2016 surtex promo sq x2 copy

My Surtex 2016 promo piece

This post is being written as I make final preparations for 2016’s Surtex show in the big apple that’s set to launch this weekend. I scurry about cleaning up files for my portfolio, look at my to do list for the hundredth time and pack up my suitcase filled with the regular travel items, as well as the essential show stuff.

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Close up of the banners that will adorn booth #568

This journey has been a long one, beginning with my dream to be an artist when I was a wee one. For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about being creative, its what makes me happy and truly makes my soul sing. The path has had some detours but with my decision to go back to school a few years ago to finish up a degree started many moons ago and my subsequent graduation in 2014, I’m pretty sure I am following the right road.

I have walked the hallowed floors of Jacob Javits Center in years past, beginning as a returning student in 2013. I went to NYC to see what this giant art licensing show was all about. When I arrived I felt like a kid in a candy store, with all the art and inspiration around me. I took notes, asked questions and made connections. The following year I returned the day after graduating with my degree in graphic design and illustration from Moore College of Art. I walked the floor with a book of art and surface patterns created for my senior thesis. That year I had more contacts and had become friends with many from the show the year before. Some of those friends were from a collective I had joined, the Cultivate Art Collective. So in 2015 I dipped my toe a bit further into the Surtex arena with the collective. My art and its style were accepted and some art directors had interest. That gave me the courage to dive in and fully embrace the Surtex experience this year.

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My Surtex freebies, calendars so people can remember my art everyday

Now mind you this exhibition is not for the faint of heart, as it is a huge undertaking, not to mention expensive. I read that someone had priced out the square footage of a booth for the 3 days the show is open to the public, would be equivalent to renting an apartment at $900,000 for the year. I know real estate in New York City is expensive but that takes the cake. With the support of my family, I choose to invest in myself and my dreams and get a booth on my own at this year’s show in their new “design district”. A place intended for first time show exhibitors, a virtual 5’x5′ box with a table and 2 chairs.

There were moments in the last few months after I made the decision, that I wondered if I would be prepared and if the monies would be there to find this expedition . The amount of work needed was never a problem, as I have continued since graduation building on my portfolio weekly. Taking on challenges given each week through creative groups I belong to. This was to be my investment into my dreams.

I’ve been a busy gal putting together the pieces needed to complete my booth, banners, signs, portfolios, marketing pieces and new art. As well as promoting myself and the show to the industry through emails, postcards and marketing campaigns. All the while continuing the freelance work that helps support our family.

This will be a first for my daughter Kayla too. She has just finished her second year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Kayla will be helping me out in my booth, giving me a break when needed. We will also have a few designs that she and I have collaborated on together. Who knows maybe this will help launch her design future too.

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A bonus sign for my booth

As the minutes tick by till I board the train to New York and meet my daughter on Saturday, my stomach does tumbles and my sleep is tossed. I have no doubt that I will learn much, but I also hope that this week is truly the moment that propels my dreams into full blast. If you are attending the show make sure to stop by my booth #568 and say hello. You can also follow along with me on my instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/gracefull_arts as I will be posting pics while there. Make sure to look out for my next blog, when I round up my time in New York and see what the outcome of all this prep is. Until next time; here’s to fingers, knees and toes crossed!

 

 

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