Category Archives: Studio Visit

Inside the Artist Studio

Hey Friends! It’s Monday, but we’re not mad at it. Ray at Night happened this past Saturday (if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, do it! Every second Saturday of each month from 6-10 p.m on Ray street in North Park, San Diego),  and so did the very first “Inside the Artist Studio” tours, put on by North Park for the Arts and sponsored by North Park Main Street.  We got to be a part of it – Pigment owner and artist Amy Paul‘s studio was on the map. Aside from having a rad store, she also has a really awesome studio!

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Amy Paul_Studio Tours_North Park Oh look who stopped by!, Jim! One of our favorite and most supportive Pigment customers (check out the blog post we did on him and his wife here.)

Amy Paul_Studio Tours_North Park

Other neighboring studios that participated in the tour:
Plus One Photography

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Plus One Photography owner Zeynep Dogu Cameron. She’s incredibly talented. Learn more about her here.

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Naughty Blonde Redux

naughty blonde-1naughty blonde-2naughty blonde-3Naughty Blonde Redux duo – Daphne (left) and Anna (right)

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Misty Hawkins

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Misty Hawkins Art Misty Hawkins Art

What a great talented group of ladies! And a big thanks to Angela (Right: Executive director of North Park Main Street) and Jasmin (left: North Park for the Arts and Cirello Gallery) for putting this together. Looking forward to the next one!

North Park Studio Tours

 

Studio Visit: The Butcher Press

Katy Yeaw is the adorable woman behind the design and print workshop – The Butcher Press. Located here in sunny San Diego, The Butcher Press specializes in limited edition screen printed art work. We first met Katy when we invited her to hang her prints on Pigment’s walls about a year ago. Like many others, we were mesmerized by Katy’s fun and fancy free screen prints featuring wonderful illustrations of everything from bears to airplanes. We recently caught up with her at her amazingly curated North Park home to chat about her work.


Katy welcomes us into her darling abode. 

Katy’s book collection mixed in with various pieces of her work. 

Q: Hi Katy!  We’re big fans of your prints and are excited to learn more about how you ended up doing what you do. Tell us how you got started.

A: Well, I went to college for science and then I switched to art, because science wasn’t doing it for me.

Q: That’s a huge switch!

A: I know! Well, I always loved art, but I didn’t know about it at first. I ended up going to a more science-oriented college, but they had a tiny art department, which ended up being wonderful because they were very attentive. My junior year I went to Italy for a year and that’s where I learned how to do printmaking, mostly etching. And that’s when I got really hooked on printmaking. When I got back to school I just focused on that.

Q: What’d you do after college?

A: After college I went to the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland and just did a year of printmaking, so I learned all the other kinds of printmaking: silk screening, lithography, etching…all the hits.

Q: What made you pick Scotland?

A: Well, they had a printmaking program, which is rare. And, I was just always drawn to Scotland. It was great

Q: So what did you do when you came back?

A: When I got back to Pennsylvania (Yeaw’s hometown), I got a job at this place called Durham Press, which is where I would say I learned about 98 percent of everything that I know. I learned more there than school, more than anything, because they are a contemporary printmaking studio.

Q: How long did you stay there?

A: I worked there a little over three years. While I was there I started doing screen prints and I started printing posters for local Philadelphia bands. That was really fun and a great way to learn, but not a great way to make money because bands don’t pay you other than drink tickets and getting on guest lists. But that was great practice. Eventually I evolved into doing my own illustrations and turning them into silk screens. That’s pretty much my medium.

Q:  When did you start working under the name ‘The Butcher Press’?

A: That name started when I was printing band posters. It was named after one of the first prints that I ever did, which was of a little butcher.

 Katy shows us her first-ever print…a butcher! 

Q: How do you share your prints with the world these days?

A: Here in San Diego there are two great shops that have my work hanging. One is Vocabulary in Little Italy and the other is So Childish in South Park. They have prints that are more geared towards kids. Occasionally I’ll do an arts festival, which is great to meet people. Also, I sell all my prints on my website, and an Etsy shop that has t-shirts (both kids and adults) and some of my lower priced prints.

