Wendy MacNaughton is an illustrator, author and graphic journalist whose idiosyncratic body of work shimmers with warmth and humanity. Her recent collaboration with writer Caroline Paul yielded the bestselling young adult novel, The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure, which novelist Sheryl Strayed, praised as: “the book of the year for daredevils, doers and dreamers of all ages.”
Through the act of being there and drawing, something unexpected happens.
Wendy’s work appears regularly in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time. A former social worker, her commitment to social justice is particularly evident in her two most recent projects: Women Who Draw, a website that functions as a directory of female artists and illustrators, and Focus, an illustrated manifesto she created with writer Courtney Martin, calling for activism through creative expression.
This episode of Change Lab traces Wendy’s creative path from a childhood that fed and encouraged her interest in drawing to her pivotal decision to merge her innate curiosity, creativity and humanity into her current role as a graphic journalist, whose participant-observer approach to capturing the world in images and carefully chosen and scripted words has shaped her uniquely playful and powerful body of work.