Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Art Licensing International Agencies: Iris Parizer of Ginja Licensing and Marketing, Israel

I have been exploring the many avenues related to art and licensing, including the ones about international markets - I am fascinated about the range of possibilities to license or sell art around the globe. I myself just recently signed up with an agency that will represent me in Japan and Asia. And while I will continue to represent myself in the U.S., I am looking to find a competent agent for Europe as well.

So with this blog post I am expanding my vistas and interviews to agents outside the U.S. and am pleased to introduce today Iris Parizer from Israel.

The Moon From My Attic: Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do - My name is Iris Parizer of Ginja Licensing and Marketing, a licensing agency based in Israel representing a wide yet unique range of lifestyle, design and art brands from all over the world.

I have nearly 20 years of experience in sales and media marketing, including 12 years exclusively dedicated to licensing. I am passionate about the potential of licensing in Israel; it's nearly a new market where the possibilities for growth and success are without limits at this early development stage. I combine extensive experience with creative thinking and dedicated, high-energy service to both my artists and business clients.

TMFMA: How's the licensing market in Israel? The most popular licensing brands in Israel are the entertainment and TV brands for kids; they receive the most attention and revenues from licensees and customers. In the last two years there has been an increasing attention and demand for non-TV brands that last longer and can reach a vast audience of buyers, as companies better understand that licensing can work well also for adults and that the potential is  great. Israel is a small territory, however it is very up to date with modern technologies and is innovative in many ways. We have all the major international brands and licensing is developing and increasing.

TMFMA: As an art licensing agent, what's your standard way to find a new artist? An art licensing agent has to be curious and love the art and design world. One can find the next great artist in trade shows, licensing magazines, art blogs, Facebook or even in interesting galleries and museums. Not every talented designer and artist can do licensing work as it requires not only talent but also the will to make your art commercial so that it fits products, plus hard work.

TMFMA: When you view an artist's work, what are the key elements you look for? The process is not scientific; it is a mix of liking the art coupled with both aesthetic and practical thinking. Can these designs can be implemented on products? Are the icons and images suitable to the territory in which they are targeted? As for colors and design, do they reflect the experience and success of the artist? And last but not the least, it there the proper chemistry with the artist - is there a good personal and business connection.

TMFMA: What's the worst error a new artist can make in looking for an agent? A major mistake is taking an agent that has no affinity and basic understanding in art, design and aesthetic. I can say that my design and art experience is of great assistance in my relationships with my artists.

TMFMA: What's you view of the current market and trends? What works really well now - and you can see it all over the international markets - is the vintage style with lots of flowers prints in all colors and patterns; fresh and happy designs are in demand and maybe it's  a way to say "we want a better world." :)

TMFMA: How do you see the future of licensing? I believe that licensing will develop into additional categories and territories (Russia, Eastern Europe, etc.) that are not currently well known in the industry. New companies will license product categories like electronic goods and homeware that have not been licensed before, such as refrigerators, ovens, wall decorations, cooking tools and gadgets, etc. The competition is increasing and companies as well as licensees have to give their best in the marketing of their goods. An option to be unique and stand out from others is to produce products with exciting licensed designs and art.

TMFMA: What other useful tips can you give to new artists starting out in this field of licensing? Prepare and present a good and interesting design style, work hard at it and don't be hasty. One of the most important issues to build and organize collections and design styles that can be used in a variety of categories. Publish your art in blogs, FB, and magazines and always keep updated with the licensing world - its news, new products and trends. Be open minded and flexible to changes and demands from the licensees that manufacture the products with your art on them. Refresh your collections and design style at list once a year and prepare good and exciting marketing presentations that present your designs and talents to the licensing world!




Friday, June 21, 2013

Strategic Partnering: A Special Interview with Katherine Dikeakos, Marketing Manager for The Madison Park Group

As part of our Seattle and Washington State On the Road tour we are publishing an interview we did with Seattle-based The Madison Park Group, a classy manufacturing company that, with its partner companies, sells a wide range of stationery, gift, and accessory products to over 6,000 retailers across the country. Many of their products are also available via distributors in other countries including Canada, England, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

I met with the lovely Katherine Dikeakos, Marketing Manager of The Madison Park Group while I was at the Surtex show in New York city this past May and walked their beautiful booth at the National Stationary Show. She graciously allowed me to take a couple of pictures of their colorful paper products.