Q: How about different editions, how do those work?

A: I always keep my editions small. The max I’ve ever done is an edition of 40, but usually they’re around 25 to 30. And once they’re sold out I never print them again, because that kind of defeats the purpose of buying a limited edition print. I really want to keep the editions small so that a.) It feels more special and b.) So that it’s not oversaturated and it helps me make more stuff when it sells out.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your prints?

A: Everywhere! I have a fascination with machinery and animals. I started a little series of animal prints and that just kind of took off on its own tangent. When my daughter was born, I started doing more things that I could picture in kids rooms. The idea of growing up and just seeing the same art every day really does have a profound impression.

Katy hanging out in Penelope’s nursery with one of her prints and a custom Butcher Press linen flag banner.

Katy points out a sweet power animal print she did awhile back that now hangs in her kitchen.

Q: Do you print on anything else besides paper?

A: You can silkscreen on pretty much anything. Fabric is fun. I started making some little tea towels recently so we’ll see where that goes.

Q: Are you always looking for more outlets for your work?

A: Definitely, but it’s hard to market yourself. I’m no marketer. I’d love to be in some more stores up north and more stores in different neighborhoods down here.

Q: How do you work out the business side of ‘The Butcher Press’? Does that come easy for you?

A: It’s very hard. I don’t really work with both sides of my brain. I don’t have the business brain. Jose, my husband, is really good at it and he helps me a lot. I am pretty indecisive, so he helps with that. He’s a software engineer, so we’re a great team.

Katy’s flat files are full of awesome prints!

Katy stands proudly in her garage-turned-studio.

Katy’s work station with all her screen printing tools.

Katy was kind enough to show us the screen printing process. It was like screen-printing for dummies. 

Katy carefully creates her screen print.

Q: Are you constantly collecting screen prints from other artists?

A: Yeah, screen-printing is definitely my favorite medium.

Q: Have you made friendships with other screen printers?

A: When I find someone whose stuff I really love I write them an email. I just write to tell them there stuff is really cool. And sometimes that turns into a correspondence. That happened with a great girl in Vermont, her stuff is called Scout’s Honor, and we just started emailing back and forth. She sent me a print then I sent her a print and she put it on her blog and it’s been really cool.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: Well, next up is going to be a Vespa print. I was commissioned to do that. Then it is going to be an outer space print, which is probably going to be like a moon rover or something. I haven’t decided yet.

A big thanks to Katy for welcoming us into her home/studio.

If you love her prints as much as we do, check out some of her limited edition prints on our online shop.

Studio Visit: Tend Living

You may not know Britt Neubacher by her first name, but you probably know her orbs quite well. Britt’s brightly colored eco orbs have been front and center in Pigment’s front window since we first opened, partly because the succulents and cacti need all that sunshine, but mostly because we are so in love with them. Britt’s hanging dry terrariums puzzle many (we constantly get asked if the plants are real, if they’re planted in only the sand and how the heck they grow in there), and we love her for her ingenuity. She spends her days working in her airy studio space, located in a detached garage in South Park, creating all kinds of plant life goodness for her company Tend Living. When she’s not designing orbs for us here at Pigment, she may be working on centerpieces for a wedding, a living wall for a client or bouquets for a bride.

Britt shows off one of her signature eco orbs stuffed with colorful sand, cacti, moss and found objects.  

Q: Hi Britt! We love your work and are really interested to hear your story. Let’s start with this: how’d you end up starting Tend Living?

A: Well, I was working in social services, mostly with youth in crisis. I got a Master’s in Women’s Studies and I was totally devoted to working in the social services sector forever. But it became pretty clear after about 14 years that I was not a lifer and that I definitely did not deflect the stress very well. I found that getting my hands in the dirt in my garden was therapy for me. It kept me sane. A friend of mine gave me a piece of this orb glass, I think she bought it as a candle votive, but she still wasn’t really clear what it was and she said “I think you could do something really fun with this.” I just imagined a little wee world. I really liked that it was round and sort of represented the earth shrunken down in this tiny environment. I stuck a stag horn fern in it and another friend of mine came over and was like “That is amazing. I’m going to put you into a sustainable design show at Design Within Reach.” I ended up creating a bunch of different biome orbs, all representing different micro environments and they all sold. And that was sort of my launch.

