May 29, 2014

SURTEX 2014 RECAP - a dream come true!


SURTEX 2014 RECAP - PART 1

Well after 6 months of nose to the iMac dedication — working like a *crazy MAD artist* my Surtex 2014 debut has come and gone. It really was a dream come true moment for me and my art. I cried, laughed and woohoo'd my way through it. 

I walked the Surtex show about six years ago and was overwhelmed at the visual beauty of it all. And I came home very humbled by the talented artists — shaking my head, thinking how I could possibly get myself there. At the time I think I was painting abstracts, so I have come a long way!

The response to my art, my booth design and my promo video was really wonderful! And my "LOVE Your Shoes" pug art was a big hit. I used that image twice in my booth graphics, in my Surtex Directory ad, my hand out post cards and in my promo video.

Here is a list of some of my take aways from a creative "dream come true" life experience.

LOVE
1. Yes, everyone in this Surtex Art community is incredibly nice, friendly, supportive, welcoming, helpful, encouraging and just plain lovely human beings. My peeps! I found my peeps! And being in a community of happiness, beautiful art and design with good natured people contributes to the wonderful energy of the show. Seriously, looking at row after row of beautiful art and smiling people — I was in heaven.

REACH OUT
2. I wish I had reached out more and introduced myself to even more exhibitors. I had no problem introducing myself and talking with retailers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers that walked the show. I did track down several artists that I have been following (I think I might have said "stalking") over the years and told them I was a fan of their work. I just wish I had taken a bit more time to meet a few more people since I was RIGHT THERE.

COY CATHY... AND ALOOF ADAM?
3. I did not expect the retailers, buyers, manufacturers and suppliers to be so coy, aloof, or stealth? Of course I'm sure many of them get bombarded by hundreds of artists and thousands of submissions that they have to weed through. I guess I expected them to be a little more open since I had paid for the "ticket to exhibit". One conversation with a major greeting card company executive went like this when we first met; 

Me (beaming exuberantly): "Hello, I'm Valerie the artist behind the work."  

Greeting card executive: "hello".  

Me: "………...… "  (as she flips through my portfolio)

Me (cheerfully): "Where are you from?"

Greeting card executive (deadpan): "Washington".

Of course I meant "what company are you from?" not the geographical location they lived in. I did ask gently for a business card from her and got one. And of course not everyone was like this. I met a lovely woman from a publishing company that does calendars and journals that took the time to look thru my portfolios and told me how much she liked my art. I had to followup and send her lots of images she requested to see.

WHAT ART HAVE YOU GOT FOR...
4. Manufacturers were looking for very specific art. I had several experiences where people were looking for very specific seasonal or art collections. One gentleman said "that's a great pug! What else do you have for dog art?" Fortunately, I also had some Boston Terrier and Dachshund concepts in my portfolio to respond with. But it made me realize that people are shopping for very specific things. It's not about me (shocking!), it's about my art filling a need for them. Which is also another reason to keep an eye on TRENDS! Even though I knew owls have saturated the art licensing market — I had owl art in Christmas, Halloween, Children and my Every Day portfolio sections.

DR SCHOLLS, EPSON SALTS AND IBUPROPHEN... OH MY!
5. I knew that I would be working a trade show booth, I've done many in my career over the years. And I knew that I would be standing on my feet. But I didn't realize how physically exhausting it would be. A sign of getting older I guess. Honestly, I was just 26 years old a second ago! LOL! And now at 56 my body really felt the physical part. Of course it didn't help that I had been sitting at a computer for 16 hours a day for the past 6 months to — standing on my feet for three straight days. And I did have really comfortable shoes!

THE WORK IS JUST BEGINNING
6. I came home with lots of contacts, people to follow up with and send files to. Some of the types of companies that were interested in my art were greeting card companies, fabric companies, a stamping company, flag company, publisher—calendars and journals, home decor company and a tabletop company to name a few. So now the relationship building process starts. And of course you've got to start somewhere. And at least I have art now and people that would like to use it on their products. Which is what the art licensing game is all about. 

