Judith P. Raynault studio

Redefining Purpose

I mentioned before that, back in 2016, I drew 31 'women I admire' for the InkTober challenge. Most were famous women, but I also included a few that were friends and family members.


The last illustration I did for the challenge was of my late godmother, Claudine, who would have turned 69 this month. The caption that accompanied the artwork ended with “(...) she loved me unconditionally; she is a big part of why I grew up to be an okay adult. She didn't change the world but she changed mine, and that's why she's on my list.”

Looking back, I'm proud of past me for recognising that the people near me are just as influential on my life as those who did important things for the world. I would even argue the former are more significant, because they love/loved me and I love them. Sure, the admirable people who helped change the world have had an effect on my life (like the fact that I can vote, for example). But the day to day impact is made by those with whom I share my life.

Illustration close-ups

Serendipitously, I heard Claire Foy on the latest episode of Talk Easy podcast say something that reminded me of this idea. She said “What I see of humanity is not glitz and glamour and, you know, a biography of someone who flew across the Atlantic. Which is a great feat. But, I’m interested in the small feats in life.”

We give a lot of importance to professional success and recognition, the societal discourse being that work will give us purpose. But more often than not, work is just that, work. And so purpose should be found somewhere else. To be totally honest, I'm not sure I've found it yet, but I think that being there for the people I love and doing my best to be a decent human being is a good start. I might even find that's all there is.

Judith xx


Found on Pinterest and the artist unfortunately wasn't tagged.

The main inspiration was obviously my godmother, but I was also inspired by the limited colour palette in this lovely illustration.

Book recommendation

I absolutely LOVED The Story Of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel (whom you may know from the amazing IG account and podcast The Great Women Artists). It's a comprehensive and engaging recounting of women and queer artists throughout history, starting from the 16th century.

It was frustrating at times to read about how many have been erased from history, most having been rediscovered only very recently.

The book will make you want to dig deeper into these incredible artists' catalogues.

Shop news

I'm very happy to say that I'm part of the next curation of independent makers at Better Things London! My art prints will be sold at their store from February 1st until March 26th. :)

If you're in Forest Hill on February 2nd, come join us between 5 and 9 pm for an evening of late night shopping to celebrate the new curation & shop the brands!

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© Judith Poitras-Raynault 2024
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