The month of May was a swirl of activity. I can't remember being this busy since... well, ever!
One of the highlights of May was Surtex, which was held at the Javits Center May 17 - 19. I was excited to meet Victoria Johnson, whom I had met online but never in person before! I volunteered earlier this year to help with her booth. Later we discovered we were both in MATS Bootcamp together. I bought an IKEA table and some pillows for her and brought them to the Javits Center the day we set up her booth.
Please check out Victoria's work on her site, as well as her take on the show--she is such an amazing designer. I love her sense of color and design and all the little details she puts into them. They are both simple yet very complex at the same time. It is no wonder her booth was AMAZING. She brought everything in a teeny, tiny suitcase along with a mailing tube for her banners all the way from Rome, Italy. It was so enlightening to see how one could really make a stand out booth so efficiently. There was no excess -- it was just perfect.
I was really inspired by Victoria's focus and clear vision. She has been in the business for 17 years, so it's no surprise she is a seasoned pro. I felt so fortunate to hang out with her, hear her stories and get to know her.
On Sunday, when the show started, I met Flora Waycott, another fabulous designer I am in awe of -- she had come all the way from New Zealand. She also helped Victoria in her booth. We greeted clients in Victoria was busy and took their information. Otherwise, we tried to stay out of the way!
It is no surprise that Victoria was very successful at Surtex. She sold many pieces as well as made many future valuable contacts. She credits this to solid, focused preparation beforehand (you can read about it here). But also it is because she had so many wonderful designs to show and all first rate work!
I had such a great time getting to know both Victoria and Flora -- they are both so warm and down to earth. As my husband can attest, I was a bit nervous before Surtex. I am such a newbie in this arena, and they are both professionals. Fortunately, those worries were put aside immediately upon meeting both of them! :)
Another happy experience was meeting all the MATS artists I've been getting to know on through the MATS Bootcamp class. It is funny because we all really knew each other by our work rather than our faces, as our avatars are so tiny on the computer screen. There were so many of us running around the place. Lilla Rogers was there with her group of artists, and there were several collectives (Forest Foundry, Dottie Wren Studio, Cultivate Art Collective, ASNY Art Group) of artists, as well as individual artists showing -- all of whom had taken MATS last year.
I also had a great time meeting people from the Linked In Art and Licensing Group I am a part of. I became a founding member of a new licensing site, which Cherish Flieder has recently unveiled. I haven't put anything up on the site yet, but I will very soon -- more on that later!
I am still processing all that I was soaking up in those few days. I was also doing final sketches for a new book dummy to and from the conference and at night. It's kind of all a blur, but I did take notes! I also went to the Stationery Show which was taking place next door to Surtex. That show is about three times as big, and even more overwhelming. I thought my head was going to explode after 45 minutes. What I saw was that Letterpress is still very HUGE. Also, there are a million card companies. It's a bit daunting.
As usual, I wish I had taken more pictures! That's all for now...