The Poor Patron - Doughchella by Rachel Frankel
The Poor Patron - Doughchella by Rachel Frankel
The Poor Patron is a project meant to loosen the everyday strictures of the client/artist relationship. The artist is welcomed to create work based on any MarninSaylor themes or imagery with no creative input, due within a "when it's done" deadline.
We are pleased to offer prints of our Poor Patron collaborations. This is the fourteenth in the series, titled Doughchella by California artist Rachel Frankel. Take a trip to the Pastry Pet's favorite music festival and see all the freshest (yes, pun intended) bands!
This art is printed on high-quality, heavyweight, matte, archival paper, and measures 13"x19". Sold unframed, shipped rolled. Half the proceeds from the sale of these prints go directly to the artist.
Be sure to read our interview with Rachel below.
It's that Coachella time of year, when we all wish we were living a California lifestyle - lounging in the eternal sunshine at some hip neighborhood spot, surrounded by creative friends each pursuing their particular artistic dream. Fortunately for us there are artists like Rachel Frankel. She transports us to a Golden State of Mind with her colorful and energetic work - including her Poor Patron poster,Doughchella, depicting a day at every Pastry Pet's favorite music festival!
Based in Oakland, Rachel splits her time between making art and making music, and does a pretty great job at both. From her intricate drawings and hand-done type to her clean and stylized vector compositions, there's a lot to love in each of Rachel's pieces. Read on to learn more about this California maker's inspirations, process, and an all-important list of tasty foods to be consumed around San Francisco! And of course, be sure to rock out to your favorite band while reading.
Aside from being a freelance illustrator and designer you also work at CreativeLive, as well as play guitar and sing in Phosphene, a rad dream rock / shoegaze band. Can you tell us a little about these other pursuits, and how they all inform or shape one another?
Yes! I'm a graphic designer on the brand team at CreativeLive, which has been an incredibly educational experience thus far. I'm lucky in that I have a lot of creative freedom to incorporate my own style into the work I do, and the skills I've learned as a designer definitely go back into my personal illustration work. Everything kind of rotates full circle.
Like I often tell people, I've never been able to only pursue either music or art – I'm equally passionate about both, but in very different ways. Even though the specifics of being an artist and a musician can sometime be very different, I think a lot of the struggles and desires overlap. Whenever I find myself in a creative block at work, it usually means I have more ideas flowing in band practice, and vice versa.
Whenever someone has as many creative outlets as you, I always assume that they've been creating their entire lives. Is that true for you? And either way, was there a moment when you knew that you wanted to be a maker for a living?
Such a great question! I think I was always a creative kid in that I was an only child left to my own devices a lot of the time. I remember being about nine or ten and recording myself on cassette tapes, pretending to host a fake radio station – sometimes I'd have my friends over and they'd pretend to be musical guests. I got really into anime in middle school and remember drawing pages and pages of Sailor Moon-inspired characters, which is probably when I first got interested in illustration. I also had a phase of being super interested in fashion and costume design – I'd cut up and reconstruct my clothes in high school (which was basically my attempt at ripping off Gwen Stefani, who was my hero back then). I also got my first electric guitar at fourteen, which began my interest in songwriting.
I wasn't super attuned to painting and drawing until my art teacher in junior year recommended I take an AP art class after being impressed by a drawing assignment I completed. I wasn't totally sure about pursuing it professionally for a while, but I ended up switching majors from music to fine art/illustration after my first semester in college and didn't really look back. My a-ha moment came in my junior year of college in 2009, when I stumbled upon this amazing art and design blog, My Love For You is a Stampede of Horses, run by Meighan O'Toole. The blog is no longer active but the archives are still there. Meighan had interviewed so many incredible artists and illustrators who were actually making a living through their work. As I pored through tons and tons of interviews and studio visits, I was like, "This! This is exactly what I want to do!". It was such a relief and strong motivation.
There are two distinct styles within your body of work - whimsical hand-done drawings and clean vector graphics. Do you prefer one to the other or find that they help to activate different parts of your creativity? Oh, and you're also a master of hand-drawn type WHICH WE LOVE. What can you tell us about that?
I've been working analog way longer than I've been working digitally, so I still sort of feel like I'm on the cusp of digital illustration. Hand drawing is my comfort zone for sure, and typically all my concepts start in pencil sketch format. I picked up graphic design skills in 2014 as a way of breaking into the design field, as I figured it would eventually work as a vehicle for my illustration work. It's been a really interesting experience since I was previously so averse to the idea of working digitally (which is such a dumb prejudice in retrospect). I really enjoy creating vector graphics to quickly communicate ideas via minimal expression, while I think my analog work tends to be more specific and very self-expressive.
Hand-lettering and typography has been a huge love of mine for years – type is really a world of its own and I feel it completely bridges the gap between illustration and design. Just the word 'letterform' signifies that each individual letter communicates differently depending on how it's constructed. I love nerding out on this stuff, and I actually feel like I have a long way to go before I become a master (but that's certainly very kind of of you to say)! I'm currently taking an awesome online brush lettering class taught by Carla Hackett and Barbara Enright and have my nose deep in Jessica Hische's book on vector-based lettering, In Progress.
How do you hope to move your work forward in the future, and is there a dream project you'd undertake if only you were given infinite time and resources?
I feel like I'm at the sponge-level of my career where I need to soak up all kinds of projects to figure out what I like to do the most, but am pretty eager to tackle anything someone throws at me. I'd love to continue taking on a variety of illustration and type-centric projects – getting more into type design, packaging, brand identity for small businesses, nonprofits and social good-focused organizations are all things I'd love to pursue.
I'd also like to make more time for personal work (which is why I absolutely love taking on projects like this one!) and actually have a dream project in mind that focuses on female musicians/instrumentalists throughout history. Not going to divulge what format it would take quite yet, but crossing my fingers that I can bring it to life someday soon!
We're heading down to San Francisco for a wedding this summer. Can you give us a short list of places to explore, and more importantly, foods to eat?
Ooh fun and yes! I just finished a map of some of my favorite spots in SF for my work, so this question comes at a great time. Places to explore would include Fort Funston (lots of hang gliders and cute dogs), Land's End (best viewpoint in the city), Sutro Baths, and Golden Gate Park. SFMoMA will also be reopening next month and they have an awesome collection of work if you feel like art-ing! Some of my favorite places to eat in SF are Bella Trattoria (cute, romantic spot with incredible homemade pasta), Cha-Ya on Valencia Street for vegan sushi and udon soup, Greens in Fort Mason for fancy, fabulous vegetarian fare...and for dessert, Humphrey Slocombe or Bi-Rite for ice cream, Boba Guys for boba tea, and Dynamo Donuts (which I'm sure Chocolate, Maple and Vanilla would enjoy!).
See more of Rachel's work on her website.