I made it! After months and months of preparation, designing, promoting, networking and anxiety and excitement, I finally made it back to New York for my first time exhibiting at SURTEX. It’s been over a year since I first came and fell in love with the city and also visited Printsourse
I crossed the pond from the UK to the Big Apple a few days early in order to get in some good old tourist time and chill out with my Dad. Oh, and eat a big old slice of New York pizza (or two or three). Pizza over here really isn’t a patch on a fresh NY slice!
Set Up Day
Saturday was the day I got to meet my fellow Cultivate Art Collective member for real and in the flesh for the first time. We’d been communicating and liaising via our web meetings and private group chats, but it was wonderful to finally meet these talented gals in person and boy did we have a laugh. We met in the magnificent venue for the show, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, a huge glass building near the Hudson River.
We arrived in our built booth space, equipped with tables, chairs, shelves and a big blank canvas ready and waiting for our banner art. A couple of unwrapped banner tubes, a few packets of 3M Command Strips and a little sweat later, the booth was taking shape. All that was left to do was to display our samples, knickknacks and portfolios, ready for the door to officially open the next day. A quick tidy up and that was it, done!
Whoohoo - All done!
As day one kicked off on a Sunday we were prepared for the day to be a little slow and for the potential for there to be fewer buyers and manufactures etc. being that it was a Sunday – and who works Sundays, right? Well to our pleasant surprise the day was great for us and we had many visitors stop by the booth and take interest in what we had to offer.
With the exception of a few lulls in footfall the show was well attended and as I hear from some other designers who have showed a few years in a row prior to this year, the calibre of attendees was much higher, possibly down to the new way SURTEX had vetted attendees prior to the show.
As it’s my first time at the show, I have nothing to compare it to other than what I have heard in previous designers’ accounts of their experience, but I am glad I attended and I’m proud that I managed to exhibit along side a eight other fantastic designers. I also got to catch up with people I have met virtually, through various courses and groups and social media, which was a lot of fun.
I learned that there is a place for my style and made some great new contacts with companies I would not have considered reaching out to. The feedback received and insight gained from talking face to face with an art director, buyer or manufacturer really is priceless and it is always great to hear first hand when someone who knows his or her stuff likes what you’ve done!
I managed to take advantage of the seminars on offer at the show, but I’ll do a separate post on these shortly. So that’s it. I did it! Now I have a lot of follow up and planning to do, so I’ll say goodbye for now and leave you with a few of my touristy snaps :)
Want to Send Your Portfolio to SURTEX 2016?
Collective - Agency Hybrid DOT & FLOW are looking for talented surface pattern designers and illustrators who wish to send their portfolio's to be exhibited with Dot & Flow Design in May 2016 at Surtex in New York. This is a great opportunity if you are looking to gain new connections and contacts to enable you to get your work Licensed and on products.
Exhibiting is an expensive affair, so this Portfolio Representation option may be a good fit if you are looking to start building relationships with Art Directors and other Buyers to build up your contacts lists, but are not yet in a position to delve in with the mammoth solo booth expense.