Gayle Kabaker is an artist and illustrator whose work is featured in The New Yorker, Condé Nast, and even at the Kennedy Center (her work is the longest-running exhibit they have ever had!). It took a lot of practice and perseverance to develop her signature art style; Luckily, she had a head-start. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be an artist, and luckily, her parents supported her dream.
When Trump got elected in 2016, though, Gayle found that she wanted her work to take on a political tone. That sense of purpose guided her to work with Vital Voices, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. that seeks to empower women leaders. In 2020, Gayle partnered with them to launch an art exhibit called The Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower (which they turned into a book you can buy and you totally should because it's amazing!)
Despite all of her success, Gayle has moments of self-doubt. There are times when she feels like she’ll never paint something beautiful again (and even times when she hates the work that everyone else seems to love). In those moments, she relies on support from her husband, her collaborators, and her family. She also forces herself to sit in her discomfort. When things are slow at work, she tries to enjoy the quiet. Constantly reminding herself that change is the only true constant in life. And she trusts herself. Gayle takes time to make art that she wants to make, not just what other people want her to make. “When I give myself permission to only paint what I love,” Gayle explains, “Inevitably good things happen.”