Women heroes: Helen Sharman

helen sharman

In each Issue of Flow, a Flow illustrator draws or paints one of her women heroes. In Issue 33, Amy Blackwell illustrated British astronaut Helen Sharman.

“This portrait came about when I put out a call for doodle suggestions,” says illustrator Amy Blackwell, who lives in Nottingham, UK. “Someone said I should draw a woman in space and instantly Helen Sharman sprang to mind. The first British astronaut, she is one of those incredible stories that proves that your dreams can be as real as you want them to be. Becoming an astronaut is up there with becoming a movie star or an Olympic athlete. I always told myself I wanted to be an artist and that’s what I am. Fortunately my artistic career doesn’t require me to undergo eighteen months of vigorous space travel training.”

Helen Sharman is the first British astronaut. She was also the first Briton in space when, in May 1991, she launched on a Soyuz spacecraft to spend eight days orbiting the Earth, most of that time on the Mir Space Station.

  • Find more of Amy Blackwell’s work on her website or Instagram.
  • See the illustration of Helan Sharman in print in Issue 33.

Text Alice van Essen  Illustration Amy Blackwell