So now as I continue to work on my follow-up contact list, connect with new friends on social media and smile contentedly at the accomplishment of this life long dream — people were already talking about and saying "See you next year at Surtex!" Oh geez… I better get busy NOW creating more ART. 

SURTEX 2014 RECAP - Part 2, coming soon!

May 12, 2014

Valerie Hart ~ Surtex 2014!



Well it's inside the one week countdown to Surtex 2014! And my little video promo of Lulu and the gang are on the Surtex homepage! Did you have a chance to see it yet? I was really happy how it came out!

It's kind of short and sweet with some snippets of my illustrations and a couple of patterns. I love the Happy Ukulele music that I found on Twisterium.comClick the image above to go to Vimeo to see it. Or view it from this link!

I've been crazy busy but am really filled with happy excitement now for the show! I will do a recap when I get back. And after I have slept for a couple of weeks... Woohoo I'm going to Surtex! Bye for now! xoxo

April 28, 2014

Surtex 2014 promo and marketing


It's been a natural evolution that Lulu and the gang above have been represented in my marketing materials for Surtex 2014.

It started off with a business card hello message to being the little spokesperson in my Surtex video promo here. Now she is on the press kits too. She feels a bit like my alter ego and is really having fun with all of this marketing exposure.

What would your alter ego illustration look like?

Happy Spring!

April 18, 2014

Surtex - business cards, portfolios + booth graphics... oh my!


It's been busy busy time getting ready for Surtex 2014! In addition to creating lots of new artwork to show, I've also had to take time to order my business cards, setting up my art portfolio and designing my booth graphics. 

I went with a two sided business card with a natural paper look under my new Lulu girl illustration. I thought that her "hello" would be nice message on my cards. I kept all of the colors consistent with my current branding. Still need to get my post card handouts done too! Busy busy as a beaver. Ha! 

Happy Spring!

April 04, 2014

I'm exhibiting at SURTEX 2014! Yay!


I'm exhibiting at SURTEX 2014! Yay!

I actually announced that I'm exhibiting at Surtex 2014 back in February on my Facebook page! And I have been working like a crazy*mad*artist with my nose to the iMac creating art and watching webinars to get ready. Oh geez, the butterflies are interesting. I'm not usually a nervous person — but maybe the butterflies are because this has been such a dream of mine to do this show with my art... forever! 

And things are really starting to get busy with more deadlines fast approaching. If you would like to see more samples of my current artwork and designs, please head over to my Facebook page or my Pinterest page! Having a bit of hard time keeping my blog updated.

Thanks for stopping by and in the spirit of Facebook — Let's be friends at Surtex! Please stop by my booth #654 to see all of my whimsical art and fresh designs for art licensing!

Happy Spring! 

xoxo



March 26, 2014

Christmas Art and Winter Owl for Surtex!

I have been very busy in the studio working away on my Surtex portfolio! Excited and nervous all in one. I will be making my Surtex debut this May 2014 in New York City. My booth number is 654! 

I finished with the Retro Collection and am now focusing more on Christmas art. Which is the largest holiday in the art licensing business. Even though the calendar says Spring, it's still been quite chilly here in New England. So we've needed our hats —like this little owl and his red hat.

Happy Spring!



February 12, 2014

I'm making my SURTEX debut this May 2014 in New York City!


Yay! I'm making my Surtex 2014 debut this May 18-20th in New York City! 

I have been wanting to exhibit my art at Surtex for many, many years... so this is a dream come true moment for me. It's like a coming out party for me and my art! I designed the promo art above with a fun and colorful graphic of New York City and a few of my characters to help make the announcement. Of course that is my —alter bird ego, standing on top of the taxi. 

I have sent in my payment for my booth -----> #654 and I've booked my hotel. So I've got a place to show my art and a place to sleep. There is still a lot more to do but the goal is in place and now it's back to the drawing board, or these days, the iMac and onto making lots of art for my portfolio! 

