February 13 Creative Logo


A bit of news, a bit of inspiration, a bit of new work... a bit random, a bit blogish. “bits” is where it all hangs out.

new work

screen + ink + squeegee = mess x happiness


So I mentioned all these classes I'm taking lately. Voilà! My first screenprint… a little portrait of my new friend, Claude (aka The Featherduster).

I snapped his fine form on my iPhone one night and could see the ultimate print in my mind's eye immediately... such a great, graphic black-and-white shape!

I did the art and color separations in Illustrator. One of my classmates saw the inkjet print-out I had as a color reference for mixing my ink. She asked, "Why do you even bother with the hassle of screenprinting when your inkjet looks so good?" The truth is, I love forcing myself to surrender to the unpredictability of the manual printing process. Screenprinting, like other traditional media, is so maddeningly hard to control. I pulled about 25 prints of Claude and only the very last two or three were anywhere near decent. I had all kinds of glitches from the start…. The transparencies I printed to burn my screens weren't lining up properly, setting me up for all kinds of registration headaches; my teacher accidentally poked a hole in one of my screens so I had to crop the image a little differently than planned; strange spots and blurry areas appeared with each new pull, every one requiring a small adjustment.

An earlier pull… perfect registration on his ear! But wait, what happened to his nose?! And his jawline? Not to mention those spots on his ear that never went away.

In the end (top image), his nose finally printed solidly, but I had to compromise on the registration (nose won out over ear). I also never got perfectly clean, solid coverage. But that's what I came for… the mess, the inability to fuss over every pixel, the opportunity to tell my inner perfectionist: "It's okay."

I highly recommend it!


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mad about monoprinting


Lately I've been taking more time away from the keyboard and stylus, diving instead into some old-school art-making techniques. I'm in my second semester of monoprinting at San Francisco City College, taking a six-week screenprinting class at ARC Studios, and I just tacked on another round of painting lessons via Get Your Paint On. Maybe too many classes to really get the most out of any one of them, but I am loving having ink and paint under my fingernails and just swimming in the whole, glorious explosion of possibility.

fish school, monoprint (subtractive + stencil)

Monoprinting is a traditional print-making technique that, by default, results in unique prints rather than editions. The image is created by applying ink to a smooth plexiglass plate. The plate is then run through the press to transfer the image to paper. The image isn't part of the plate itself (via etching or some other means), so once the ink is transferred to the paper, you can't go back and print the exact same image again. There's a whole lot of chance involved... you can never be entirely sure what's going to come out on the other side of the roller and you can't simply adjust your inking or your pressure on the next round in order to get the image looking more like you want it to.

fish scales, monoprint (subtractive + transparent color + stencil)

After spending so much time creating images at the computer—where I can tweak and obsess and control to my heart's content—I find monoprinting both frustrating and liberating. It can take hours to build up an image on the plate... and a few seconds to run it through the press and find something completely unexpected on the other side. Sometimes the surprises are wonderful. Sometimes they're truly disappointing. But all in all, I'm loving the experience of getting lost in the creative moment... letting go of my expectations for how it's all "supposed to" turn out.

These images show a few of the different methods I've learned so far for creating monoprints. One of the most common techniques is "subtractive"—the plate is first entirely covered with ink, then the image is wiped away from that ink. The image can be refined with color and detail through subsequent plates and other techniques like stencils or chine-collé (where bits of colored paper or other elements are fused to the printing paper along with your ink).

fish puzzle, monoprint (subtractive + chine-collé)
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paging dr. izzie stevens!


Hi there. I’m Pamela Nudel, one of the Three Musketeers here at f13 creative. I’ll share a little more about myself in a future post, but today I’m just excited to jump right into some exciting news: we’re celebrating the arrival of fabric samples from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. These represent the very first licensing deals for me and Amy!

Amy’s butterfly art and Pam’s feather heart art


So now we are waiting to see just how the scrub designers decide to stitch-up these adorable fabrics! I’ll be sure to remind you in a few months when the scrubs will be available to purchase. From what we’ve been told, the finished uniforms will be available to buy in January 2010 at whiteswanscrubs.com. In the meantime Betsy, Amy and I are smiling big, and busily designing more art for the fabric and scrub world!

….. pam …..

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