This blog is a departure from the ordinary, an exploration of the extraordinary.
It is written by illustrator Heather Holbrook, the creative force behind this vibrant canvas of words and illustrations, as an introduction and first chapter to her upcoming book Evil Woman. Evil Woman, intrigues and challenges societal norms with a mischievous glint in its eye. We love the point of view and want to cheer Heather on to get her work published.
The original idea was to do a picture book for grown-ups. There are pictures, but it’s not that, exactly. It is a feminist perspective on the outrageous and often hilarious stereotypes and tropes that, to this day, demonize, degrade and define the female in our culture.
Where do these fears, fairy tales, myths and fantasies about women come from and why do they persist?
I am not a historian or a researcher. I’m an illustrator who loves folklore, funny stories, and a good rant (I grew up on Looney Tunes and Fractured Fairy Tales!). I have always been curious about the “why” of things and I just happen to be old enough to have gained some perspective on being a woman.
Having participated in the women’s rights movement for most of my adult life, I’m proud of the progress we have made in self-autonomy and social equity. Right now, however, I get the feeling the world is slipping backwards into a new dark age and we will have to be more vigilant than ever not to lose ground.
My hope is that, even if you’ve heard it all before, you will be entertained and reminded of this at the same time.
CHAPTER 1 (DRAFT)
EVE, THE ORIGINAL SINNER
“Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so;
but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her
daughters have been afraid of it since.”
— Abigail Adams
- Women take the blame: patriarchal religions’ marketing campaign to dominate older forms of worship and faith
- Judeo-Christian demonization of female culture: pagan symbolism becomes the new evil
Let’s start at the beginning, at least what was the the beginning of the end of paganism and the goddess religions that worshipped the “great mother”.1 The fall from grace into shame, the big heave-ho out of paradise and, yes, we know, it’s all her fault.
Eve, the original sinner, gullible enough to listen to a serpent (not coincidentally represented as a symbol of divine wisdom and knowledge in older religions where women were revered)2 the one who ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. The curious one.
Her so-called “weakness” is the reason why childbirth hurts like hell (HAH!) and we come into the world screaming, already sinners with stains on our souls.
Nobody likes a know-it-all, not if you’re a girl. Eve should have known her place. After all, she was created as an afterthought, a partial man, a spare rib. For God’s sake, somebody had to clean up the mess!
Illustration/ joke ; CHAPTER 1 Adam was in the Garden of Eden and was very, very lonely. So, God decides to build him a friend and lover. He decides to call it a “Woman”. So, he sets out to work but realizes he’ll need to borrow a few parts from Adam, so he goes to Adam and explains the situation. God says “I’ll build the perfect companion, she’ll cook, clean, take care of your every wish and need and will never nag or complain or be angry at you for no reason. It’ll only cost you an arm and a leg.”
Adam says “But I need my arm and leg… what can I get for just a rib?”
And the rest is history…
“The trouble with being an activist is you end up like Eve and you
get kicked out of the Garden of Eden. You know, Eve was the first
person who thought for herself. And she still gets a bad rap.
I named my daughter after her.”
— Susan Sarandon
Heather Holbrook Biography
Heather Holbrook is an Illustrator and graphic designer, life-long learner and teacher who has always been fascinated by interpretations of our world through art and literature.
She studied illustration at Sheridan College and OCADU. Heather began in advertising as an art director before teaming up with an artist representative to do illustration.
Her illustrations are done in chalk pastel or ink line and digital mixed media and have been commissioned for product packaging, advertising campaigns, book, and magazine publishing in Canada and internationally.
As a graphic designer, she creates logos and brand identity packages and print for advertising. Clients for her work include Beatrice Foods, Sobeys, Nabisco, Second Cup, British Airways, American Express, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank, CIBC, Unilever Canada, Harper Collins Publishing, Harlequin Enterprises
Reach Heather at