Tell us a little about yourself, The Madison Park Group and its philosophy as a company: The history of The Madison Park Group can be traced back to 1977 when Judi Jacobsen began one of the earliest specialty greeting card companies in the USA. Now run by Judi's son Brian and his childhood friend, Glen Biely, The Madison Park Group has expanded through a unique business model of partnering with other companies in the industry via strategic manufacturing and distribution arrangements. Each partner company retains ownership, branding and creative control while benefiting from The Madison Park Group's infrastructure, sourcing, sales, marketing and industry expertise.


Tell us a little about your company selection process: We cull new artists through a variety of ways: self-submissions, artist agents, Surtex and keeping in touch with our local Seattle artists. We license existing artwork and commission new illustrations for card ranges and collections and are always on the lookout for the next new look.

What makes for a great art collection? For every release we select a range of styles for balance; gauging general send-ability, giftiness, whether it's on trend or modern traditional. We need to make sure the line remains diverse and fresh – which for us usually means incorporating lots of color. When we talk about send-ability and giftiness we're making sure that the art/designs we choose are ones that we believe our audience will be excited about and (most importantly) purchase. When speaking about greeting cards that means finding art and pairing it with text that create a product people will buy and send (aka 'sendability'). It's similar with 'giftiness' — we always ask ourselves 'will our target market like this design enough to buy it?'


What is the typical production timeline from the initial art selection to product arrival in stores? What are the various stages of the process, and which ones do you like to have the licensing artist involved in? We kick off a release about 6-8 months in advance. We brainstorm new product ideas we want to incorporate in the release. Once that's finalized we decide on the best art/artist for each format to create cohesive collections. We work with artists anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months on artwork for card ranges or dimensional items.


What are some of your favorite design trends right now? Our art department loves hand drawn, quirky but pretty, simple art with touches of humor, Kawaii (still) and designs with subtle mid-century nods.

Can you offer any advice to new artists wanting to break into the industry, and more specifically, advice for working with your company? We do look at all submissions! The most important piece of advice we can give is to know your audience. Study what a company currently carries and align your offerings accordingly. Be thoughtful about your choices for submission. We ask that you try to customize what you send so we can tell you put thought and effort into your submission. It's also incredibly helpful to have an active blog or website so that additional artwork and information is easily accessible and you're just a click away.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Art Licensing On the Road - Travels Amongst Art Communities: Seattle and Washington State

The post-Surtex show has been very busy for us and it has provided more insights and reflections about where we are going in our art licensing journey. While we are focusing more on the business aspects of our adventure, our blog will also shift to include art community editorials.

Starting today, in addition to artist and manufacturer interviews and tales, I want to introduce the new series of editorials called On The Road! This series is about art communities, art licensing groups, and manufacturers in specific areas of the world.

The opening state in the series is Washington and the Seattle area - from here, we will travel down and cover all States and other countries around the globe. So be sure you get ready for when our tour comes through your city, state or country!

A little background history: Washington is a beautiful ever-green state in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States.

Seattle, Washington - courtesy of Paul Stout

Seattle and its surroundings are home to many very active art communities; the emerald city lies on a narrow strip of land between the salt waters of Puget Sound and the fresh waters of Lake Washington. Beyond these bodies lie two rugged mountain ranges, the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. It is a city built on hills and around water, in a mild marine climate that encourages prolific vegetation and abundant natural resources.

Seattle area - courtesy of Kristen Tourtillotte
Rural Pacific Northwest Valley - Courtesy of Sharyn Sowell



THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ARTIST COMMUNITY

ARTIST SHARYN SOWELL
Artist Sharyn Sowell

Artist Sharyn Sowell believes that all life is a miracle, and her art reflects that philosophy. She designs everything from rubber stamps, fabric, greeting cards and giftware.

Sharyn's art is a blend of calligraphy, watercolor, letterpress printing, and cut paper, all done meticulously by hand and merged digitally. A proven professional with a long track record, Sharyn designs for companies like Hallmark, Creative Converting, and York Wallcoverings. Her original art can be seen in the British National Portrait Gallery, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and the Orlando Waldorf Astoria. Her calligraphic Kindle covers have sold over 2.25 million units and she has won multiple Louie Awards, the Oscar of the greeting card industry.

© Sharyn Sowell

Sharyn partners with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines, where she shares her love of crafting and art as a featured instructor internationally. Travel furnishes abundant inspiration for Sharyn's art and allows her to spot global trends and fill dozens of sketchbooks that turn into collections of new work.

