Givin’ girls an ego

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 Photograph by:   Callie Marshall

Photograph by:  Callie Marshall

The Push initiative is connecting creative ladies, showcasing their work and offering them a platform to build networks. I had a chat with the Creative Director and all-round Boss Lady of the brand, Bianca Annamie, about collaboration, education and representation.

I asked Bianca where the inspiration for The Push came from, and how it all began.

 “I come from an incredibly talented group of friends, both male and female, but I began to realise the guys I knew had a real knack for marketing themselves and landing more gigs than the gals,” she says.

"The ultimate goal of The Push, she says, is to provide a platform for like-minded women to meet and discuss ideas so that dreams can become realities..."

Bianca adds, “I think one of the main factors that hinders [women] is that we’re constantly criticised for having egos, chasing what we want or taking control of our bodies. I want to help remove those sorts of negative connotations and encourage women to develop that sense of self through features, interviews and collaborations. The more girls we see learning, fine tuning their craft and gaining the recognition they deserve is a step in the right direction.

“Getting it off the ground was easy. I’d identified the market for it, threw together a simple business plan and kicked off our branding the easiest and quickest way I knew how – Instagram. Our following grew organically with the help of some legends who gave us shout outs along the way.”

Bianca’s role within The Push covers everything from running the social media accounts to compiling questions for interviews, but she says that what she enjoys most is discovering how many women out there are excelling at what they’re passionate about, and speaking to them about their experiences. “I like to surround myself with talented, driven and motivated women” she says. “[It] not only helps me sort my life and goals out, but will hopefully help our audience as well.”

The Push’s website identifies Bianca and awesome ladies like her as “the girls your teacher warned you about” and she says it’s all about challenging education and authority.

“Growing up, I was taught (and I know I’m not alone) that bread is bread and you don’t question it. You listen to authority because they command respect and you’re not always encouraged to think for yourself. It’s the same with politics, business, religion, patriarchy!

“We wanted to push the mould; challenge common perceptions, including education and authority. In a sense ‘teachers’, to us, is anyone with authority. But ‘the girls anyone with authority warned you about’ didn’t really flow as nicely,” she laughs.

The ultimate goal of The Push, she says, is to provide a platform for like-minded women to meet and discuss ideas so that dreams can become realities. Bianca is a big believer in collaboration, and hopes that The Push can facilitate these networks and help to fund, promote or provide input to the projects that emerge from them.

“I’ve found that letting it move along organically seems to be working best for both the brand and myself, and I love seeing how many cliques out there are on the same wavelength as us,” she says, citing Ladies of Leisure, Hot Chicks with Big Brains and Good Good Girl as other groups heading in the same direction.The increase in other creatives building their empires with the same mentality and vision is yet another indicator that we’re on the right track. It’s a team effort – collaboration!”

Working constantly with talented creatives, Bianca says that comparison can be the thief of inspiration. “To be completely honest… I struggle to stay motivated, focused AND creative. Between doubting myself and then comparing myself to other women who are doing such a superior job, it’s an emotional rollercoaster and running The Push is a double-edged sword. But it’s also why I started it, and the positives far outweigh the negatives.

“Surrounding myself with creative women is what inspires me and allows me to be creative – whether it’s just conversational or actually hanging out, to viewing works, reading articles and blogs or even just scrolling a feed, inspiration is everywhere; it’s how you can interpret it and mould it as your own that’s the challenge.”

The Push recently hosted the all-female Not Yr Sweetheart exhibition at The Print Bar in Brisbane, and Bianca says that the response was overwhelming. “I personally loved each and every one of the works. We had so many different mediums, styles and questions raised through the pieces, and were able to promote artists from all over Australia and even as far as San Francisco,” she says. “The exhibition certainly ended up where we wanted it to be and opened up very exciting doors for some artists, which is exactly what I was after.”

Bianca feels that ground is being broken for women’s representation, both as artists and as subjects of art. “Women [are] taking back their sexuality and deciding how they want to be represented. It will take time to get to the ideal level of equality, but when you have icons like Amandla Stenberg, Arvida Byström and Amber Rose using their voices and taking a stance on how they are portrayed, we’ve come a long way.”

I asked Bianca what advice she would offer to other creative women trying to find their voice in a tough industry, and her response gave me the best kind of goose bumps.

“Don’t give up. If you love it, you crave it, you wake up every morning wanting to do it and stay up until the early hours doing it, you can’t deny yourself something you’re that passionate about, and even though it’s difficult to stick to it when it seems nothing is going your way, people recognise that sort of dedication and your day will come.

“And in the meantime, shoot us an email and we’ll converse/advise/give you a shout out.”

Asked about the future of The Push, Bianca says it is open to chance. “My interests are broad and the vision continues to widen, but as long as women need encouragement and the space to celebrate the diversity of women in our creative community, we will endeavour to provide that.”

 Find out more about The Push on their website.