Inspired by Surtex 2013

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.
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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!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Some of the girls from our love of print & pattern group
Kim Andersson,Suzie Tremel,Julie Hamilton,Deborah Velasquez,Mary Tanana, Maeve Parker

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.

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Sarah Watts of Wattsalot – my favorite booth! http://www.wattsalot.com

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.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Cindy Lindgren – http://www.cindylindgren.com

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!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Lilla Rogers, Deborah Velasquez, Julie Hamilton

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 jules@bollah.com.

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!

Seed and Pod Inspiration

Looking for a little seed and pod inspiration? I have some for you!
These are courtesy of the Big Island of Hawaii.

artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

Interesting shapes and shapes within shapes. Great texture. Lovely ,earthy colors. I wish I knew the names of some of these as I am very intrigued by them and curious to know more.

artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

For more seed and pod inspiration you can visit Pinterest. I have started a board Inspired by Nature where I pin my images of objects found, in real life and in my virtual one too.Lots to see there!

artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

Sketching ~ my take on seeds and pods. I have my most fun drawing objects found in nature. I love playing with organic shapes and adding in my own textures. I have no patterns made with these to date, but they have found their way into alot of my paintings and collage work.
artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

I look forward to seeing what you come up with! If you would like to share, post to #shareyoursketch on Instagram.

I am heading off to NYC to walk Surtex this weekend. I still can’t believe I am going.

I have been hearing about this show for the past year and am super curious as to what it is all about. I get the added bonus of a trip to NYC and the chance to meet up with lots of art and design friends that I have met over the years.Will keep you posted on my adventures there!

Have a great weekend!

Inspired by mark making

Some weeks are just harder than others to create. Last week was one of those weeks.

Some weeks I just get brain overload ~ I want to draw and create too many things. This usually happens when I am pressed for time and have other priorities looming. A definite form of procrastination. I call it productive procrastination no time is left wasted.

I started seashells,sailboats and surfboards..but nothing was catching.Not even flowers which are always my go to.

So,in search of simplicity, I finally decided to do just that ~ keep it simple. I lay my journal and black pen out on the kitchen counter and dedicated the week to mark making. Whenever inspiration hit I doodled some marks…Drive by doodling.

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I often find myself needing texture and backgrounds in my work. This applies to both drawing and painting. I find it quite handy having a reference list of marks that I can refer to in times when my mind goes blank.I also need more coordinates for my patterns. Interesting marks and textures make great coordinates. They also make great geometric patterns.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

I love black and white. There are no restrictions, no complementary colors to think about and absolutely no worries if they go well together. If your design doesn’t look good in black and white then there is a very good chance color is not going to be able to save it!

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This is not the first time I have done this! I like to doodle and love my black pens.I am still waiting for my Sharpie pen sponsorship…
Remember to come and #shareyoursketch with me over on Instagram.
julie hamilton design

We have been hit hard with long, glorious summer-like days. We always like to say that we have our own little piece of heaven here in Whistler, B.C. and right now it’s definitely feeling that way.The mountains are full of snow, the sky bluebird and the flip-flops are out!Very unusual weather for this time of year and not to be missed.

Next week I am heading off to NYC to Surtex. Eek! I will be walking the show and just trying to get a feel for this industry that I have thrown myself into it. I am expecting to be overwhelmed.I am ready for it! Will keep you posted!

Have a great week everyone!