Whether in the rural Pacific Northwest valley she calls home, leading a group sketching the French Riviera or sketching lilies of the valley in her own garden, you can identify Sharyn by her genuine smile and ever-busy ink-stained fingers.

ARTIST BARB TOURTILLOTTE
Artist Barb Tourtillotte

Every morning artist Barb Tourtillotte is a blessing to wake up and make the 60 second commute to her studio to start her typical 10 hour work day. Her husband has to drag her away from her studio each evening as once on that creative roll, it's hard to break away!

© Barb Tourtillotte

Prior to getting into the licensing arena, Barb was a graphic designer for many years, designing lots of logos, brochures, billboards and advertisements. She made the transition into licensing in 2000, exhibiting for the first time at Surtex in 2002.

Today she works with over 70 wonderful companies, licensing her artwork for products from dinnerware and fabrics to paper goods and giftware. Life is grand!

ARTIST JANE SHASKY
Artist Jane Shasky

From the lush Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, artist Jane Shasky paints beautifully detailed watercolors celebrating the flowers, plant and bird-life surrounding around her home. Her paintings are remarkable for their detail and warm love of life.

To see Jane's work is to experience the timeless cycle of seasons; from the bounty of summer flowers and fresh-picked herbs to the delightful visitations of native birds perched among autumn leaves or singing from snowy winter branches in the nearby woods. In every scene she captures, Jane pays precise, almost photographic attention to color and detail, yet somehow still conveys the magic and sense of wonder at the nature all around her. With every stroke of her brush, she creates a feeling of serenity that brings the joy, grace and peace of the garden indoors.

© Jane Shasky

After a career in corporate illustration, Jane turned her hand to designing timeless images for the home. She works with many prestigious companies in the gift and stationery industries and her meticulous attention to detail has been called "a breath of fresh air." Today, her watercolor paintings appear on a wide range of quality products, including calendars, stationery, fabrics, greeting cards, tabletop, home d├ęcor and more.

When she's not painting, you'll find Jane working in her gardens or capturing the beauty of beaches and mountains of the Pacific Northwest with camera in hand, finding new inspiration at every turn.

ARTIST CORI DANTINI
Artist Cori Dantini

Artist Cori Dantini would love to dress like her paper ladies and explore the world in their skirts and buns and neat little boots, but she is far too practical for that. In fact, she spends much of her time in her studio, covered in a mosaic of ink stains and glue dabs, bits of wordy paper clinging to her slippers.

And, as it happens, her studio is not located in an Italian villa, but in eastern Washington where she has returned to her hometown of Pullman to ply her trade among its rolling wheat fields.

© Cori Dantini

After earning a BFA in painting from Washington State University and spending a couple decades fiddling with brushes, oils, pencils, markers, and most recently, the mouse attached to her computer, she has discovered an organic process involving layers and language. Any meaning found in her work comes from this process. She never begins a project with a message in mind. Rather, the materials and her process are what do the talking. It is this mysterious, reciprocal quality of art that intrigues her and makes her think of her works as visual poems.

ARTIST NINA SEVEN
Artist Nina Seven

Nina Seven is a surface designer and illustrator from beautiful Seattle, WA. She lives in a 1909 Craftsman style home with her family and a couple of crazy cats. The house is filled with colorful painted walls and a lot of art!

© Nina Seven

Ever since she was a young girl, she had a passion for creating art. One of her life's greatest joys is designing and illustrating with beautiful colors and fun patterns and textures. Working as a surface designer is a testament that dreams really can come true (with a lot of hard work, of course!). She is represented by Pink Light Studio.

ARTIST KEIKO SUZUKI
Artist Keiko Suzuki

Keiko Suzuki is born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and lives in Seattle with her husband and licensing manager William Hickey. She became a full-time artist in 2011 after leaving a nine year-long corporate carrier behind. Since early childhood, Keiko had a keen interest in using different types of paper to create origami and drawings of mostly girl related imagery.


She learned a hand-torn newspaper collage technique from a book written by Masako Ogawa who originally developed the method. In July 2012, she founded Bless Hue to introduce her artwork to the earth-conscious society.


ARTIST JOSEPHINE KIMBERLING
Artist Josephine Kimberling

Josephine Kimberling is a surface designer who has been creating pattern, artwork and design solutions for industry leaders in fashion, stationary and gift wrap for over 12 years. Her art licensing brand offers beautiful patterns, delicious color stories and distinctive design work across a growing range of products including fabric, stationary, sticky notes, travel bags, organizational products, magnets, melamine, scrapbooking, wall decor - even cake! 