If you are not familiar with Surtex, here is a little info from their website:

SURTEX® is the global B2B marketplace for original art & design—where artists, agents and licensors connect with manufacturers and retailers to create the next best-selling products in every category imaginable. 

Wall coverings, decorative accessories, bed linens, stationery, giftware, tabletop and so many more…if it’s any product with a surface design of any kind, there’s a good chance it originated at SURTEX.

That’s because each year some 7,000 buyers / manufacturers from 49 countries converge on the SURTEX exhibit floor to buy or license the newest designs from approximately 1,000 trend-setting artists. It’s a veritable who’s who of manufacturers and retailers seeking first dibs on the best original art & design being created today.



January 11, 2014

New ~ Red Sweater, Tea Drinking Bear illustration.



I've been working on some new designs and was surprised by this Red Sweater Bear that showed up. I'm not really one of those artists that lacks for design ideas. In fact, I have little notebooks and journals filled with my notes when I have an idea or some inspiration. I always keep a little notebook by my computer to jot them down. The difficult process for me is focusing on which one to do next!

I thought that this bear would look great wearing a red nordic sweater. It actually has bears on the front of the design but you cannot see it very well. I decided to give him a cup of tea. I am a tea drinker. My favorite blend is English Breakfast Tea. What's yours? After the sweater and the tea came together, I thought that I would add this to my Etsy shop and then came across the great quote — "A Cup of Tea is A Cup of Peace". Just seems to go perfectly with this little bear in his woodland setting.

Enjoy your tea!

December 01, 2013

Happy Cyber Monday! I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop!


I decided to participate in my first Cyber Monday with my Etsy shop! Yay! I have a mix of about 67 items of premade logos and art prints. Kind of excited about this and it's the first time I've tried the coupon code process.

My vintage camper print has been selling well and I recently added a red version to my shop.  So now I have four vintage camper colors; teal, pink, mint green and red.


I also just added my Skating Polar Bear print back into my shop for the holiday season. I Wanted to get some Christmas Cards done of this design for my shop, but alas not enough time to do it with my home sale and move over the past two months. 

Happy shopping this holiday season and hope you have a chance to stop by my Etsy shop and take a peek at my logo designs and art prints.

Merry Christmas!





October 14, 2013

Happy Fall Folliage!



Happy Fall! I love this time of year with the color of the leaves changing and the smell of fall in the woods. I am in a bit of transition myself in this season. I decided to sell my home that I have been in for the past 13 years. It sold rather quickly, as I knew it would. It will give me the opportunity to focus more energy on my art and design work now that I don't have a mortgage and property to take care of. I've also been clearing out 'lots' of clutter and stuff collected over the years! It's all good... Ok not just good, it's all a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Will be back to posting more regularly after I get settled.

August 27, 2013

Lilla Rogers Studio - Make Art That Sells, Part B



The Lilla Rogers Studio posted on their blog last month that they were having a video competition to win a spot in Part B of their online e-course, Make Art That Sells. So being always up for a creative challenge, I decided to enter. The theme of the video was to share your experience and some of the things you learned from Part A of, Make Art That Sells. And it could only be one minute long. I didn't want to do a live video of me talking, so I came up with a little story, drew the illustrations for a series of still shots and put them together in iMovie. I really had a lot of fun making this. Enjoy!

Congrats to Antonila M. who was selected as the winner! See her video here.



August 02, 2013

Global Talent Search - Lilla Rogers Studio


I had entered the Global Talent Search sponsored by the Lilla Rogers Studio and above is my final entry for the journal cover design. I was really happy with it and I spent a lot of time illustrating and designing it. I drew every element and put them together in Adobe Illustrator with a final touch in Photoshop.

But alas, I was not selected for the top 50. Oh well, keeping on creating great art as Lilla says. There were over 1500 entries into this competition and there will only be one person selected. There were some amazingly talented artists in this competition, so it was pretty cool to see all of the wonderful designs!

Congrats to the 50 selected and to the final winner! Such a great opportunity to shine in the world...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...