The first interest I can remember having is music. Before I started focusing on art, I used to be constantly writing songs about make believe situations ( I went through a lot of traumatic fake breakups by the age of eleven) and talking to my dad about new music I was finding. Once I started taking art seriously, my after school routine would be sitting in my room listening to music and drawing my favorite bands for hours and then showing my family what I made while we would eat dinner. So when I started thinking about this project, I instantly knew that I wanted to make posters for a rock band. 
I began researching the Riot Grrrl movement and all of the bands that were involved in it. Riot Grrrl was a feminist movement that began in the early nineties and was started by Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill. While she was a student at The Evergreen State College, she became very interested in third-wave feminism and spoken word. She often went to open mics to speak about feminism, until she was told by an author that if she wanted people to actually listen to her she needed to start a band. From there, Bikini Kill and other female lead bands such as Sleater-Kinney, Bratmobile, and Heavens to Betsey reshaped the punk scene. 
I have never fully explored punk music (I mostly only listened to bands like The Clash and Fugazi before this project), but what fully interested me about this movement was that their main draw wasn’t just their music. They held meetings, designed posters, and distributed handmade zines. It feels like they transcended what a typical band is. For this project, I didn’t want to only represent the music and the aesthetics of Riot Grrrl, I wanted to show the parts that aren’t always talked about.
I chose to create a fake band called Bad Hare Day, and make the girls bunny/human hybrids. I decided to make them bunnies because bunnies are often seen as docile and sweet and that contrasts with the presentation of Bad Hare Day. I gave them human bodies in order to remind the viewer that these are human issues that are being talked about, but also to add a layer of humor to the heavy topics within the pieces.
Riot Grrrl receives criticism for mainly amplifying the voices of white, upper-middle class women. Since we are currently in the fourth-wave of feminism, which is propelled by social media and has a heavy focus on intersectionality, I decided to focus on issues that affect everyone. For two of the posters, I focused on objectification. The first one that I made showed the anatomy of a bunny/human hybrid with offensive terms pointing at different areas of her body. I picked terms that I hear often (either in person or online) and they make my skin crawl. It is so common for men to make jokes about the sexuality of a woman, and it happens so often that it becomes normalized and “cringy” to address. Although it is often framed as a joke, it is a constant reminder to women that their “flaws” are something that needs to be addressed and that they should always be conscious of the beauty standard that men expect of them. One thing that encourages men to think like this is porn. It is so normalized for men to watch porn, but so much of the content is violent to women, incestual and/or pedophilic, and gives unrealistic expectations to men about how a woman should act. I focused on that idea for the second poster I made, which shows a pornstar bunny and her OnlyFans inbox. I wanted to address the blatant disrespect towards women that men develop from over consumption of porn and BDSM content.
For the zine, I had trouble deciding what content I wanted to put in it. After a lot of thinking, I decided that I wanted to stray away from feminism and talk about human rights in general. This is an extremely broad topic, so it was hard to narrow down which topics I wanted to focus on. I chose to pick a few issues that are currently happening in the United States. I wanted to keep it somewhat basic, and treat the zine as a learning guide for a person that doesn’t closely follow politics. Because of the vagueness, I wanted to leave the reader curious and research the topic on their own.  I also thought it would be more impactful to pick multiple large issues in a small magazine because the topics would feel overwhelming to the viewer.
Since the art became very political, I wanted to make my final poster a nod to the original bands. I created a poster that advertised a listening party for a new Bad Hare Day record. I chose to do a listening party rather than a show or a meeting because it ties into the music aspect of the movement but also represents the community that Riot Grrrl built. Throughout the entire project, I tried to reference back to them through quoting song lyrics and mimicking poses that they did. I also used archival photos to give context to the issues I was talking about and show the viewer that these issues have always been prevalent in our society. 
Throughout this project, I was constantly second guessing myself. I had a lot of fears of not saying the right things or that I was neglecting more important topics. Although working on this project caused me a lot of stress, doing research and working on the designs became very meaningful to me. I started questioning a lot of things that seemed normal to me and I noticed myself becoming more interested in politics than I was before. I am really grateful for this experience to be able to learn more about the world and to be able to unlock a new music genre to explore.
Link to Spotify playlist:
Link to personal portfolio:
Thank you!