Creature Doodles – Free PS Brush Pack

Like any creative college student, I spend much of my time taking notes….or rather, doodling to occupy my time while I listen carefully to the lecture *ahem*.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite random doodles from the sides of my notebook during my Fall 09 Semester. The 2 MB zip includes an .ai file and the .abr file. The brushes are vector and quite large.


  • free for personal or commercial use and modification – a link back to the download would be appreciated!

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December 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm 1 comment

Genius or Wasteful? The New Printer vs. New Ink Debate

Stephanie Scharf5t3ph One of my friends refuses to buy ink. Instead, he just buys a new printer that comes with ink because it’s less expensive. Genius? Or waste?

This was my Twitter comment that quickly sparked the following responses:

  1. J Miller
    Liquidretro @5t3ph Tell him to get a laser, doing the other is a waste
  2. Ryan Minert
    ryanminert @5t3ph I did the same thing. Bought a new printer for $25, much less than the ink for the one I had
  3. Ben Kolar
    benkolar @5t3ph if he sells printer or donates it then good. But if tosses then very wasteful and polluting
  4. Chris De Jabet
    chrisdejabet @5t3ph Money saving, but overall wasteful. My father-in-law did the same thing for a long time. Now he gets cartridges.
  5. Cara
    thinkCara @5t3ph Just freecycle the old one. i’d go for new if the cost was cheaper.
  6. Justin McDowell
    revoltpuppy @5t3ph It’s a waste because, as I understand it, those printers only have partially full ink cartridges, just to get them through demo mode.
  7. Tim Jinkerson
    timjnx @5t3ph Just saw this. I thought that the cartridges that come with the printer are only part filled? Anyway, it’s not good eco sense to buy!
  8. gthogan
    gthogan @5t3ph Big time waste of money. He’s most likely not getting a full cartridge of ink with those new printers.
  9. Tim Jinkerson
    timjnx @5t3ph It’s not about the money, it’s about a perfectly good printer going in to landfill, and more resources used to make another one!
  10. Jfalkenthal@5t3ph Genius, if he resells the printer for a decent amount. Wasteful if he has a printer graveyard. 9:52 PM Nov 30th from web in reply to 5t3ph
  11. this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

My Experience: I have an el-cheapo printer/scanner from Walmart that I use for printing assignments (text) and scanning my doodles.  While I buy new ink, once I tried to refill my cartridges at a Walgreens.  The guy warned me it might not work for my type, and sure enough it didn’t. So, I spent $20 for the failed refill, and $40 for brand-new cartridges. Lesson learned.

Inkjet vs. Laser

A Google search for “inkjet vs. laser” yielded the following video from Chris Pirillo.

Main points:

  • Inkjet: less expensive hardware, more expensive ink, lesser quality and lower duration, deal with registration lines and ink smudges
  • Laser: iffy software, expensive hardware, faster, higher quality, toner expensive but lasts longer, worth money overall

How Much Ink is in a New Printer?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I found this interesting discussion on

“Always check the expected output of the cartridges included with new printers. You will usually find them to be a fraction of the expected output of after-market cartridges. There are very few (if any?) cheaper printers on the market which come fitted with cartridges containing more than 50% the normal amount of ink or toner, 33% isn’t uncommon, and I’m sure you’ll find less somewhere if you look. This is true of laser printers as well as inkjets.
So factor this into your decision: if paying $40 gets you a new printer and $40 gets you a new set or cartridges, you will probably get more than twice the output from the new carts as you would the new printer with its part-full carts.”

Another remark from the superuser page:

“You mentioned that you already know that printers only come with “starter” ink cartridges. Even though you get 1 to 1.5 years out of that for only $40, you should try and see what the costs savings are for ink cartridges that last longer. If you can manage to get 3.5-4 years off of $60 worth of ink cartridges I feel that is better.”

Yahoo! Answers Debate

Most valuable response to this question: “The printer companies use the drug dealer method of getting you hooked on their printer then ripping you off on the ink. It’s often cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy just the ink. On ebay there are dozens of posts for brand new printers without ink.
Refilling is a dangerous practice. Even though it often works (or appears to) you are adding fresh ink to a cartridge which was empty. If it was empty for a while, there are clots of ink inside which will travel to the print heads and clog them. Every day there are several posts here from someone who refilled and now the printer wont work.
I have found a much better solution (at least for Epson printers). There is a 2-piece cartridge where the ink is in a separate tank. When it runs out, you replace just the ink tank (the entire tank, so you are not adding ink to a dried-out cartridge which may contain clots). But you are keeping the same chip which resets itself to full. The ink tanks are less than $3 and contain 50% more ink than standard cartridges. I get them at

Tips & Tricks

Your Turn To Talk!

Please leave your comments on this issue! What do you do? What do you think is best?

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December 2, 2009 at 6:36 pm 2 comments

My (Nearly) Complete Christmas Wish List – 2009

Christmas is only a month away!! The following are items on my wish list. Most are under $30.

Not pictured items that I would be happy with include:

  • iTunes gift card
  • Food gift cards: Arby’s, Taco Johns, the Cup (Lincoln), Macaroni Grill
  • Any necklaces similar to those pictured (long chains, vintage-esque, unique!)


