an international audience and explores contemporary craftsmanship and sustainability within the fashion industry. She hosts regular workshops and events from her studio The Fashion Lab in Ampersand Inventions that includes practical sessions on sewing, embroidery and embellishment. She also produces commissioned embroidery pieces, hand embellished and embroidered artwork, and has previously been involved in International Women’s Day through her curation of two consecutive exhibitions in Vane gallery to mark the occasion.

Laura Sheldon

“We rise by lifting others. My illustration is a reminder that we are all connected and the importance of looking out for eachother through good and bad times.” .
Laura provides Design & Illustration services for the entertainment, culture, social and independent sectors. Laura creates distinctive and personal design unique to the client helping them stand apart from the crowd.
Laura has recently branched out to hand-poked tattoos at the beautiful @evergreentattoos in Ouseburn. Laura finds inking her illustrations permanently onto people to be quite a humbling experience.

Shepherd Illustration

“My design features nine different botanicals all at different stages of flower. Some at the peak of there bloom and some, like eucalyptus in the centre of the composition, before they have even formed their flower. This represents women at all stages of our lives. We are all individuals and we all find our purpose in life in our own time and in our own way. As a new mum to my son Teddy I have never felt that is truer than now."

Shepherd Illustration is the creation of northeast based illustrator and animator Lauren Bennett. Named after her maiden name, Shepherd Illustration focuses on natural forms such as botanicals and native wildlife. All Lauren’s drawings have a strong message that aims to support and enhance people's lives. Her illustrations are intricately minimal, drawn in predominantly black fine liner and embellished with a dust of gold gilding.

Branded by Naomi

“If we were to create a visual brand for IWD's #EachforEqual theme, how would it feel? How do we celebrate individualism (In her own way) within a collective mindset (of each for equal)? Yep. We wrote ourselves a creative brief. #lol #creatureofhabit

Naomi has held positions in leading web, advertising and brand agencies and spoken at conferences worldwide. Naomi’s drive is to make positive change through design and she has worked with more non-profits than she can remember!

Katie Chappell

Katie is an illustrator, best known for her wobbly illustration and giant live window paintings.

“This drawing wanted to be drawn. It's a celebration. Of body acceptance, feeling free to be yourself, and yeah... flying through the sky with a kale leaf to cover your bits. That giddiness you feel when you let you allow yourself to exist and take up space right here in this body on this world right now.”


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