Q: Did you worry about leaving your steady job?

A: Yes! I was thinking about health benefits and a steady paycheck, you know, all of that. Finally I stopped asking questions and stepped aside and sort of let whatever was trying to speak through me and it said, “Go for it!” It’s been a really amazing way to sort of heal what I realized were some patterns and maybe even wounds that I had developed through social services.

Q: What’s been your favorite part about your new career?

A: Working with nature already connects you to this deeper place within yourself that’s so grounded and simple and not mental. Every day I’m just really learning how to be heart forward: open my heart, silence my mind and let it come.

Lots of lush succulents live in Britt’s studio waiting to be used for her next project. 

Q: How did you become involved with Pigment?

A: I did a Ray at Night show and Amy approached me and said I want to open a store and I want it to be your work and my work. I need a place for people to be able to access my work more easily and I think we can pull this off.

Q: So was Pigment your first order?

A: Pigment was my major retail launching pad. For sure, Pigment, with the prominent sort of exposure in the front window and all of that from the get go was definitely my best venue for selling my work.

Q: Why did you name your business Tend?

A: I originally chose Tend because I wanted an action word, something that really embodied what it meant to tend to the earth and that it’s participatory rather than observant or passive.

Q: What do you love about the orbs?

A: I love the glass so much because it’s a peek-a-boo environment where you can really transport yourself by going into this translucent, illuminated little realm. The orbs were definitely the thing to launch my business, but I got pretty quickly into interior design with plants. I wanted to bring plants into the home in a modern way.

An in-progress wooden planter box is ready for its finishing touches.

Q: Why do you love working with plants?

A: Not only are plants easier to work with than people; it’s a universal language. Whereas I sometimes felt a little disconnected with people because I was so committed to social justice and I just felt that there were so many wrongs in the world, when I started working with plants I stopped fighting and it felt really good.

Q: Were you concerned with how the orbs would grow over time when you first started?

A: I had my own concerns in the beginning. Obviously plants really like room to grow and then there’s the issue of there being a small amount of soil and how do they maintain their nutrients. You know, there are a lot of questions. But we’ve learned how to take care of them. The thing that I was always committed to is the idea that people were going to become more engaged with plants with these because they were going to require care. It’s not this passive thing. It’s going to need you and you need to get in there and play with it and start that dialogue. The transformative aspect of this particular art form is key to its intention. It’s living art, it’s going to change, it’s going to grow, and it’s going to die. It’s a continual process.’

Q: Were you nervous about letting Pigment provide customers with all the DIY tools to create their own orbs?

A: Yes! Amy worked really hard on me for a long time and she finally broke me down and I really haven’t looked back. I knew a lot of that was ego and that I didn’t want to give away the tools to my craft. But I realized that’s really counterintuitive to what I’m doing to begin with. I want to show the information; I want people to take a more active role in caring for nature and the earth. It’s forced me to innovate a little bit more, where I’m not defined by my orbs anymore. It’s helped me to grow. 

Britt shows us some of her favorite plant babes out on the patio. 

Q: What’s your favorite kind of job?

A: I’ve really enjoyed the bigger installations, when I’ve had the opportunity to do living walls and transform a space. But I think I’ve probably gotten some of the most satisfaction out of the weddings because there’s so much emotion in weddings that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the thrill of it all.

Q: What do you snack on while you’re working?

A: Well, I live on kombucha. It’s my fuel, and kind of my food too. My hands are always filthy so it’s easier.

Q: Do you listen to music while you work?

A: I like listening to music, but I end up listening to a lot of talk radio. I love Radiolab and This American Life. One of my favorite ones is called “On Being.” It’s very thoughtful and all about religion, ethics and ideas.

L: A finished eco orb hangs out at Britt’s work station R: Her endless supply of plants gets lots of light outdoors. 

Q: Any advice for those looking to start their own business?

A: There’s a real element of fearlessness you have to embrace. If you just keep showing up it’s kind of amazing how the universe really wants you to be well and do your thing.