Annabel Oakes is a writer and director. Her script, Lovestruck, was featured on the 2009 Black List. Since then she’s written for Awkward (MTV), Sirens (USA), Angel from Hell (CBS), Downward Dog (ABC), and Atypical (Netflix). Her directorial debut, All Exchanges Final, starring Aya Cash, Lennon Parham, and Thomas Lennon, premiered at Aspen Shortsfest in April 2017.
Laura Kittrell is a writer, having worked on the television shows The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC), The Comedians (FX), and Downward Dog (ABC). She is currently writing on HBO's Insecure.
Charley Aldridge is a creative director at an advertising agency in New York City. Designing/producing iheartfemaledirectors.com allows him to finally combine his superpowers of “knowing a bunch of artists” and “convincing people to do free work.” Charley produced his first film, All Exchanges Final, for female director Annabel Oakes. Like all great love stories, they met at computer camp. Charley is married to a neuroscientist. In case you missed that last sentence—Charley is married to a neuroscientist.
This weeks letter artist and writer:
A photographer/filmmaker and a designer, Brian and Kristy have been collaborating on projects since their first date, when they co-created a particularly delicious brownie sundae.
High on the success of that first project, they decided to keep going; films and photographs, a couple of kids, some audaciously bold statements.
Currently, Brian & Kristy are working on a series of images that modernize Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms posters.
Check out Brian’s work at schillingfilm.com
Dustin Bradley Goltz, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Performance Studies and Communication at DePaul University in Chicago. As a scholar and artist, his research examine discourses of LGBT popular culture, queer aging, and critical identity. His most recent book, Comic Controversies: Identity, Internet Outrage, and the Aesthetics of Communication was published by Routledge in 2017.
Our Letter Writers
Karolyn is a writer from Houston, Texas. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she rides a fine line of being Texas but not too Texas. She’s written and directed various sketches and web-series. Jezebel.com once even referred to her as a “comedian.” She attended the Film and Television program at the University of Texas at Austin. Find her on Twitter @KKsalad and IG at @KarolynMcKenzie.
Writer, Thinker, Coffee Drinker
Lauren is a writer/ACD at a Chicago ad agency and when not tethered to her desk loves readin’, writin’, dogs, Italian food (to eat and to cook), drinking Champagne on a Tuesday, binge-watching Netflix shows like Hotel Beau Sejours, Broadchurch and Peaky Blinders, art museums, supporting animal rescue groups, sampling wines and fine spirits of the world, a little Fela Kuti and pretty much anything with a high wedge heel or a sunnyside up egg on it.
Before advertising, her myriad career moves include prep cook, marketing rep, stockbroker at Smith Barney (yes, seriously, with power suits and all) and fashion editorial at Condé Nast (for the late, lamented Mademoiselle Magazine). Though she’s lived in Chicago long enough to remember Marie’s Riptide Lounge, she’s also lived in Japan, Italy, England, Sweden, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C. and New York.
Drew is an NYC-based writer and director for film and theatre. Her latest projects include The Visitation, an immersive play at the historic Wyckoff House, Kiosk, an Instagram series, and, Hold, a short film about women’s health care that is currently in post-production. She also writes about film and trans stuff at thecinephale.tumblr.com.
Kristen is a New York based writer. Her first real job was pointing to the bathrooms at The Late Show with David Letterman and her most recent real job was writing for Divorce on HBO. You can find some of her few and far between thoughts @Kristen_Lange.
See her work on Amy Heckerling's Love Letter >>
After moving east and completing her degree in film production at Emerson College, Sam landed in California where she worked with notable companies such as the William Morris Agency, the United Talent Agency, Universal Pictures, Overbrook Entertainment, and Sony Pictures Studios. Her music videos have screened at festivals in Boston, Los Angeles and beautiful Idyllwild, CA. She currently has two short films on the festival circuit. Sam also programs the Los Angeles based screening series Seeking Our Story, which features influential films directed by women. Follow @SamanthaShada & @SeekingOurStory on all social media.
