Happy New Year everyone. I wish you a year of wonderful experiences, achievements and happiness!
As the year draws to a close, it's great to look back a little and take stock that I've managed to achieve in the year. Mine #2015Bestnine consists of exhibiting at art licensing show, Surtex, a write up in the newspaper a new children's collection and paper goods with my Cute Bling Rings Designs. Side note: click to find out how your can send your portfolio to surtex 2016
If you'd like to see your own top performing Instagram posts, check out this handy little site 2015bestnine.com. Simply pop in your username and the site will generate a nine block compilation of your best 9 posts from 2015 ready for to share on Insta, Facebook or Twitter.
I like to set a few goals for the new year. Some sensible and some wild and out there, but all are stepping stones along the way to my BIG dream goal.
A lot of the time I have to do lists, work through them and move on to the next list and then next and then the next. Never really taking stock of what I've managed to do and to give myself a little high five. The great thing about have a few goals and key achievements penned down in advance is that I have something to stocktake against.
When you are busy It's so easy to forget to stop and appreciate the little wins, but these little achievements are so important in keeping your momentum going and helping to you to enjoy the journey along the way.
Here's to the New Year and a 2016 filled with many little wins and a few big whoppers thrown in for good measure!
Twice this week, I've jumped in and done something that scares me! The first was present to a lecture hall full of university students and the second was last night taking part in a Periscope live broadcasting marathon.
The thing is, I didn't have to, I could have found an excuse or decided pull out, but hey, where's the fun in that!?
The Pass The Pencil event ran smoothly enough and it was great to connect with some wonderful creatives both new and familiar.
"Katch" the Replay
If you would like to grab a cupper and watch the replay it's available on Katch.me along with my other broadcasts. Periscope is still pretty new to me and I must admit I'm not yet 100% comfortable scoping live, but I'm determined to keep showing up and trying to improve each time until I find my groove. Please feel free to follow me (for a giggle if nothing else) and I'll keep sharing my working process, any tips and tricks I come across on my travels.
I heard a great quote today:
"Fear shouldn't paralyze you, it should make you move"
This is now my new motto and I hope to keep pushing myself to do more scopes, teach, learn and continue moving forward in any way I can.
Take a walk on the wild side and a sneak peek at my new collection of graphic jungle surface patterns! Inspired by tropical forests and wild jungle life forms, shapes and animals, I worked with inks, paints and fineliners to create organic shapes and marks for an energetic and free vibe.
After making a happy mess, I scanned and digitized my designs before adding
Available for license, these patterns have been added to my private portfolio and can be viewed securely in my Art Licensing Show profile.
I've been working on a collection of prints for a fabric manufacturer the last few weeks and though I can't share how the designs turned out just yet, I thought I'd let you take a sneak peek a little look at my work in progress. Here I am tweaking a butterfly repeat pattern.
If you'd like to catch more behind the scenes and new design previews, hop on over and follow me on Instagram.
Until next time :)
It's always fun to design with kids in mind and this cute little monster collection is no exception at all. Here is a little peek at some of the characters and prints it includes.
I had the pleasure of being asked to take part in Terrys Fabrics' Designer Insights series recently. Take a peek at my interview below!
Top Picks Links:
1) Land of Nod pink chair http://www.landofnod.com/all-kids-chairs/kids-furniture/antoinette-play-chair-pink/f15793
2) Crate and Barrel Candle Holders http://www.crateandbarrel.com/berit-candle-holders/f64962
3) Dunelm Toucan Canvas Print http://www.dunelm-mill.com/shop/toucan-printed-canvas-537011
4) John Lewis/Marimekko Teapot http://www.johnlewis.com/marimekko-merivuokko-teapot-0-7l/p1765357
5) Adriana Tavares Rug http://www.adrianatavares.co.uk/ - !
I thought I'd share a little something I've been working on as I haven't posted in a while. Meet my buddies Hare and Bear!
It's half term and following an intense few months of designing, promoting and networking leading up to the big Surtex show, I'm taking a much needed break but I can't seem to put my sketchbook down! The kids and I left the hubby behind and set off a long weekend in sunny London! We did the whole "tourist thing" and took in plenty of sights, ate lots of
As festival season approaches and
I'm very happy and proud to have been featured on some wonderful design blogs and business sites over the last few months. Here's a little snapshot! Keep your eye's peeled, there's more to come :)
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.
I've been asked a few questions about my experience at Surtex so I thought I'd share my answers and thoughts here, as it may come in useful for other people too. I've tried to be as honest and thorough as possible, but if I've missed anything, give me a shout.
This year, I exhibited my portfolio as part of Cultivate Art Collective, 9 super friendly, uniquely talented individuals with a wide range of styles and genres available for licensing and sale to various markets.
What does the booth price/rental actually include?
- 8’ high side walls and back wall (or corner booths with two walls and 2 open sides)
- Company name sign
- One counter (low or high)
- Three chairs (low or high depending on counter)
- Pre-show cleaning
- Daily rubbish removal
- Overnight storage of artwork
- Operations assistance
- And this year we each had a free seminar included with our ticket
Shelves cost extra, power to the booth (for laptop charger etc.) costs extra, reliable Wi-Fi also costs extra but free Wi-Fi available but only good for the odd personal use as it's a little temperamental and you wouldn’t want to be sitting with a client, trying to load something and have it freeze or cut off on you! You have to log back in each time it kicks you out, again not something you want to deal with when you have a busy client in front of you.
