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Poketo People: Nathalie Roland

At Poketo, it’s the people around us that help keep it real. Inspired by their great vibe, this new series puts the spotlight squarely on them, their aspirations and their brushes with the Poketo world. It’s also a great way to keep in touch, don’t you think? Yeah, we thought so too!

This week, we welcome to the Poketo spotlight one Poketo’s first-ever artists Nathalie Roland. When we say Nathalie’s been with us since day one, we mean it. She was part of our very first art show back in 2003.

Since then, she’s also popped up in the Poketo world with a few wallet designs, a print, and even an entire mural for a pop up shop we did in SF some years back! We’d love for you get to know Nathalie better. Say hello, guys!

Hi, Nathalie! So, three themes come up in your bio a lot: printmaking, music and cookies. How did you find your love for each?
I fell in love with printmaking after seeing some etchings at an art fair in Santa Monica. The lines were so rich and warm, even though the image was two dimensional, looking closely into the lines, there was a beautiful density. I forget the artist’s name, but at that moment I was very intrigued.

Music has been a constant companion since childhood starting with afternoons spent listening to my father’s Beatles records and the Salsa radio programs blaring through our house all day on Sundays.

Cookies are sweet and they have a lovable blue monster spokesperson with a wicked theme song.

If Nathalie were a cookie flavor, what would it be?
I’d like to be a chocolate chip cookie, classic, comforting and delicious.

Could you share your printmaking journey to us?
Well now, I met printmaking roundabouts 1992. Here is a sample of one of my first prints in ’92.

I tried relief printing that year as well, I gouged a hole in my left hand and swore off relief printing. I got to know etching, engraving, intaglio and lithography thanks to Zarina Hashmi and Paul Rangell.

I tried doing a lino cut followed by wood cut and I was hooked. Here is one of my recent prints made for a night some friends do at Make-Out Room. (Photo by Myleen Hollero).

It wasn’t til 2009 that I tried screen printing thanks to Anthony Skirvin and his friends. He introduced me to rubylith, which was a way to avoid the computer all together. Here’s a sample of one of those screen prints. I’m back to focusing on woodcuts again now.

Wow. You’ve certainly gone through a lot of different processes. What’s your favorite type of wood to work with?
While I appreciate a fine cherry, I’m partial to pine. It is accessible, it smells good and it has a lot of personality. Working with its knots and grain can be challenging and rewarding.

What do you think most people don’t realize when it comes to printmaking?
It is technical and time consuming. For me that is part of the appeal, I find it meditative and I learn something new every single time.

Could you share some of your favorite prints and the stories behind them?
“Unknown Pleasures” is the title of one of my favorites.

This octopus has fallen in love with a human accordion playing swimmer but can only admire her from a far. A modest display of pyrotechnics is one way to signal seaside affection.

One of my favorite parts of living in San Francisco is the Chinese new year parade and the dancing lions. (Photo by Myleen Hollero)

I have a sentimental attachment to this next print which I made before I acquired my own press back when I was still printing with my feet. I made it to entice friends to participate in a mix exchange of sorts. People made 1 hour mixes and we broadcast a different one at 11am on the old headphonerecord shoutcast stream. It features our friend Eamon and Gina’s dog, Dogula and our cat Mochi.

Now, onto music. If Nathalie were a song, what kind of song would it be?
I can’t say what song I am yet, but I aspire to be a Vince Guaraldi number like “Cast your fate to the wind“. His songs possess a swingin’ sophistication… something I would like to at least touch in my lifetime.

Nathalie is huge into music. Limited ed. vinyl with one of her works.

How did you first find Poketo?
I’ve known Poketo since its birth in a San Francisco bedroom.

Ted and I met through KZSC (88.1FM) in Santa Cruz, I had some sample prints posted in the office and asked people to vote on the design. I called the station to ask which design had been chosen or to find out what the new schedule was and he answered the phone. We ended up talking for an hour about printmaking, music and film and just naturally decided to be friends.

I met Angie later through some mutual friends. We were all working on our various art projects when Ted and Angie decided to pair up for a lifelong food tour. They invited me to participate in the very first artist wallet series. It was a blast.

We saw you that you recently got the DIY Shower Curtain :) How are you liking it? Could you share your work in progress? What are you trying to draw with it?
Yes, it is really fun to draw on such a large surface. I tried to think of something our household would appreciate and I went with the Yay Ganesh from the Yay flag manual.

Awesome. Thank you for taking us a on quick walk down memory lane, Nathalie!
Thank you so very much. Very happy to be involved after so many years.

Find more of Nathalie at

Know someone we should talk to for our next installment? Send us a quick note. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

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