The goal of this Kickstarter is to continue the Wonder Women Project - a series of collectible enamel pins celebrating amazing women and their accomplishments. These women are role models for people of any gender and should be recognized for their contributions to the world.
The Wonder Women Project is an attempt at education – my education at the very least. I want to learn more about amazing female inventors, scholars, and minds because I believe it’s good to learn about them. When I learn about someone amazing, I want to share that knowledge with all of you.
I believe that the good role models inspire great things in us. This makes the world a better place. You can read more about my thoughts on this project on my blog.
Why Maryam Mirzakhani?
Dr. Mirzakhani is the first - and so far only - woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal. The award is likened to the Nobel Prize of Mathematics.
[She] was not the first outstanding woman mathematician, but she was the first, and so far only, to be recognized with the Fields, which, unlike the annual Nobel, is awarded only once every four years and only to mathematicians 40 years old or younger. Up to four mathematicians receive the prize in any award year. “It was bound to happen,” says Daubechies, who served as president of the International Mathematical Union, the organization that awards the Fields Medal, from 2011 to 2014. She was the first woman to lead the IMU. “There are excellent young women mathematicians. Many times they have been on the short, short list, but it had so far not happened. I was very, very happy that it happened on my watch.”
Just getting to the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul where the award was presented was a challenge for Mirzakhani. Although she kept it private at the time, she was in the midst of her first bout with cancer. “We were so happy that we managed to make it possible for her to come,” Daubechies says. Mirzakhani’s cancer eventually recurred, and despite aggressive treatment, it metastasized to her liver and bones, eventually killing her. She continued to work until shortly before her death, and her colleagues say she approached her illness both realistically and with hope. [SOURCE]
The first time I heard about Dr. Mirzakhani was this past July when news outlets reported her death. I was saddened that I had not known about her or her amazing accomplishments until she had died.
Why is that?
Is it because she was born in Iran? Or that she was a woman? Or that her accomplishments weren't easily distilled into a tiny attention grabbing headline? Maybe it's the things that our society values or doesn't value? It’s probably a combination of many things. But it's something I want to change.
I am not going to politicize her passing. However, I would like to use her untimely death as a focal point for education.
That is why I have chosen Dr. Mirzakhani to be the second subject in the Wonder Women Project.
About the Pin
The pin features a stylized portrait of Dr. Mirzakhani superimposed upon a section of a Riemann surface - part of a saddle tower made in Rhino 3D and rotated to a pleasing perspective and exported to Illustrator. She was awarded her Fields Medal "for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces;" I thought the pin should recognize this.
I'm sticking with the color scheme I used in the previous pin. I'm thinking it will be a nice way to unify the collection.
Each pin will come attached to a backing card. The front will have a close up of the artwork and the reverse will contain information about Dr. Mirzakhani.
2 inches at the tallest point. Black dyed metal plating with two butterfly clasps on back. White enamel fill with blue fill for eyes. Designed and made in the US.
About the Art
I poured over many images of Dr. Mirzakhani and went through a number of ideas for her pin before settling on the final design. From watching several videos of her lecturing, I initially wanted her to have a more jovial expression. I made several "happy" versions but the art never looked right to me. I also attempted to make an image out of equations I found in several of her published works, but the limitations of the pin medium made that idea impossible.
The final design was a combination of ideas from several sources. One being the decision to carry over the color palate from the first pin. The second was me wanting to integrate a mathematical surface but being limited by size and manufacturable detail. Dr. Mirzakhani's face itself came into being when I stumbled upon two images.
The first was a photo of her from 2014 when she accepted her Fields Medal in Seoul, South Korea.
The second image was an illustration by Ramin Abhari. I reached out to him and asked if I could use his illustration as a model for my pin and he very kindly agreed!
I found the image via an article - For Anahita, her pen, and her journey - on LinkedIn.
Putting those two sources - along with the 2D representation of the 3D surface I created in Rhino 3D - together gave me the final version.
To me, the final result is evocative of Dr. Mirzakhani mid lecture guiding future mathematicians.
It is with utmost sincerity and respect that I have created this illustration and this campaign. I do it in the hope of spreading the memory of Maryam Mirzakhani, her love for her field of study, and to perhaps inspire people of any gender and age to strive for their potential in whatever field they choose.
A Note on Charitable Donations
It is against Kickstarter Rules to raise funds to donate for charitable causes. However, in the past I have donated a portion of the proceeds of my artistic projects to a charitable cause. Past causes that I have supported include the Karam Foundation, Women for Afghan Women, and The Association for Women in Science.
Risks and challenges
By far the most challenging part of this or any Kickstarter campaign is getting the word out!
I won't be able to make these pins if nobody knows about this campaign. Getting as many pledges as possible to reach the goal is a challenge that backers like you can have a huge of impact on.
I'm dedicated to seeing this project be successful but I'm still only one person. I can't do this alone. I need your help. Share the link with people you know who will love these pins and the idea behind them. Then share it again, and share it some more!
This is my fourth Kickstarter campaign and my second one for enamel pins. I have a good relationship with an experienced US based pin manufacturer.
If funding is successful I do not expect any big delays in getting you your rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)