Walls are plain white as standard and you can either decorate them yourself, build certain fixtures or contact the show to use their people to fit it out to your design (but this is very costly).
How does it work when you're a part of a collective?
It obviously depends on the individual collective, but we acted as individual artists in terms of handling any sales/requests, but worked together in generating interest in the collective and directed visitors at the booth to the artists with the most relevant work for that particular client but also shared all contacts with each other at the end of each day. This meant there was no competitiveness and we each had areas we were particularly interested in and geared towards, so we were a one stop shop covering most areas, having something for everyone.
Some other collectives were more of a Studio and had a more unified collective style that works for a more targeted audience or a specific market. Both work well in different ways, so it depends on the group you are working with and what your goals are.
Do you have any tips?
Decide on who you are as a collective, A one stop shop with something for everyone, or a collective for e.g. Kids Stationery, greetings and gift.
Decide on the look and feel of your collective, making sure it speaks to what you decided above. This will feed into your booth design and marketing materials you produce and you want to get the right people to stop at your booth and take note. Once you have them there, you can wow them with your amazing work!
Decide how you will handle interest and sales. Do you want to work as group of solo artists under one umbrella or share all sales equally. Is one person the Admin Queen, who handles it all, taking notes, collecting business cards and so on…?
What would you say was the most helpful thing you brought with you to Surtex?
- 3M command strips for quick hassle free installation and removal of banners, etc.
withoutcausing any damage to the framework or blank booths (you’ll be charged if you damage anything!).
- A notepad and clipboard. It’s a whirlwind and though you might think there is no way you will forget speaking to that one amazing client you had your heart set on, you won’t remember everything they said once they walk away and you get talking to more and more people. Make notes on what they were looking for, what their role is, who their target customer is, when they look for certain seasonal themes, which peaces they paid attention to… anything you find out, make a note of it. If you type faster than you write, send yourself a quick text or email on your phone or iPad.
If you could change anything about the way you showed your work, what would it be?
I would opt for a square or portrait portfolio booth rather than landscape so it takes up less space (width wise) when laid flat. Space was limited with so many of us in the booth so it was a little tight. I also had A3 printed artwork sheets which were pretty handy since I could reorder them depending on who approached the booth and what they were looking for but again, I could save a little table space by taking the size of them down and they would still be as effective.
What's the difference between Surtex & Printsource?
From my experience, Printsource is
That being said, many companies like to see a booth a few times at shows before they feel confident to immediately buy from them. They want to know that your business knows what they are doing. With Surtex especially, follow up is key!! Showing is just the beginning. The hard work comes after when you have to be brave and reach out to all those fantastic new contacts you’ve just made. And believe me, I know how daunting it can be!
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who said they want designers to keep sending them work and that they want you to keep them up to date with what you are up to!
Of course, everyone's thoughts and experiences of the two shows will vary from person to person and partly depend on your style, whether you show as a collective, through an agent/studio or as a solo artist, but I think it's helpful to her about such as massive (and costly) venture such as this, from as many different sources as possible in order to help you make the most of it if and when you decide to show yourself. If anyone has any other questions or insights, please feel free to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.
I recently came
Here is a little flip book I made with a peek at some of my collections.
It has to be one of the most surreal feeling to be mindlessly flicking through the newspapers in front the fire at your Gran's when, POW! There you are in all your printed glory on the page before you :) An excited squeal of "Mummy" quickly sounded from my little one who spotted it too. The article speaks of my designs travelling all the way to New York for the Surtex trade show and give a brief background on me and my designs.
The Huddersfield Examiner was also lovely enough to feature me on their website accompanied a selection of lovely images of my designs. Happy days!
This time next month, I will be jetting off to join a group of amazing artists and designers to take part in a Trade Show, Surtex and boy, am I excited! The last time I was in New York I attended a similar show, Printsource and it was a turning point in my career. This will be my first time at Surtex, so I'm a little nervous of the unknown, but I'm sure it will be an equally wonderful experience. Here is my press pack, a little taster of the work I'll be taking to the show.
In preparation for exhibiting at the show, I have been designing new surface patterns so I'm going with my new and exclusive work! As the countdown begins, my to do list continues to grow. I'm working on little goodies and takeaways for guests, printing, oh and I can't forget my sightseeing list too!
Here I am freezing on Brooklyn Bridge. Fingers crossed I'll get some nice weather this time round :)
Drum Roll please... The ArtLicensingShow.com is all set to open its virtual doors today at 2pm EST 6pm GMT and I cannot wait!
This exciting new site is a place for Art Licensors and Art Licensees to connect in a safe and secure environment, ensuring that fantastically designed products make it to the shelves.
Join in the festivities and find out more on the ArtLicensingShow Red carpet here
I'm also getting the honor of networking with other
I'm steady working away on some pretty patterns to take along with me to SURTEX. It's a fantastic trade show and I'm feeling super excited, nervous, pumped and focussed all rolled into one! I want to present my newest work, so I'm beavering away every chance I get. I actually see surface pattern designs in my sleep now - crazy right?!
So here is a little sneak peek at a couple prints from my new Indian Vibes collection.
Beautiful inspiring butterfly
This print is also available as part of a backer reward over in my Kickstarter Project (see previous post).