October 11th was #DayoftheGirl and I was honored to collaborate with the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, Amanda Gorman, and artist Sabrina Epstein, in a illustrated poetry series in partnership with She's The First. 

She's The First supports girls who will be the first in their families to graduate high school and trains students everywhere to be global citizens. When a girl is the first in her family to graduate, it alters the course of her life and impacts generations to come. Her potential is UNLEASHED.

The campaign's hashtag #PowerofFirsts seeks to highlight the resilience of girls and women worldwide. Scroll through to enjoy the full poem. I also encourage you to make a donation in support of STF's advocacy work at:

World breastfeeding week collaboration with Melinda Gates

I was honored to collaborate with Melinda Gates in August on an illustrated series for World Breastfeeding Week. I learned so much throughout this project and to my friends who are mothers—thank you for lamenting, laughing, crying, and sharing your uniquely beautiful stories of motherhood with me. WOMEN ARE INCREDIBLE and providing support for motherhood and parenthood is vital to the health of our communities.

The illustrative campaign provided significant discourse across social media and the web. Do we really understand, as a society, what our mothers go through in nourishing and supporting new life? Are we creating policy, public spaces, workplaces and creating company cultures that are inclusive of parenthood, and specifically, of mothers with newborns? 

Throughout the advocacy week, Melinda and I shared different scenarios highlighting the struggle, the joy, and the humor of motherhood. She also shared her personal experience and perspective on breastfeeding with Refinery 29 too–click here to read. Check out the illustrations from the campaign below. It's been one of my favorite campaigns yet! I'd love to continue the conversation too. Share your insight as mama below!

Wonder Human Wednesday: Poet Nikita Gill

Moved, energized, and empowered by the extraordinary women and people I’ve connected with throughout my creative journey, I’m featuring their brilliance here on my blog. First up for #WonderHumanWednesday is the beautiful and transformative poet, Nikita Gill.

It’s an honor to collaborate with Nikita on "The Ghosts Of All The Women." I’ve been a fan girl for awhile and am so damn excited to illustrate her work which has provided our hearts and our souls words of self-love, self-compassion, and light to calm the chaos as we evolve and emerge.  

We recently connected to chat about art, poetry, life, and what drives her creativity. Below is a snapshot of that conversation:

Kimothy Joy: What are you most proud of yourself for? What are you most grateful for?

Nikita Gill: I am most proud of the fact that I am kind. And I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my thoughts and feelings with a world that is receptive to them.

KJ: Why do you choose to do this work?

NG: For everyone who looks for words and cannot find them, for everyone who needs solace before their sleep, for everyone who has faced trauma and needs someone to encourage them. That is why I do this work.

KJ: If you had a Bill & Ted time machine, what would you tell your 16-year-old-self?

NG: Everything will eventually work out in a way you least expect it. And you will survive all of it.

KJ: What project are you currently most excited about? What is your dream project?

NG: The project I am currently most excited about is my collab with you! I love working with other artists, it truly makes creating even more special. My dream project would be to write a script for an anthology based film based on empathy and mental health that will illuminate the world on the struggles of depression, anxiety and PTSD.

KJ: Who inspired you most? Who would you nominate for Wonder Human Wednesday?

NG: The person who inspires me the most is Michelle Obama. And I would nominate Bianca Sparacino (@rainbowsalt on Instagram) for Wonder Human Wednesday.

KJ: What is your favorite quote? What is your current podcast or book recommendation?

NG: My favorite quote is from Neil Gaiman's Coraline: "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." My current favorite podcast is Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History. BRILLIANT stuff.

KJ: What brings you joy? And if you had superpowers, what would be your first mission?

NG: Laughter, from the people I love brings me the most joy. Giving people a reason to smile brings me joy. My first mission if I had superpowers would be to find a way to bring about a million times more empathy in the world.

KJ: Tell us about “The Ghosts Of All The Women."

NG: "The Ghosts Of All The Women" is a segment of a longer poem which I have worked on. It was an affirmation of self and the truth of growth that every woman goes through. It is a reminder to myself and every other woman out there that personal growth is a positive thing.

To learn more about Nikita Gill's work be sure to follow her on Tumblr, Instagram, TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

To purchase "The Ghosts Of All The Women" 8x10 print visit Kimothy Joy's shop.