Judith P. Raynault studio

Moments Of Joy And Michaela Coel

Hello lovely people, I'm back!

I'm wishing you lots of moments of joy for 2022! Frankly, that's also what I'm wishing for myself, and to make sure I notice said moments. If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that I shared a few snaps of #momentofjoy in my stories, as a way to stop and take them in. I should keep it up, it's lovely to have a record of all those joyful times, however little they are.

After a shit 2021 both mentally and physically – for reasons I won't go into for now – I'm happy to report that 2022 has surprisingly brought some new energy and motivation in my life. Not enough energy to put out this blog on the last Tuesday of January as it was meant to be, but hey, baby steps.

I May Destroy You

My inspiration this month is Michaela Coel, or more precisely Michaela Coel on the show she created (and wrote, co-directed, and executive produced): I May Destroy You.

If you've not seen it, I'm almost reluctant to give you the premise because, like all very good stories, this one is more than that of 'Arabella, a young writer in the public eye who seeks to rebuild her life after being raped.' It's about consent in pretty much all its forms. And it's explored with nuance, without painting anyone as totally good or bad. Like in real life, people are mostly both.

The show is a masterpiece of storytelling, and although it is gut-wrenching at times (how could it not be?), it is not devoid of something akin to hope.

Reference photo for my illustration. Yes, it's a picture of my TV.

In the scene from the reference photo, Coel plays the emotions very subtly but with huge impact. It made me snap a photo of the TV screen and post it on social media, urging people to watch the show. I still feel strongly about it, more than a year later. Spending time working on the illustration reminded me that it was also beautifully shot.

This month I'm weaving my book recommendations with my inspiration because they're related. And just like last month, I'm mentioning two books. Although very different, both Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo and Misfits by Michaela Coel have common themes. Both non-fiction books are about their careers and what they went through in their lives. Both stories are about grit.

Michaela Coel found fame at the beginning of her career and Bernardine Evaristo did so much later, but both are using the art of storytelling to make marginal voices heard. And they're both trying to bring positive change to their respective industries, probably because they were misfits (to use Coel's word) for so long. Both have the power of empathy, seeing both sides of a story and making you think rather than telling you what to think. And that's something I aspire to do with my work.

Judith xx

Illustration close-ups. See some of the process  here.

Book recommendation

Since I've already done this part, let's take a moment to appreciate Misfits' beautiful cover design by Jack Smyth 💜🖤✨

Want to get this blog directly in your inbox each month, with added news about my shop and special announcements? Just subscribe here.


© Judith Poitras-Raynault 2024
Previous   /   Next