I'm most inspired by the women around me- my peers who are doing great important work and working their butts off. There are some seriously strong voices in the Chicago artist community. Jane Beachy (co-creator of the wildly important Salonathon) and Shannon Matesky (Queer Abstract) have been the most influential and inspiring for me personally.
National Geographic recently reported that a device created by a team of scientists in Chicago simulating a female reproductive system, had it's first period! The device called EVATAR is designed to help scientists better understand how medicines and toxins affect women differently from men.