March 8th is International Women’s Day, the perfect day to celebrate the wonderful women at 99designs. Each year, the United Nations sets a theme in celebration of Women’s Day, and each company, organization and institution is encouraged to focus on the women in their fields. Our focus is, of course, women in graphic design.

To celebrate, we’ve interviewed 5 influential women at 99designs, and asked them to share their stories. Check out these lovely ladies, and be sure to tell us the graphic design women who have inspired you!

twinkle bee

Design by TwinkleBee

What made you pursue design as a career?

Zsanett Deak | FishDesigns: My life has always been around it but my dream was to be free — no boss and no alarm clocks. I was looking for work I could do from home, and then I found 99designs.

Elena Dodevska | TwinkleBee: I’ve been a designer for as long as I can remember. I simply work with what I’m in love with, and I’ve never thought of working as anything else. You could say that I didn’t choose design as a career — design chose me.


Design by Ditty

What was the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on?

Nadica Garcevik | Nackamarko: Giving birth and being a mother is my biggest project in life. I made a personal choice to dedicate myself to my child, and it has given me the greatest satisfaction. Now that my son is older and doesn’t need his mom as much anymore, I recently started to work on my skills in design again.

Farkas Edit | Ditty: Interestingly, my most difficult clients are women. They tend to ask for small tweaks on the design but not all at once. They notice the small details that (in my opinion) are not so important or noticeable.

Gordana Divjak | Googa: The most challenging project was my first 99designs contest. I was new on the site and I was so frightened. There were so many talented designers in one place. It seemed like I wasn’t good enough, and I was a bit ashamed of my work. It sounds funny to me now but I was staring at others’ work for hours and I asked myself, “Will I ever be as good as them?” I have to say that I am extremely happy with my progress. 🙂


Design by FishDesigns

Who has influenced you and how have they made an impact in your life?

Googa: I’ve learned a lot about life from my mother, who is a strong and creative woman. On 99designs and in my professional life, I look up to Adrijana Eric (maloandjelce), one of the most talented and creative designers I’ve ever met. She is a strong and persistent young woman — a real life fighter.

TwinkleBee: My brother, who believed in me and always pushed me to go forward.

FishDesigns: When I was in grade school, I played basketball and my coach would tell me that I give up too soon. His words have been a great impact in all walks of my life now — I’ve learned to keep pushing on.

Ditty: The first name that comes to mind is Dusan Sevarika (sheva™), not only because he is the best on 99designs but because he was the first that caught my eye. He made me want to find my own style. There are many fine artists on 99designs, and it’s a big competition for everyone. We are all good at something, and the good ones stick to what they know best. I met supportive friends on 99designs, like the other girls in this interview, who are all amazingly talented. Let’s face it, we are a minority on 99designs. We have a sensitive soul, and our designs speak to the soul, not just the mind.

Nackamarko: My family, who supported me in endless ways. And next is my art professor. When we learned about surrealism, she noticed that I hesitated in painting. She came to me, took the thin brush out of my hand, and said, “This thin brush is for small souls, and a wide brush is for a soul as large as yours.” This sentence has defined me for the future!


Design by nackamarko

How would you define “success”?

Googa: It’s very simple: Do what I love the most, enjoy my work and make people happy.

Ditty: For me, success means to be happy with myself and to help others.

FishDesigns: To be unique and do something different.

TwinkleBee: Success… it’s not one day, one hour, or one minute in our lives. Success is every day, every task that we complete, every mistake that we make and learn from. Success is knowing how to win and how to lose. To always be ourselves and to express ourselves in a unique way.

Nackamarko: To live with immeasurable happiness and love.


Design by Googa

Thanks to these women for sharing their stories, and a BIG thanks to ALL of the amazing women designers in the 99designs community!

To all designers: Which graphic design women have inspired you?

Header photo: Lukasz Porwol (via Flickr)