November 22, 2009 at 10:38 pm 2 comments

Ad Camp 2009

Today I attended Ad Camp in Lincoln, NE.  This event was sponsored by American Advertising Federation of Lincoln.  There were several great speakers, lunch was provided, and the afternoon included roundtables with local professionals and visits to local agency Swanson Russell and motion graphics shop Outpost12. Studio The following are my main takeaways from those I heard and talked with.

Kara Michelle Newman, VP/Director of Creative Strategies & Creative Solutions | Katz Advantage
Kara has been in the advertising/marketing/media business for over 23 years.  She described her very interesting career path, emphasizing all of the hard work involved. Her goal was to inform us of skills and attitudes needed to make it in the ad industry.  Her main points included:

  • “Advertising is not Disneyland”
  • Follow your heart, mistakes are ok
  • Expect to move around from job to job often
  • Keep open-minded; ditch your preconceptions of what you THINK you want to be
  • Talk. Initiate. Speak-up.
  • Needed: Perseverance and dumb luck.
  • Think ahead, be prepared, consider every situation.
  • Dont say no; have actionable, creative solution

Kelley Porter, Director of Communications | Nebraska Hospital Association
Kelly’s topic was “Building Your Personal Brand,” which she emphasized the importance of by citing the statistic that only 10% of jobs are posted, while the others are spread by word-of-mouth.  Her other tips included:

  • Personal brands include: Appearance, Personality, Competencies, & a Differentiator
  • Differentiator: Extract (what is unique about you?), Express (your actions), Exude (sell it)
  • Networking: Be prompt and professional; listen and find common ground; consider what will be said when you leave them; strive for positive emotional aftertaste
  • Follow-Up: Be pertinent but brief; be memorable (handwritten note instead of e-mail)
  • Job Sites: Ziggs, NotchUp, ZoomInfo
  • Kelley’s blog with more personal brand suggestions: CheckYourBrand

Khara Plicanic, Owner| KaBloom Studios
Khara is an energetic speaker/presenter and photographer who had some tips for building your brand on Twitter. These included:

  • Consider: who (are you? should you follow? will follow you?), why (are you tweeting), what (should you tweet about)
  • Use your real name (sscharf v. shawty123) so colleagues/clients/fans can find you
  • Use same avatar across all your social media presences
  • Craft a useful and relevant bio (expertise v. song lyric)
  • Link to online content (site, blog, Flickr, etc)
  • Tweet relevant to your brand/business
  • Avoid negativity/being a jerk
  • Consider how your tweet reflects on you (don’t tweet slams/frustrations with clients)

Jim Rose, Brand Coach | University of Nebraska/Husker Sports Marketing
Jim is best known for being the long-time voice of Husker football, but is now considered an industry leader for global sports marketing giant IMG.  The following are his best tips for combining brands with sports:

  • The brand’s promises should be consistent with the team’s personality
  • Sports help create a favorable brand response
  • Sports fans are a “unique buying tribe” – like-minded, like-passionate
  • Promote to brands the value of the tribe’s association of the brand to the sport

Tracy Munoz, Media Director | Archrival
Tracy shared her knowledge of especially using social media network Facebook as an advertising platform. A few of her knowledge nuggets were:

  • Consider if you really need to run the ad at all times (Ex. – Is your weekend ROI worth it?)
  • Write standout, possibly ridiculous headlines
  • Use directly relevant photos
  • Write copy in the language your target would use in a wall post
  • The small side ads seem to be clicked on as frequently as larger sponsored ones, if the previous advice is followed (of course this varies between campaigns)

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November 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm 3 comments

FREE: November Calendar Desktop Wallpaper!

I just looooove fall leaves! And, I have a new love of designing cute figures in random places. I found this photo on stock.xchng and instantly decided the branch in focus would be an excellent place for a little man to sun himself!  Please enjoy this desktop wallpaper calendar for November 🙂



October 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm 2 comments

13 Halloween-Related Logos

♫ H… A…Double-L-O! Double-U, Double-E-N, spells Halloween!♫

I thought it would be fun to search for logos that show graphics related to Halloween.  Thumbnails are linked to source.


October 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Monthly Font Challenge #2

And the winner is…. Eric White!! Eric only missed number two, which is actually Georgia. Congratulations, and thanks for playing!


Hi folks! This month’s font challenge should be sliiiightly easier than last month. Please note that there is a much shorter deadline too!

  • PRIZE LIMITED TO U.S. PARTICIPANTS ONLY! While my foreign guests are welcome to participate, due to shipping of the prize, we must limit to our American friends. Sorry!!!
  • Examine the five fonts presented below, and identify as many as you are able. Please correspond your guesses to the numbers labeling each line.
  • Comment with your guesses. Comments will be hidden until contest close.
  • The most correct guesses will receive the craft packet to participate in the November challenge!
  • The fonts are presented in 24 pt, regular weight.
  • Answers must be submitted by October 31.  Most correct guesses wins!

Thanks for participating!


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October 28, 2009 at 8:29 pm 3 comments

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About the Author

Stephanie Scharf currently resides in Lincoln, NE. She attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is studying Advertising with an emphasis on graphic and web design. Her time is split between working on school and client projects, hangin' with friends, and "geeking out" by reading up on the latest in web and social media trends. For more information, please visit the About page.

Please e-mail Stephanie your suggestions of topics you'd like to see on this blog!

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