© Josephine Kimberling

With her work inspired by the fashion industry, Josephine's brand and signature style combines the modern influence with a vintage twist - all infused with extraordinary color. Josephine grew up in California, and currently lives with her husband in the greater Seattle Washington area, where she can be found shopping, reading, sipping a chai latte, and continuously dreaming up new art. 

ARTIST LYNNEA WASHBURN



Lynnea’s passion for art began at an early age and motivated her to earn a BA in Art and a Masters in Painting. Finding her niche in the marketplace would come through an avenue that reflected both her love of art and verse ~ the greeting card industry. She has worked in a variety of roles since her start in 1989, such as writer, art director, artist, and product designer. She now licenses her artwork for product categories that include Home Decor, Fabric, Tabletop, Gifts, Paper, and yes, a greeting card or two. Among her accomplishments have been several Louie Awards for greeting cards, a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and a Sammi Award for promoting the arts through volunteerism in her community’s classrooms.




Lynnea finds inspiration in many different places; in reflections on the nearby lake, in a well-written story, in nature’s vast beauty, and even in difficult life challenges. “I find my way into the creative process through visual inspiration or through words,” she says. Among the many blessings Lynnea counts are her husband and three sons, a growing faith, the fresh air of Washington... and plenty of Starbucks coffee. 




There are many other artists in this large talented community so I couldn't possibly feature everyone of you but please, feel free to leave a lovely comment below with your full name and link to be included in this post.

I hope you enjoyed our first tour and watch out for our special interview with a renowned manufacturer from the Seattle area next!

Seattle Downtown Flowers Market - Courtesy of Paul Stout


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughts on Surtex from a Newbie - Artist Ming Platt

I want to welcome artist Ming Platt as part of our editing team here at The Moon from My Attic! We also invited her to come to Surtex this past May and help us with the show. She graciously agreed and it was a delight to have her as part of our team at studio•Alex. Ming has been doing wonderful design work for us in the background while she builds up her own portfolio and website from her studio in Seattle.

Here are her thoughts about the show:

Artist Ming Platt
"I think I have always been an artist, it is a fundamental part of who I am. It colors my earliest memories and has shaped many of my life experiences. But, I am brand new to this industry of surface design and the idea of creating art for licensing. My experience at the Surtex trade show for the first time this year was a pure whirlwind of wonderment and eye-opening delight! It was my first real glimpse into the dynamic world of art licensing. I am hooked!"

Ming also says: "It is easy to feel overwhelmed - the hum of energy on the show floor and the incredible display of beautiful work from some of the industry's best artists is humbling to say the least. But, I felt that it was also extremely empowering to see what is possible. Every artist had worked their hardest, given their all, and paid dearly just to be there. But to feel the energy, the bustle of activity - all of the agents and artists, retailers and manufacturers forging new relationships and making meaningful connections was a real light-bulb moment. It was like, 'Ah-ha! This is where it all happens!'."

"I came away from the experience energized, enriched, and excited to experience a part of this thriving and dynamic industry," Ming adds. "Most of all, I was delighted by the sense of community and the good-will between artists that I experienced - it was so wonderful to see! It was such a treat to meet all of the artists and followers of The Moon From My Attic blog who stopped by studio•Alex's booth to say hello. The friendships that were created with our booth neighbors and other fellow exhibitors made the entire hectic process of setting-up and exhibiting such a fun and positive experience."
Here are a few tips from Ming for other artists who are walking Surtex (or any other trade show) for their first time:

1. Do your research before you go to the show and take the opportunity to visit and connect with agents that you might be interested in working with as well as manufacturers over at the NSS show that resonate with you and your style.

2. Make a good impression and always practice professionalism and good show etiquette! Alex has a great post with more tips about this here: http://creativeconceptsdesignstudio.blogspot.com/2012/11/brief-tips-tricks-in-art-licensing.html

3. Allow the experience to enrich you, but not necessarily to directly inspire you. Your work should be special and unique and you want to ensure that you build your own personal brand and presence. Always look within yourself for your creative spark and find inspiration in what brings you joy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our Journey In Art Licensing So Far


© Alessandra Colombo

As mentioned in our first article about Surtex 2013, this particular trade show was a great experience that has given us more direct insights into the art licensing world. So we want to share here some thoughts that might be helpful to newbies that are thinking about joining the ranks.

