SUITCASE Magazine’s Favourite Women Creatives You Should Be Following

From illustrators whose work has filled the pages of our magazine, to photographers and writers we’ve sent out into the world to bring back the stories that matter, these are the women creatives to have on your radar for 2022.

We know there's nothing the SUITCASE community loves more than meeting inspirational women who are making waves in their field. From the trailblazers shaping our digital world, to the activists rewriting school curriculums to include Black history, some of our favourite SUITCASE stories are about women disregarding the status quo and forging their own path.

This International Women's Day, we're showcasing some of the incredible women working in creative industries. Writers, photographers, musicians and artists, we urge you to follow, support and celebrate them.

Travel writer Sophy Roberts writing in a journal in Siberia, Russia
Image credit: Michael Turek

Sophy Roberts

Travel writer

SUITCASE regulars will already be familiar with Sophy Roberts' incredible way with words. The British author and travel journalist's illustrious career has seen her reporting on stories from around the world for an array of renowned publications, including a feature in SUITCASE Vol. 31: The Freedom Issue. Her recently published debut book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia, charts the writer as she hunts for pianos of eras past across the icy expanses of Russia. Follow her on Instagram as she adventures across distant territories, from Chad to Siberia, and catch up with her thoughtful interviews with travellers, photographers and activists. Prepare for her wanderlust to inspire you every time you open your phone.

Follow her: @sophy_roberts

Illustrator Laura Hope Lloyd

Laura Hope Lloyd


Laura Hope Lloyd's first job, hand-etching portraits onto gravestones, honed her skills for capturing likenesses - something the Oxford-based artist now puts to good use creating vintage-inspired illustrations and striking portraiture for leading brands and publications. You can spot her incredible work in the upcoming issue of SUITCASE. When your subscription slips through your postbox, flip to our article on the powerful young African women making it their business to protect the planet. Laura's beautiful illustrations accompany the piece.

Follow her: @ _laurahope

A portrait of Bulgarian photographer Alexandra Karadzhova

Alexandra Karadzhova


Recognise Alexandra Karadzhova's richly coloured photography and striking landscape images? The Bulgarian photographer shot the cover for SUITCASE Vol. 35: Celebration, a rapturous portrait of Ruslan the eagle hunter, and his treasured bird, Karabarchin, in Kyrgyzstan. A cinematographer and filmmaker, Alexandra likes to seek out wild landscapes and unorthodox locations to explore with her lens, from Cornwall to Kenya, often playing with shadow to produce distinctive stills that capture the shapes and spaces of landscapes, as well as the people who inhabit them. Next up? Siberia, Greenland and Guatemala.

Follow her: @lostinayaland

Brixton-based artist Layla Andrews

Layla Andrews


London-based Layla Andrews is a rising star in the art world, with Barack Obama numbering among her many fans. The artist is known for her large-scale, figurative and abstract portraits, often splashed with rich, earthy colours. Past subjects on canvas included the aforementioned former US president and Nelson Mandela, her painting of whom was auctioned to raise money for the freedom fighter's children's charity. Currently artist in residence at Brixton Village, Layla's latest project is a curation of London's leading women artists. Head to the market to spot 20 original works from seven of the city's creatives, plus a series of large-scale sea-life sculptures by Layla herself.

Follow her: @laylandrews

Ghanian photographer Jessica Sarkodie
Image credit: Keren Lasme

Jessica Sarkodie


Ghanaian photographer Jessica Sarkodie first caught the eye of the SUITCASE team with her saturated stills of Accra's "motordames" burning up the city streets on two wheels in Vol 31: The Freedom Issue. Since then, we've been following her work in awe. Now based in Dakar, Jessica has kept the unexpected and overlooked firmly in her sights, capturing the narratives of both her home city and locations around West Africa. Follow her for illuminating glimpses into Senegalese city life.

Follow her: @jessicaarkodie

Jessica Nabongo in Jaipur, India
Image credit: Elton Anderson

Jessica Nabongo

Traveller, writer and entrepreneur

The trailblazing Jessica Nabongo made the history books in October 2019, when she became the first Black woman to have visited all 195 UN-recognised countries. Her two-and-a-half-year journey took in Sudan's pyramids, the sun-baked streets of Havana, the world's least visited country, Nauru, the Black cowboy communities of Oklahoma and, finally, the white-sand shores of the Seychelles. The adventure - played out across Jessica's blog - had us enraptured, so, when we heard the Detroit-born traveller was releasing a book, The Catch Me If You Can, this year, recounting her incredible odyssey, we pre-ordered it straight away. Want to hear more about Jessica's experiences? Catch her discussing her globe-crossing trip on Episode 5 of The Upgrade podcast.

Follow her: @jessicanabongo

Amira Hashish

Amira Hashish

Editor and Podcast Host

Following Amira Hashish - one half of SUITCASE's The Upgrade podcast, and a travel industry veteran - on Instagram is like signing up to your own personal recommendations list. Catch her criss-crossing the USA in search of edgy new stays, ducking into west London's dreamiest eateries and hitting the sleekest design hotels across the world on her 'gram - she's got a keen eye for interior trends, and the ear of the world's hottest new designers. Catch her on the upcoming episode of The Upgrade, out at the end of March.

Follow her: @thedesigneditor

Chinese DJ, musician and producer, Temple Rat

Temple Rat

Musician, DJ and producer

Hailing from the small city of Nanchong in China's Sichuan Basin, Yuxin Mei, aka Temple Rat, weaves the sounds of the Chinese erhu - a two-stringed folk instrument made from carved wood and snakeskin - with minimalist techno beats, breaking down the distance between traditional art forms and modern music. Her tracks are ephemeral and esoteric, conjuring up mystical atmospheres within cavernous nocturnal spaces such as Berlin's KitKat Club. Want to catch a set? The DJ regularly hits the decks at iconic clubs in her home city of Shanghai. Try Bar Rouge or the moody, red-lit club Celia, a mainstay of the city's music scene.

Follow her: @meiyuxinmay

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