Well NYC has officially beat me! I have escaped to Central Park for the afternoon. Sitting here on a rock under the trees,I can still hear the dull roar of the city behind me. It’s mayhem out there! I love the energy and inspiration NYC provides but,after 3 days, my thoughts drift back to a more peaceful way of living.
My trip here to visit Surtex 2013 has been a great one. I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions-super excited,starstruck,overwhelmed,relieved,anxious – just a few emotions that have swept over me the past few days of Surtex. All of this accompanied by some very sore feet from all the walking!
I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to walk the show for my first time this year. I followed all the rules of etiquette but discovered quickly that they are just guidelines. Everyone is super friendly and very helpful. I took pictures with permission, spoke to many of the artists, handed out a few business cards and generally made connections with others within my community.
I had the opportunity to meet up with many of my virtual-world designer friends. I loved spending time with them, they are always full of enthusiasm and good advice! Many exhibitors I spoke with during the show commented on the importance of working within a community. Many of us sit at home daily designing and need to have designer friends to reach out to in times of need. These are your people!
I still don’t have enough trade show knowledge to answer the question that everyone keeps asking ” Are you going to show next year?” Many thoughts are running through my head and they may be off kilter. All I do know is that Surtex isn’t something one takes lightly!
You need to have your style and your brand down and it needs to be different and uniquely you.You need to stand out – even before you get to the show. I believe a lot of your connections have to be made beforehand. They need to know you are out there. I also believe you have to commit to the show for a few years and slowly develop your connections. You need to have a 3-5 year plan of surtex attack. As with any brand you need to be consistent and present. Lastly- Know your market.
I do believe that it is a great community and place to make connections.The show is super organized and well presented.Everyone is happy, helpful and supportive.If you need a little break from pattern then you have The National Stationary Show and International Contemporary Furniture Fair right next door. I spent hours walking the aisles in awe.Home furnishings, paper, pattern,typography – it was my little piece of heaven.
Some delightful designers I had the opportunity to meet and chat with.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of some of my other favorites – Jessica Swift, Elizabeth Olwen, Alex Columbo, Monica Lee, Pink Light Studios, but they were all there. I felt like a bit of a surface pattern design groupie!
I was very fortunate to have some chat time with Lilla Rogers of Lilla Rogers Studio. Lilla is a leader in the art and illustration industry.My first impression was wow-now that’s a teacher!
Lilla is a teacher and it becomes most apparent when in discussion with her. She loves to talk and her enthusiasm for art and willingness to share is limitless. I was lucky enough to bump into her on three separate occasions (I may have been stalking her just a wee bit…) and each time she was engaging and fully present, asking all the right thought-provoking questions of me and providing me with thoughtful answers of her own.
I still haven’t signed up for her course. Make Art that Sells, which she thought was quite funny, but I really want to now. Fingers crossed!
If you have any questions about Surtex please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodbye NYC! Next week this time I will be camping ,with no power or running water, in the middle of Vancouver Island in B.C.. Talk about extremes!
Have a great weekend!