Team Nono - Projects
AWA - Autistic Women Artists 2021
A gallery of art wrapped around chocolate bars.
Last month (March) was a big one for us: we celebrated International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. Both events provided clear reminders of how important it has been for me as a woman – and the mother of a young autistic man – to inspire and support other women in the autism community.
Another current event is World Autism Awareness Month, and what better way of taking part than to get involved in our own chocolate-based venture? Here at Teamnono we are keen to showcase the talents and abilities of women on the autism spectrum – it’s time to shift the focus away from old notions that people with autism require charity.
Our new project involves Autistic Women Artists (AWA), a group of talented painters, illustrators and designers. We will be working with 50 such women to produce a gallery of vibrant new wrappers, sending art to people around the world.
Women on the spectrum are overlooked, undiagnosed and routinely dismissed. This is mostly due to it being a neurological disorder predominantly affecting the male population, but also because women often mask the challenges presented by social interaction.
Hidden away during lockdown, depressed and unmotivated, dismissed at every turn as they attempt to find freelance work, and therefore lacking in confidence and courage, these women need vital representation to support them on their journeys to secure work. I had to do something about it.
In offering our selected artists the chance to display their designs – a series of brilliant illustrations and paintings – across our chocolate wrappers, we are solving two issues in one. They get to publicise their talents to a wider audience, including areas they can’t usually access, and we get a series of gorgeous new covers for our bars. The talent is extraordinary, and the result is a chance to view art without social stigma attached.
For any company contemplating outsourcing designs, giving women such opportunities should be fundamental. In working with autistic artists we aim to change lives as well as solve practical problems – and that in itself is a business story worth telling.
To kick start this project we are making a big statement with laude ‘Diversity’ message and an artwork by Jade Boylan, an autistic artist, illustrator and designer from the Isle of Man and also a member of the Isle of Man Arts Council.
The image really summarises what we stand for and what the project is about #colourufulpeople and so the bar look and flavours represents just that – diversity
“My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” Forest Gamp
Multi-flavoursome chocolate bar ranging from zesty flavours and fruitiness to cocoa and nuttiness* with crunchy texture. Combination of our collection box in a bar format. Each chunks reveals a surprise and provoke a sensory experience. SHOP
About the artist
Jade received her autism diagnosis in 2015 at the age of 24 and has since become an autism advocate, both on her small island home and online.
She spends most of her time drawing and painting girls with rainbow hair as well as designing fun products including pins, patches and stickers for her brand the Candy Doll Club.
Jade graduated in 2013 with a BA in Fine Art from Liverpool John Moores University.
Over the years Jade has had her licensed designs stocked on clothing and phone cases via shops including ASOS, Topshop, Selfridge’s, Nordstrom and Anthropologie.
If you are interested in licensing any of her designs or you are working on specific project, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Bar No 2 with message 'Strong' and the artwork by Spring.Wise.Art from Southampton, UK
Diagnosed in adulthood after her son was assessed for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“Art has always been a vital communication tool, for me. It enables me to express what’s inside me when there just isn't any vocabulary to describe it.
“The inside of my brain is a constant shifting series of overlaid maps & patterns through which I navigate the world, & my abstract art is a window to that.. or maybe just the shadows on a wall, as they move too fast and there are infinitely too many layers to ever come close to capturing!” says Spring.Wise
“People are often surprised when I tell them I have aphantasia - inability to visualised mental images, but while the pattern maps aren't direct representations of real objects, they contain all the important information about them. I just have to translate onto the page.”
Sprig.Wise takes on commission, works with digital art as well as painting. She also has ready artwork available for sale.
Frances is Autistic with complex needs. Despite her challenges she likes to draw, sketch, laugh, walk, climb, surf, and cycle around West Sussex.
Frances is non verbal. She’s very protective of her work as art is her way of communicating the unique way she sees and experiences the world. When Frances shows someone her sketchbook it’s a rare and beautiful moment, her way of saying without words that they are important to her, that she trusts them.
We are privileged to showcase her work in our AWA project.
Frances loves the outdoors. These are often reflected in her work. She paints mainly in a sketchbook varying between illustrated bikes, detailed watercolour landscapes, pen and ink, quick sketches and print making. Many assume her work has been guided or instructed, for her it’s instinctive. It’s pure Frances.
We started @illustartemybike on Instagram as a way of sharing her work because Frances struggles with attention, praise, pressure and demands, she selects the work when she’s happy to share. We encourage followers to comment with an emoji, which are visual and easy for her to understand. She can see people’s reactions without the overwhelming confusion of emotions and language etc. It’s a very special place because Frances will only show her work to a hand full of people in real life!
Communicating is all about actively becoming A part of her world, building a close relationship and observing her behaviours and gestures.
We also have an Etsy shop featuring greeting cards and prints, which funds her art supplies. Frances hopes you enjoy her artwork!
Identity - Box of Chocs
This is the time for disability awareness. From Autism Day, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy Day to Asthma Day… this and more are the issues affecting us personally today. We want to talk about it in a way that it has an inspiring and empowering impact. So, to showcase the incredible talents of the 12 individuals involved we have created 12 delicious chocolates that will satisfy 10,000 of your taste buds and lift your spirit.
‘Identity’ - No charity - work opportunity
We at FFCo have been providing work opportunities to young people with special needs. Sadly, could not include everyone, so an idea formed allow us to combine all of these hidden talents and give them a voice.
For the amazing packaging we have used a large canvas to include everyone in the process of creating a group art project. Rotating the canvas for the artwork to overlap and collaborate. Further digital overlay of other works by teamnono, including a drawing by my son Ethan were added to reflect the characters and individuality of every team member. The result: perfect harmony.
Next, we are involving everyone in marketing, sales and promotion of the product that was created.
What we are learning is that, given the chance, we are continuing to discover our possibilities and talent.
We are working hard to earn bigger chocolate machine and you can support our efforts, by:
Sending someone a gift box as a unique and very special gift
Treating yourself to these lovely chocolates
Sharing our posts and links with your friends and family
Sponsoring Elfrida Rathbone Leighton Collage - so that we can continue our work
Being our ambassador