Rachel Frankel
Designer. Illustrator. Letterer. Doughnut Enthusiast.
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Chronicle Books: She Can Really Lay It Down

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She Can Really Lay It Down is my first book with Chronicle Books, celebrating 50 women who have redefined the world's musical canon for the better. I illustrated fifty graphite-drawn and digitally-colored portraits (some of which are sampled here) and wrote fifty biographical essays for the collection. It will be released in Fall 2019 and you can pre-order the book on IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon!

The genesis of this project stems back to late 2014, during a eureka moment of frustration at how few resources existed for woman-identifying musicians and enthusiasts interested in a more accurate representation of music history. In my selection process, I focused not only on talent and innovation, but on artists who consistently embodied activism on behalf of social justice and progressive change. (More on this to come in the book itself!)

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Video trailer for She Can Really Lay It Down. Editing and motion by Matt Hemmerich, art direction, type design and illustrations by me.

Selected illustrations from the book below. From left to right, going down: Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Carol Kaye, Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Cotten, Nina Simone, Beyoncé, Alynda Lee Segarra, Buffy Sainte Marie, Miriam Makeba, Kathleen Hanna, Patti Smith, Laura Jane Grace, Wata, and Violeta Parra.

The initial form of this project took shape as a zine created during my Winter 2017 art residency at Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, New York, pictured below:

Snapshot of several zines printed at the close of my  Drop Forge & Tool  residency. This zine ended up being the heart of my book proposal to Chronicle Books.

Snapshot of several zines printed at the close of my Drop Forge & Tool residency. This zine ended up being the heart of my book proposal to Chronicle Books.

Photo by  Casey Cosley .

Photo by Casey Cosley.

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