In 2017, Google's
International Women's Day Doodle honored 13 women throughout history who paved the way for others. For 2018, Google took a different, though equally powerful, approach: The search engine asked 12 artists from 12 different countries to offer reflections on their experiences as women.
"This year, we wanted to bring forward unheard stories and voices, and to celebrate women's collective experiences with all of their commonalities and differences,"
Perla Campos, a product marketing manager on the Google Doodle team told Refinery29. "We want to shine a light on the important and far reaching impact of everyday women."
The 12 female artists, who hail from Japan to Pakistan, each took a different approach: Some Doodles are abstract, fictional tales, while others tell personal family stories. Click through to see each of the Doodles and learn more about the women who created them.
Chihiro Takeuchi Takeuchi
, a paper cut artist and illustrator is based in Japan. Her animated Doodle, titled "Ages and Stages" depicts different generations of women at various times in their lives. She hopes the Doodle will inspire people to feel "they are never too old or too young to challenge themselves with new activities, new jobs or new things to learn."
Illustrator and animator Philippa Rice is based in Nottingham, England. She's behind the popular web comic
My Cardboard Life
and a 2014 comic book called
which features the same character as today's Doodle. The Doodle, which Rice says, "is about how overwhelming it is to become a mother and how talking to others and sharing your troubles can make you feel better," is one many moms can relate to.
Brazilian cartoonist, comic strip artist, and screenwriter Laerte Coutinho is the subject of a Netflix documentary,
, which shows her experience coming out as a transgender woman at 60 years old. Her illustrated Doodle is a love story, which she hopes will help people "see how our prejudices many times destroy meaningful possibilities in life."
Thai graphic designer
's Doodle is all about women finding peace and power within themselves.
Isuri Merenchi Hewage Isuri Merenchi Hewage
is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she is a picture book and comic strip illustrator. Her Doodle tells the story of "Aarthi the Amazing," a brave and fearless woman who Hewage hopes will inspire women to "weather through the rough seas of inequality."
Karabo Poppy Moletsane
You might recognize the work of South African street artist and illustrator
Karabo Poppy Moletsane
: She created the graffiti for the Grammy nominated music video "Makeba", by the French artist Jain. Moletsane's Doodle is about women overcoming barriers, and fighting stereotypes "to pursue their unconventional dream and be the pioneer that opens the door for those with similar dreams to follow suit."
illustrates the "Minutes" of a woman's life as she comes into her own.
Kaveri Gopalakrishnan South Indian-based comic artist Kaveri Gopalakrishnan presents an abstract tale about the power of books and words. "When I was very young and unsure of my own worth, it was reading that saved me," she said. "I didn’t think I had the words to speak out for myself, and so wrote for myself and read other peoples words. Surrounding myself with books — whatever was handy, even labels and instruction manuals — sort of grew me into the person I am today, instead of retreating into a shell."
's Doodle is set in 1989, during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her story shows how that moment in history allowed her to become who she is today.
In her Doodle, Mexican illustrator
depicts her aunt's battle against cancer.
depicts the treasures of her homeland, and wants "people to simply be able to empathise and visualise this small fragment of my most cherished memories of the home I had to leave behind and to understand that the love and support received from strong womanhood can help you accomplish anything."
Francesca Sanna Illustrator Francesca Sanna was born in Italy, but currently resides in Zurich. Her Doodle represents the importance of communicating with others, even though it can be scary to make yourself vulnerable around others.