Carol is a copywriter for a pharmaceutical marketing company in NYC by day and a memoirist when she has the time--usually on her commute to work from New Jersey. She’s married with an adult son, and has 2 dogs and 3-5 cats, depending on who shows up at mealtime. She loves to: swim (pools only!), travel, read, go to dance concerts, and above all, buy a $16 box of popcorn and watch a movie!
Dorothy is a playwright and screenwriter. Her play Species Native to California recently received its world premiere at Iama Theatre in LA. Other plays include Partners (Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival), Mommune, and Good Egg. She wrote for three seasons on The 100 (CW) and is currently a writer/producer on The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu). She lives with her family in Burbank where she pays too much attention to politics.
Amy York Rubin
Amy just directed 2 episodes of the 3rd season of Casual (Hulu), 3 episodes of a new series I'm Sorry (TruTV) from Andrea Savage and Gloria Sanchez and an episode of another new series Alone Together (Freeform) from Esther Povitsky, Benji Aflafo and The Lonely Island. Amy will next direct episodes of THE UNTITLED BLACKISH SPINOFF (Freeform), The Mick (Fox), Fresh off the Boat (ABC) and SMILF (Showtime) this fall. Amy wrote on staff for the upcoming 2nd season of the HBO series Divorce, and she is developing an original pilot at HBO. Her darkly comedic web series, Little Horribles, which she created, directed and stars in sold to TV Land and was developed with Jessi Klein (Inside Amy Schumer) producing.
Jessie Polini is a lawyer by trade and a feminist by necessity. She lives in Denver, where she does yoga with her dog, hikes with her girlfriend, listens to Béyonce and Céline on repeat, quests for the perfect iced coffee, and fights for civil rights.
Find her on Twitter @jpizzlepizzle if you're really into witty retweets.
Maggie is an actress based in Los Angeles. She was on Psych (USA) for 8 seasons and is super excited about the reunion movie premiering in December (shameless plug). She also starred in Angel From Hell (CBS) and Back in the Game (ABC). She loves the animals and has a non-profit called The Tiger Frances Foundation. She really loves this website too and hopes more people reach out to shower their fave female directors with the love they deserve. :)
Toby is a comedy writer and television producer in LA. She is also a girl. Besides water, she retains useless pop culture information and the phone numbers to her high school friends' parents' landlines. You can find her at @tobyherman27 on both Twitter and Instagram.
Our Letter Artists
Each of our love letters is brought to life by a different artist. Learn more about them below, then contact them to work on your projects... since they did ours for free.
Julie is an animator and illustrator based in Chicago. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago with her BFA in animation and illustration. Since then, she has worked as a freelance artist. She spends most of her time drawing old women and with her border collie, Niko, star of her most recent animated short. See her work at www.juliesabo.com or follow her on Instagram @julie_sabo
Paul creates custom hand lettering, animation and calligraphy for a wide range of commercial and private clients. His work has been featured in both print and digital advertising, editorial and social media campaigns.
Paul lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
See his work at paulfittipaldi.com or at @paulfitty
Jen is Graphic Designer located in the Chicagoland area who is greatly inspired by her culture and being surrounded by diversity (and has attending Columbia College Chicago to thank for that realization). She gets excited about drool-worthy design, bold/bright colors, a fresh pack of Sharpies, good conversation, collaboration and creative minds. When her eyes aren’t glued to a computer screen, you can find her daydreaming, doodling, or re-watching episodes of TV shows she loves but has seen a hundred times before. She strongly believes in paying attention to the small stuff and thrives on being passionate about her work, along with being challenged by it.
She has never really felt witty enough to have a Twitter, but you can find her on Instagram (@jenny__geee) posting pictures of people, places and things she loves. You can also check out some of her work/doodles at jengamboa.com.
For nearly two decades award winning photographer Pete Barrett has created imagery for a virtual who’s who list of creatives, advertising agencies and clients on a national level. Pete’s work which spans the genres of people, lifestyle, travel & sports lifestyle imagery is portrayed in a way that is timeless and captures real life moments in a way that is very natural and organic.