Art licensing to us isn't just something you learn how to do with time and experience, but rather a constant evolving of creativity and relationships. It can shape and evolve in so many ways, as you progress in it. There is no set way into licensing as many veterans have already said. You can do it through trade shows, online contacts and social media, networking, by being a manufacturer yourself first and then switching sides, you can do it through an agency or solo, and so on.

This industry brings lots of joy to your life when you score a good design that ends up in a profitable contract, as it gives you a rare yet odd sense of accomplishment when you see your art on a product. It's absolutely thrilling!

But it also puts an unkind pressure on your everyday life that builds up over the months, as you go through some wild-ride ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like you lost a major battle, although most of the times it feels like so much fun, too. It's crazy-competitive. It's also really exhausting. It's undoubtedly risky and requires some financial investment upfront. It takes years to build up a both portfolio of art AND contacts, even if you get licenses early on. There are no set rules, only the ones established by yourself and your clients in a confidential agreement, which are put in place to regulate the licensing deal. It's a business based on trust. The licensing community, inclusive of both artists and manufacturers, is one of the most friendly and inspiring bunch of good hearted people I have known in the design industry.

Art licensing should not be viewed as a race against other artists. Many have pioneered the field so well that they know how to keep their licensing deals going for many years and make a good living at it. We can all learn from them, but as they will tell you, they are not experts either.



In short, licensing is a very subjective, entrepreneurial adventure, whether you do it solo or with an agent. If you like to keep doing it despite the tough times, a few serious emotional melt-downs and many sizable mistakes, then you will feel you have reached the top of the world. It's only then that you realize, it's not the top...! It is challenging, unpredictable, and seemingly capricious.

From our point of view, the path into art licensing and the experience and opportunity of a trade show like Surtex can take hundreds of different routes. That is part of what makes this whole field so exciting and dynamic...and difficult to understand! If you like changes and a flexible lifestyle, art licensing is a perfect job for you! From what we've learned so far, though, here are a set of rough guidelines that we've tried to capture for ourselves and which we'll certainly continue to refine the more we learn about this field. We are no experts; remember, we are just learning through this multi-faceted journey and we speak out of our personal experience so far. I am sure we will refine our tales as we move on and get more and more familiar with it all.

The steps below are not in any particular sequence and although we tried to make it somewhat a flow, remember that it's a very fluid, dynamic flow.






