News / screenprinting

Tea Towels from The Heated: A Q&A with Artist Cristina Espinosa

If you haven't checked out our tea towels from The Heated yet, you're in for a treat! The Heated is a local screen printing venture by artist Cristina Espinosa – a super talented lady with a sweet side and a wicked sense of humor to boot. She was one of our first vendors in the shop, and her dish towels just get more popular as she comes up with more fun illustrations. Right now we've got her Get Awesome, Sutro Tower, and Owls dish towels in stock, and are planning on ordering her new Golden Gate Bridge design for the Fall. Here's a Q&A with Cristina:
How did you get into screen printing, and what's your arts background?
Years ago, I worked for a company that screen printed t-shirts for punk rock bands. My position was in sales so I never actually printed anything but it definitely got me interested. When my own band needed merchandise, I took the plunge and learned how to screen print. As far as my arts background goes, I had no professional training when I started The Heated. I'd always kept a notebook of my little drawings but never thought to study it in school. I've since taken a basic drawing course at CCSF so now I'm totally legit. 

You make so many cute towels. Which are your current faves?
My favorites right now are Sutro Tower and Cedar. I love how the current wave of San Francisco residents have made Sutro Tower their own, especially since the tower was so contentious when it was first built. Cedar is making me happy because of the detail I was able to get from using a small branch of cedar as my stencil to burn the screen instead of my usual computer print-outs. Nature is clearly a superior designer!
How do you create the illustrations on your towels?
These days, I start with a pencil sketch that eventually becomes a pen drawing (I like black Pilot Precise V5 pens). Often times, I clean it up on the computer, upping the contrast and fine-tuning to make sure that it will be a good, clear stencil. In screen printing, there are no shades of gray so making a crisp, clear black and white image is my goal. 
We love that The Heated is also a band! How can we have a listen, and what's the band up to these days?
You can listen to our music online and both of my (completely home-recorded) albums are also available on iTunes. Music has really taken a back seat to screen printing these days. I'd much rather be home printing than in a bar, waiting around for a show to finish before I can load out my gear and go to sleep. 

We keep seeing your stuff around town at all sorts of indie fairs. Do you have any events in your calendar for this fall?
I definitely get my craft show hustle on all over! I'll be at the Urban Air Market in San Francisco's Hayes Valley on September 15th. I'll also be at the Mission Community Market every third Thursday through October and the Bluxome Winery's Meet Market this Saturday, August 31st. I'm pretty good about keeping my website up to date so you can go to my events page for the latest information on where I'll be selling next.
Nicole Grant Kriege
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