Growing up in the northeast, Pete was instilled early with a “whatever it takes” type of work ethic and a sharp witted sense of humor. Pete has a tireless, fun & creative energy about him and surrounds himself with like minded people. Regardless of the size of the production, large or small Pete and his crew apply the same meticulous attention to detail, production value, service and creativity.
Jenna was born in New York and studied fine art at the School of Visual Arts. She received her MFA from The City University of New York, City College. Her work in drawing, painting and collage considers questions of time, memory, and nature. She lives and works in Queens. Check out her work at jennanewton.com
April is a web designer/developer, photographer and bookmaker. Also a seasoned educator with over a decade under her belt, she currently teaches at DePaul University and Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. When not teaching or taking on freelance projects, she spends her time wandering the globe and dreaming of space travel. Follow her photographic adventures on Instagram at @aprilirene.
Bishakh’s work investigates the intersection between image and text, figure and architecture, architecture and landscape. They are inspired by the grammar of comics and graphic novels, in aid of exploring themes of gender and sexuality, memory and urbanism, love and loss.
Bishakh’s comics have appeared in The Other Side: An Anthology of Queer Paranormal Romance, The Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Buzzfeed, Ink Brick, The Huffington Post, The Graphic Canon and Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream. They received the prestigious Xeric grant in 2003 for their comics collection Angel. Their comics will also appear in Beyond, vol. 2 (a queer sci-fi and fantasy comics anthology) and We're Still Here (The first all-trans comics anthology).
Bishakh’s artwork was featured in solo shows at ArtLexis Gallery and at Jaya Yoga Center and in group shows at the Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College, Issyra Gallery, the Grady Alexis Gallery and most recently at the Society of Illustrators in New York.
You can see more of their work at
Danie is a Brooklyn-based Illustrator & Designer who loves dogs, going outside and playing in the dirt. Danie earned her BFA from M/I/C/A (Maryland Institute College of Art) in Illustration where she learned about shapes and squiggles. Her work has been featured in American Illustration & CMYK Magazine. Most recently she has worked with clients such as TNT Drama, Lenny Letter, Apartment Therapy, Rhode Island Monthly and Nylon Magazine. Danie is available for commissions and willing to provide you with useless information about sharks and various other wildlife at your request.
Chris is an eminent tragedian with over 100 film and television credits and a caricaturissimo with over 1,000 drawings completed in what actors call "spare time,” or all day every day. He is said to have killed a man in Texas many years ago to settle a dispute about swallows, but it couldn’t have been much of a man, as Honeysuckle, who is known in pugilistic circles as “Angel Fish” has the languorous left hook of an angel fish. On his Facebook and Instagram pages Honeysuckle posts at least one caricature per day of some person no longer living in the steadfast belief that from a legal standpoint it is impossible to slander the dead.
Debbie was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Manila, Philippines. She has since studied psychology at Clark University in Massachusetts and photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Now located in Michigan, her open practice studio encompasses such mediums as photography, design, ceramics and some fiber arts. Her fine art work strives to highlight the sublime and the strange in the everyday. As a maker, she plays with a various combination of materials and creates beautiful, modern and functional objects that bring beauty to your day.
Her work has been shown all over the US and internationally. She has shot for clients such as MOOD, Unison Home, Curbed, Seamless, Groupon, Concept A, Sight Unseen, Bold Furniture, Hoosier Mama Pie, Time Out Chicago, Elle Girl Korea. She has also done collaborations with CB2, J.Crew, and Urban Outfitters.
See her work on Kelly Reichardt's Love Letter >>
"Jon Krause creates images that are typically characterized by a sense of calm that masks an elegant edginess and witty irony. His intelligent, thought-provoking illustrations firmly grasp the viewers attention at first glance, but the second glance is often rewarded with an unexpected visual twist. Jon executes his compelling concepts with strong compositions and a tastefully subdued color palette."
-written by Bryan Gray, 2009
Some clients include The Atlantic, Time, Playboy, Reader's Digest, Random House, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and Deloitte University Press
More work can be seen in most of the recent Communication Arts and Society of Illustrators annuals.
