17 of the most inspirational women's quotes turned into art

Updated 1:40 PM ET, Tue March 3, 2015
IWD Maya Angelou RGB cut IWD Maya Angelou RGB cut
1 of 17
"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." -- Maya Angelou. Designed by Em Lee. Nominated by Eric Ankrah via Twitter.

Welcome to the wisdom of women.

Words have the power to inspire us all. They can spur us to shake up the establishment, they can give us the grit to persevere and they can even
provide light in times of darkness.

To celebrate the wisdom of women and to mark International Women's Day 2015, CNN International asked its audience and its journalists to suggest inspirational quotes from female authors, campaigners and leaders. We also drew from interviews from Leading Women, CNN's monthly show that celebrates women at the top of their professional fields.

We then asked female designers all around the world to illustrate these quotes. The response was incredible -- we received artwork from designers across five continents. This gallery gathers together some of the best.

Helen Keller, Anne Frank and Maya Angelou are just three of the many women featured here whose words -- and actions -- have given us hope, confidence and strength to achieve things we perhaps thought were beyond our reach.

Our sincere thanks go to all the people who suggested quotes and the wonderful designers whose work we are so delighted to be able to highlight

By the Leading Women team.
"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." -- Martha Washington. Designed by
Emma Chih. Nominated by Carol Melton, Executive Vice President, Global Public Policy, Time Warner.
"Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I'm living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you're a woman." -- Joan Jett. Designed by Amber Alves. Nominated by Kristie Lu Stout, CNN anchor and Leading Women presenter.
"I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue." -- Elizabeth Gilbert. Designed by Kitty Curran.
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." -- Helen Keller. Designed by Tabitha Sharman. Nominated by Ellana Lee, Senior
Vice President and Managing Editor of CNN International.
"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." -- Coco Chanel. Designed by Venus Fung. Nominated by Elisa Berkowitz, CNN Leading Women's Executive Producer.
"Leadership belongs to those who take it." -- Sheryl Sandberg. Designed by Irmak Sunal. Nominated by Jesse Reyes via email.
"Champions keep playing until they get it right." -- Billie Jean King. Designed by Leese Johnstone. Nominated by CNN Leading Women writer Sheena McKenzie.
"Status ought not to be measured by a woman's ability to attract and snare a man." -- Germaine Greer. Designed by Allegra Northern.
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." -- Alice Walker. Designed by Rashi Puri. Nominated by CNN's Jenny Wong.
"Never think you can't do anything because you're a woman; everything is open to you as a girl. The future is yours." -- Christiane Amanpour, CNN's Chief International Correspondent. Designed by Yulia Shevchenko.
"Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me." -- Isabel Allende. Designed by Isabela Montalvo.
"Power's not given to you, you have to take it." -- Beyoncé Knowles. Designed by Shital Patel.
"When you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back." -- Michelle Obama. Designed by Laura Loving. Nominated by Nkiruka Ugwueke via Facebook.
"When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises." -- Angela Merkel. Designed by Diane Bruzzese.
"You've spent too many days and years trying to please others and be what they wanted you to be. Yet through it all, you've held on to a belief in God and God's belief in you." -- Oprah Winfrey. Designed by Natasha Patel.
"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." -- Toni Morrison. Designed by Brenna Darroch.