At the show, we will be around to interview and to report on trends and the National Stationery Show.
Meanwhile I am very happy to publish this artist who will also be at Surtex this year. Her name is Bee Brown, a U.K based Illustrator who also has a blog at www.beebrown-hive.blogspot.co.uk.
Bee is trained as a graphic designer but has been lucky enough to work as a freelance Illustrator since leaving art school and has always had a small studio at home. "I'm also a mum to 2 energetic little boys, but I find balancing my creative and family life is a good combination for me," she says.
Bee shares with us more details about her life as an artist:
YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN/ART STYLE: I don't really have a favourite design style as such. Inspiration can be found from a variety of sources, but I do love to keep an eye out for what's new, fresh and exciting in the design world. I am very drawn to fun, strong, bold graphic images both from a pictorial and typographic point of view.
THE MAIN INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WORK: I love designing with kids in mind, so they are my inspiration. Its fun thinking of characters and ideas they might be drawn to to look at in books, wear on their clothes, hang on their walls and just generally have in their lives.
THREE (or less) KEY NOTES ON ART & LICENSING: I think I would have this to say to anyone wanting to work in art and licensing: Just keep going. Keep believing and keep making work. Follow your heart and work hard.
WHAT YOU REALLY LOVE, I.E. YOUR PASSION: My daily passions are simple: my boys, beautiful, strong colour palettes, drawing out ideas and being in the fresh air. Oh, and good food!
WHAT YOU DON'T REALLY LIKE: Things I'm not keen on - rainy, miserable days when I can't get outside and my electricity supply packing up!
A FAVORITE SOMETHING: My favourite something would have to be my Mac - oh, and my iPhone! I love technology.
A MEMORABLE EVENT IN YOUR LIFE: It's hard to pick a single, memorable event in my life, but one that stands out from a design perspective would have to be when my work was first accepted by the Association of Illustrators for their annual illustration event which at the time was called 'Images'. I had submitted some maps that I had illustrated for a children's book published by Harper Collins. Never in a million years did I think they would get through the stellar judging panel but they did! I remember reading the letter that came through the post and the subsequent shaking all over - my knees went to jelly! I was in complete shock! It was both a real honour and very exciting to see my work hang in the Royal College of Art in London, have it featured in the accompanying catalogue and then see it tour the country in the traveling exhibition.
A FUN MEMORY: A fun memory would have to be my honeymoon with my hubbie. We travelled to Bali.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD AS AN ARTIST: Before and just after I married, I used to teach drawing and graphic design at my then local art school. I'm naturally quite shy but I used to love it. It was so rewarding working with the students, watching them change and develop over the weeks and months and building those relationships. My husband and I then started to travel a bit with work and then when we moved to Paris in France, I had to say goodbye to that part of my life. I'm glad I had those opportunities to contribute and maybe I will again at some point in the future.
THE NEXT CHAPTER IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE: The next chapter in my creative life I hope will be the most fun yet ... the world of print and pattern! I have just been lucky enough to sign with the very amazing and super lovely U.S based agent Jennifer Nelson. I have my sights set on developing what I hope will be my very own recognizable style and brand of work, which I would love to see printed on array of different products and in children's books. I'm hoping that along with Jennifer's expert knowledge and help we will get there!
A HELPFUL TIP TO OTHER ARTISTS: Gosh, offering advice to other artists is so tricky! We are all so different but I think if I had to offer something it would be to try to always keep yourself fresh and to keep looking at the world with a sense of wonder and fun, just like when you were a child.
Bee is represented by Jennifer Nelson Artists.