Roughly, a Route into Art Licensing
  1. Do a preliminary research of this industry by reading basic art licensing books, trade magazines, forum threads and by walking a show or two. Define for yourself what art licensing literally means, what it is all about, and then honestly set a purpose for yourself: why are you doing art licensing? Hopefully money is not your answer because it might not work out, even if you work really hard.
  2. Build your own brand based on a true story that is representative of you and your core values. This might include your brand name and logo.
  3. Create beautiful artwork for commercial use, starting from the product and working backwards. Create your own unique look - don't copy or model off of others, be your own self. It will not only create goodwill within the artist community, it will be noticed by manufacturers and that will increase the reputation of your own brand. Commit yourself to creating quality work and high integrity. Have fun with it!
  4. With your unique and stunning art tell stories that can be commercially used. Product development is your password! You want to get really good at that - licensing is a land of opportunities and if your art is product-ready through developed product concepts the opportunities to score a contract are higher, providing that your art matches the company's needs and style, and your timing is right. So it takes years to accomplish, because you will need to build up your portfolio, fix it, tweak it and make it better and better and then do more of it!
  5. Design a suitable presentation for your art that also promotes your brand and tells your message. This might include your portfolio, website, blog, social media profiles and interactions, press releases, tear-sheets, trade shows, promotion pieces, etc. Maintain a consistent look while you tweak it over and over as you learn more about licensing.
  6. Professionally connect to art licensing groups, forums and trade publications; learn more about the many facets of the business and continue to expand your knowledge as you balance your creative work and your business efforts. It's best to not ask for proprietary information from your fellow artists or take some "elements that you like" from their work. Figure out your own interpretation and creative path and look out for free tips. They are published about everywhere, so read up on them. Not just once but many times. The same information will become more clear as you get more experience under your belt.
  7. Research out and decide what categories of products and manufacturers you want to license with; by matching your art to their product's styles you have better chances to get a license. We advise to not shoot broadly or just sign up with a rep without understanding what you're doing. By being professional in anything you do and by recognizing that you have to be in it for the long-term you will help your business through the tough times.
  8. Brand yourself and your business through effective but sensible marketing. Beware of spamming others and instead provide relevant and value-added contributions to forums. When you help others to grow, they will help you back. This implies that social media and forums is about participation, not just lurking. You have to get involved, and just reading threads doesn't count!
  9. Ask for legal advice or read up about legal matters, don't just enter a contract without understanding what you're signing. Make sure you know what you want out of an agreement. It's your art and you want to set the rules.
  10. Represented or not, make sure you understand what is being done with your art and licensing contracts. Ask questions, be pro-active and learn the business for yourself. You never know what will happen next. Be willing to experience anything and be ready for any and all future circumstances.
  11. If you decide to exhibit solo at a trade show like Surtex (there are other licensing shows to also consider), plan a low-cost design to keep down the overall expenses but keep a high quality presentation that reflects your story and style. Make as many pre-show appointments as you can, by emails or phone calls; if you can't confirm the clients before your show don't worry too much, they might stop by anyway or if they see art they can use for their products.
  12. While in the midst of the show, don't forget to smile and try to enjoy the experience and be present in the moment; you never know what the next encounter will bring or how significant it might become. A show is like the land of opportunities, you just need to look out for them and then ethically seize the best ones for you.
  13. After it's all over and you've finally torn down your booth, enjoy a great hard-won show!
  14. But don't stop now, immediately follow-up on any commitments or opportunities that presented themselves during the show. You want to build relationships and work with companies that like your art and that you like. It's better to have no contracts than bad contracts that tie up your art and time.
  15. Hopefully sign lots of good, profitable contracts! Again, makes sure you know what you're signing and if you don't, look for legal advice.
  16. And throughout the above steps, work really hard and don't stop! Keep your eye on the horizon and the long-term view of your goal.
  17. Remember that until you sign a contract and your design sells on products you won't get paid ...
  18. If a design fails to sell or it doesn't work out, find out what went wrong, review the situation, learn from it and try your best again.
  19. Creating a partnership with your clients makes this a fun and creative adventure.
  20. Relationships, relationships, relationships...
"Everything good that comes to you is a direct result of your taking responsibility mixed in with a healthy smattering of actually doing." by Alex Mather, Red Lemon Club

So here's to an even better year!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Additional Notes on the NSS, Surtex 2013 and Our Fabulous Artist Community

We briefly walked the NSS on Wednesday morning before flying back home. Some quick notes and impressions from the show are that we didn't notice anything particularly new or different from last year but saw more of the same, such as beautiful hand drawn/painted art as well as fancy lace-lasercut and trendy chalk art. Sophisticated and fun letterpress is still big.

We also chatted with a couple of fun sales people on the floor who shared some insights into what is selling well and what isn't - owls are still hot along with deer and birds. It depends on territories. Soft lines, circles and round shapes are also trendy. Craft materials such as burlap and wool felt were also present. In all, it seems the there is an increasing interest in an artesinal style.

As for other curious insights, I was offered freelance work by one of the sales personnel while I was looking at some ribbons I liked! Another artist, who was selling cards at her booth said she licensed her art with three manufacturers right there at the show. I am sure other blogs and articles covered the Stationary show more in depth. Next year I will try to get more time to see what's going on there.

Some of the many inspiring artist Surtex 2013 press kits 
But here is the real deal – the truly fun part of Surtex, aside from exhibiting and making connections with great companies, was to hang around with some really nice and helpful neighbors. It was an incredible and unexpected pleasure to see how a great, spontaneous mini-community developed between our neighboring exhibitors. We had a great time together with Mark GonyeaPimlada PhuapraditKim GannEric Comstock, and Audrey Hopkins – openly sharing experiences, tips, and insights when not working with visiting manufacturers.

Colorful cards dropped off by artists at our booth; many of them
will be featured on this blog throughout the year!


And, for us a special highlight of the show was the fantastic opportunity to meet so many new and veteran artists who took some of their precious time to stop by our booth and say hi and to those who also shared a doodle with us. I know more exhibiting artists wanted to add their magic touch to our doodle board but didn't have time to come by.

The Moon From My Attic Doodle Board was a real hit and will be made into a permanent feature at our booth in future shows.





We also had a Guest Book where artists and other professionals left kind notes to us and we want to thank everyone again for being so nice and supportive and for reading this blog! 


In the next 2-3 months we will be publishing interviews and articles with many of you who we met at the show, including agents, attorneys, consultants, and manufacturers. The list of names is too long to publish here but watch out for their so ever inspiring stories!