Kirsten is an Illustration major with a Communication Design minor at Parsons the New School for Design. Growing up in the Silicon Valley, she adopted a profound interest in the digital world and how it's constantly shifting and adapting as technology consistently pushes the boundaries of what is possible and what isn't. As a result, she hopes someday to use the design skills that she studies today and apply them to the digital world to witness profound impacts it has on consumers.
Chau is an educator, artist, illustrator, and fashion buyer based in her hometown Houston, Texas. She earned her BFA in studio arts at Notre Dame and her MAT at RISD. She enjoys working in multiple mediums, from printmaking to watercolor to ceramics. This year, she embarks on her 10th year as a high school art teacher. With her sister Trang, she started the independent boutique Myth and Symbol in 2012. Find more of her work at nguyenchau.com or follow her on Instagram at @rckshw.
Ching Lan is a Taiwanese visual artist based in New York City. She is studying at Parsons School of Design for Illustration. Her work varies from colorful doodles to 3D sculptures, and she even dabbles in textiles. You’ll always find her nose stuck in her sketchbook wherever she goes. Her dream is to travel the world and collaborate with her favorite brands such as Lazy Oaf to create fun and cute illustrations. In her free time you can catch her binging on Netflix and experimenting various ideas for her thesis. Also she is planning on creating her own brand and merchandise later this year, so stay tuned!
Hi, I'm Amanda. A Chicago-based commercial / video director. I approach all of my projects with a perfectionist work ethic and a love of capturing people and their stories.
I am represented for commercial work by One at Optimus, as well as being co-founder of boutique creative company, Special Occasion. I am currently in production on my first feature length documentary, a film about miniatures called THINK SMALL.
Commercial: Lisa Masseur / firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Predko is a Chicago-based photographer who grew up with a fondness for purple shag, muscle cars, and all things Bettie Page. And
while these retro influences don’t define her photography, they have given her a keen eye for the vibrancy, individuality, and style so
essential in creating images that evoke emotion.
Editorial or commercial, Lisa has an
unassuming charm that immediately puts her subjects at ease. And if that doesn’t work, she plies them with her famous chocolate chip cookies.
John Jennings is photographer living in Chicago. Although his primary focus is shooting portraiture, he enjoys photographing still and landscape images from his travels and experiences outdoors. Check out his work at jenningsjohn.com or on Instagram @jenningsjohn
Bo Bunting is a visual artist across a multitude of mediums, from painting to digital design to sculpting. They attended the School of the Art Institute in Chicago where they learned to translate their fine artist vision into thoughtful commercial application. Bo currently works in Chicago as a freelance art director. They are passionate about projects that put LGBTQ and particularly Trans people in the foreground. If you love their work you can tell them so at email@example.com.
Whether it’s President Barack Obama, Britney Spears or a mother with her child, finding that shot that expresses their essence is what Jeff does best. It’s his passion, and for more than 10 years, he’s done it for leaders like Abbott Laboraties and Zomba Records, Rolling Stone Magazine and Sony. He’s shot all over the world, capturing moments of life, photographing celebrities and athletes, executives and business people, and everyday, average folks.
Katherine Brown is a freelance illustrator and designer in Louisville, KY. She currently primarily works with Dry Baby by Oliva Ann, a startup baby apparel company. Her background started in graphic design where she earned a BFA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. After working as an art director for a year she went back to school to receive her illustration certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Next she headed to Atlanta where she received a Masters of Arts in illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. You can find her work at kcbrowndesign.com.
Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is an award winning cartoonist and documentary filmmaker. Her cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker and other places. She co-illustrated Feminist Fight Club and recently released her first book Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But You Could've Done Better. Her films have received top awards from festivals across the country. Follow her on Instagram @CartoonsbyHilary!
Mike Aldrich has a BFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. He lives and works in Tennessee, where he spends his free time trying to keep several cats and houseplants alive and missing the food in Brooklyn.