MEET THE ARTISTS
We believe art is a powerful medium for communication, connection, and healing. Thus, it is important for us to feature illustrations of international activist artists. Our team is grateful for their impactful work and are excited to share their stories and other works here.
Rachel Frankel is an illustrator, graphic designer, and musician living and working in Portland, Oregon. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Painting & Drawing and a minor in English & American Literature from San Francisco State University, and also completed undergraduate degree coursework at California State University Northridge before transferring to SFSU. Her past clients include Chronicle Books, Mozilla, Liberty Mutual, Cambia Health Solutions, 826 Valencia, CreativeLive, SpaceNK, and many more. Her first internationally published book, She Can Really Lay It Down, tells the inspiring stories of 50 woman-identifying musicians through vivid illustrated portraits and captivating biographies, and arrives in fall 2019.
In her professional and personal work, Rachel is passionate about developing brands, using illustration to tell great stories, and most importantly, harnessing design for good. She regularly provides creative services free of charge to small businesses and nonprofit organizations with a focus on underrepresented communities and causes. Her personal work is also deeply inspired by current events, often centering around feminism and social justice.
Monica Garwood is an illustrator, designer, letterer, painter etc. born and raised in the Bay Area. She graduated from California College of the Arts with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Visual Studies. She currently lives and works in San Francisco.
Her clients include: Google, The New York Times, Penguin Books, Facebook, Billboard, Goop, Random House, i-D/Vice, Johnson & Johnson, Bravery Magazine, FX Network, Pinterest, Bitch Magazine, Communication Arts, BUST Magazine, Old Navy, 3×3, Rare Device, Spoke Art.
Haley Nolan is a soon-to-be alumni of UCSB, majoring in Communication and minoring in Multimedia Writing. Her passion for writing comes together with her interest in research through her studies, and she plans to attend graduate school in the future.
Her project, “The Gray Area of Negative Sexual Experiences”, explores the place on the spectrum for sexual experiences that cannot be considered completely comfortable, but also are not considered sexual assault. The current global discourse places these types of experiences into polarizing categories. The goal is to create a space for women who do not want to refer to themselves as victims without taking space away from those who do consider themselves survivors/victims. Additionally, telling the stories of UCSB women place the issue into a familiar context and gets conversations starting.
Elisa Ortega Montilla
Elisa Ortega Montilla is a visual artist and social worker. She graduated from Pablo de Olavide College, Seville, with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has a masters in Education and Human Rights from the University of Córdoba, Spain. She recently completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Over more than a decade, she has worked with groups as diverse as recovering drug addicts; victims of domestic violence; the gypsy community in Spain; homeless LGBT youth in Los Angeles; and adults with intellectual disabilities. She has always incorporated art as a tool to empower the communities she works with.
Her artistic practice uses installations, wood sculpture, fiber, and reclaimed materials. Ortega’s work explores three fundamental parts of her self: her experience of being a woman and her feminist values; her feelings of acculturation from living in the US while maintaining her Spanish identity; and her opposition to consumerism and commitment to environmental sustainability. She addresses themes of memory, transformation, and identity through materials that have been discarded, deconstructed, and reconstructed. She is drawn to the expressive and experiential nature of abstraction because it provides her with a universal language that transcends regions, structures, and categories. She has participated in collective and solo exhibitions in Spain, Guatemala, and California.
Her first solo show, The Untold History, opened in Spain in 2017 and will travel to more than seven Spanish cities. It depicts heroic women from several different countries, reframing the historical context of their struggles and giving them a new iconography.
Emily Nguyen is a visual designer, product designer, and web developer from Long Beach, California. She is finishing up a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science: Human-Computer Interaction and a minor in Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego, where she also co-leads the largest design organization on campus. On this very STEM-centered campus, she works towards growing the design community to provide students with the support they need.
This passionate and inspiring design community is what drives her, and she reflects this in her work. She loves collaboration and the challenge of executing on powerful creative visions, which she has been fortunate enough to do for the university, student-run organizations, and companies. While she primarily does web and digital work, she comes from a graphic and print design background and continues to explore other forms as she moves forward in her creative career.
Mary is an illustrator and designer living in Los Angeles, CA. She began her illustration career creating greeting cards which sold on Etsy and in artist markets. She has since collaborated with brands including POPSUGAR, ATTN:, Trident, and Do The Good Stuff to create vibrant images for multi-channel purposes. Two of her poster designs were exhibited nationally on a year-long tour with the Hear Our Voice exhibition organized by Amplifier Foundation in partnership with the Women’s March. In the past year, Mary assisted in launching two hemp based food and beverage products under the startup Right On Brands.
Mila Spasova is a professional designer with five years of experience in the creative industry and a Coventry University Graphic Design graduate from Sofia, Bulgaria. Her main field of interest is contemporary illustration and she has been implementing it in various projects in the field of Advertising, Print & Publishing, Branding, UI/UX, Web Design, Presentation Design & Motion Graphics, while also using her skills at photo manipulation, layout and typography. She has worked for clients from all over the world, some of them are Melo Labs, Holini & Circle K.
Mila believes research on campus sexual violence is extremely important as she believes it is a subject that hasn’t been brought up enough and has been swept under the carpet for far too long. Communication is the most effective kind of prevention.