A Seat at the Table: Taking Up Space as a Woman

April 11, 2024

During Women’s History Month, we spent a lot of time thinking about the future.

We all know the statistics, which give us a snapshot of the past and the present. That thumbnail comes to represent us as women – and, sometimes, when we’re all talk and no walk, all conversation and no commitment, that thumbnail becomes just another way to make us small. It looks bad, it feels bad, and feeling bad becomes its own impediment to action. In adland, saying “this feels bad” too often becomes an action in itself. We love to raise awareness of a problem. But what about solving it? 

What would it take for us to take up space, instead? 

This question got us not just thinking but talking, dreaming, jamming, and filming. And the answer is, we’re already doing it, of course. Women take up space every day, bravely, boldly, sometimes at great risk to our livelihood, our self-esteem, our relationships. We take up space in our jobs, in our clubs, in gyms, in night life, in night walks, in science, in media, in culture, and in our own brains. (That last one is sometimes the hardest.) 

“​​Look at female artists whose art naturally becomes a medium to take up space – both physically and metaphorically,” said Bronwyn Davies, Director of Post Production at The Heist and Director of our new short film piece, “a seat at the table,” which explores the intimate relationship between art, space, and women’s experiences. 

“a seat at the table” features an incredible up-and-coming Chinese Canadian illustrator, muralist, and artist, Paige Jung, who is known for her use of color and gestural shapes to tell stories of connection, community power, and what makes us human. You’ve probably seen her bright, emotive work in Strathcona or elsewhere around Vancouver. Paige’s murals literally take up space in the city, not just for her but for her communities, bridging the past, the present, and the future with every sweeping brush stroke. 

For the piece, Paige created a new illustration that will proudly take up space in Thinkingbox’s Vancouver office. 

“As a woman, to take up space, I think it’s recognizing that your ideas and your insights contribute so much to the world,” said Paige. “We need to hear your stories in order to help the world grow.”

Paige is a self-taught artist, and like so many emerging creatives right now, she is turning her creativity and craft toward imagining better futures into existence. 

“A better future is built off of our everyday actions,” said Bronwyn. About “a seat at the table,” she said, “I strive to create spaces today where women are empowered and respected in all of their intersectional facets so that we can all contribute to a more equitable society for everyone. And this is every month, not just March.”

In the spirit of this future we’re building together, Thinkingbox, AntiSocial, and The Heist are making donations to local women’s organizations across all of our offices. 

You can watch “a seat at the table” featuring Paige Jung on Instagram now.