Friday, May 28, 2010

Keep On Keeping On

"Keep on keeping on." This is one of Monkey's favorite sayings, and we think that it is a good mantra for those who are chasing their dream. This slightly wonky saying means "keep on doing what you are doing - it'll be okay."

So often we see people give up when they might be on the verge of something great. At first, this might seem sort of unintuitive, but we've seen time and time again that people chasing their dream have to go through was is known in the literary world as "the belly of the whale," or the largest, toughest challenge before they reach their goal. Whether life imitates art or the other way around, it's always the darkest before the dawn, and the most critical point in your journey is going to be the most difficult.

Because it'll always seem like all hope is lost, and that there is no way out, it is easy to give up or give in and take an easier, safer route. However, if you can have faith in yourself and keep on going, the biggest rewards will await you. Every success story has the part where you think to yourself "No way, how are they going to turn it around?" The hero is weaponless, fighting the fiercest dragon ever, but they somehow find a way, and you realize that the victory wouldn't have been so awesome if they has gone in with some magical missile-launcher that would just blow the dragon to smithereens.

Life is the same way. We wouldn't have anything to be proud about if everything we achieved came easily. So even though it may be tough, keep on keeping on and do what you do, and with hard work, your time will come.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Yes, Monkey just had to silkscreen/heat emboss his cap

Today, Monkey + Seal will be graduating from the Academy of Art University. After 3.5 or so years of all-nighters, cutting mats, and painting like our life depended on it, we will be trading all that in for all-nighters, framing paintings, and painting because our livelihood does depend on it. While that may sound grim, in all honesty we get to paint, draw, illustrate, and generally live our dreams, so we're not really complaining!

Although we're excited about the commencement, we look at this milestone as a marker in our lifelong journey as artists. Now is the time to really focus our energy and move on to bigger and better things - to keep learning, to keep striving, and to keep moving forward. Graduating is a stepping stone that will open more doors, and create new opportunities for us. We'd like to thank all the people who have supported us over the years, whether it be financially, emotionally, or simply understanding why we always seem "too busy" to hang out. To our teachers, parents, siblings, friends, and everyone who came to our shows, bought our art, commented on our blog, followed us on the blog or on Facebook or on twitter - Thank you. We couldn't have done it without you.

Congratulations to all the other graduates who are all embarking on a new stage of life everywhere! Party, celebrate, and take a short breather, but don't let it get to your head and make you lazy or complacent. Keep on working and chasing after the dream.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Printing your promtional materials

Hi everyone! Monkey, after ordering samples and actually using some of these services, has put together a review of large printers in case you are interested in printing business cards and postcards. We haven't really looked into posters, or other printed materials, and we're comparing based on business card prices and postcard prices. Originally made for the SF Etsy Street Team, we decided to share it with you! has a good selection of cardstocks, and are cool because you can order small quantities (like just 50) while most other printers start at around 100 or even 500. They also have rush options for same-day printing (although they ship out the next business day), and you can pick it up in Oakland. Their most expensive quantity/time frame (only 50 cards, same day printing) you're looking at 42 cents per card, and if you order 500 cards with a 3-day turnaround, it drops to 7.5 cents per card. We can't stick with a design long enough, but if you're in an identity for the long term, you can get 10,000 cards printed the same day for only 2.7 cents per card. They're also printing business cards and postcards on 100% recycled paper now with soy-based inks, so there's not a whole lot to be worried about. They're so good, we signed up to be their affiliates, and are the Monkey + Seal local printer of choice.

The one thing about PS Print though - they'll say "omg, we're having a huge sale!" Don't freak out and buy right away, the prices aren't really any different from any other day. - Our 2nd go-to printer. Moo has really high-quality cards that are thick, satiny, and you can have different designs on the face of every card. This make getting choosing what image you want on the face really easy, as you can have them all! My only complaint is that the back side of the cards all have to be the same, and they're a quite a bit more expensive (~35 cents each), but you're paying for the high quality and customization. (They're also amazing, so we're also affiliates of moo as well).

-As other handmade artisians, however, you may want to check out They're woman owned and operated, local to Oakland, and even though they're a *bit* more expensive than PS Print, you can know you're supporting a small press that's pretty punk rock.

They do have higher minimum quantities, however. I haven't worked with them personally, but they hooked up the SF Zine Fest on poster printing deals two years ago, and seem to be really cool. has the best prices around for stuff printed on heavier cardstock. They offer really nice matte finished, heavy cards. I'd say their quality is very similar, but not quite as good, as Moo's. However, they do not have rush services available for the nice premium paper stock, and their customer service (if something goes wrong) isn't that awesome (it's actually pretty craptastic) - they're very big boxy, and seemed to care less to lose my business when something went wrong and they couldn't meet my deadline You definitely have to stay on top of them to make sure your order goes through, but if it does come out okay, the product is awesome and the prices can't be beat. They're based in Southern California, I believe. has some good product, but they're slightly more expensive than PSPrint, but I also have not worked with them very much. They are eco-friendly, but most other printers are going pretty green, so unless it is super important to be 100% green, I'd say there might be better options.

-Vistaprint = says stuff is free, but tacks on little fees that add on for custom printing, 2-sided, getting rid of their logo, etc. However, if you need super cheap and you don't have design skills or friends with said skills, they are pretty cheap, but the quality is also such. I don't recommend them at all, to be honest, unless you're absolutely devoid of design capabilities (but then you can always go to, so I guess I don't recommend them at all unless you have absolutely 0 capital).

-Overnight - PS print is still cheaper for overnight printing. I did the price comparisons, so I'm not sure why I'd ever choose them.

-Rocketpostcards - They're almost 3x as expensive as PS Print. Not sure why I'd ever go here, besides that they're located here in SF rather than Oakland.

-Logos Graphics - If you have the budget and want to go the custom letterpress route, I could very well refer you to our affiliates over at Paper Source or at, but Paper Source doesn't do printing over the internet for business cards, and I think you'd probably have to call Minted to see them. Thus, I've worked with the ever-helpful and talented Lars and John over at Logos Graphics. They recently printed up some wedding invitations I designed for a friend, and did an awesome job for a great price and I couldn't be happier with the entire experience.

Here you go! I hope this helps, and if you have any other opinions on printers, please let us know!