Category Archives: Artist Studio Space

The Atlanta Show January 2014

I had hoped to get this posted sooner ……..but……..after the show we went to visit our good friends Pat and Arthur Ginsberg in Palm Beach.Where it was… guessed it warm! It was a good chance to relax and chill out. While there we visited The beautiful and serene Morikami Gardens

 Zen Garden Palm Beach

Zen Garden Palm Beach

Relaxing in Palm Beach

Relaxing in Palm Beach

It was a welcome mini vacation and time with dear friends, light and sun.. Then back to the Arctic freeze in NYC.

TIP: Make sure to give yourself rewards for a job well done.

Having fun and relaxing is an important part of it all!

Since we’ve been back a week we’ve just devoted ourselves to the show follow thru. This is a very important part of the process. Don’t neglect any detail. Send what you have been asked and on time, early if possible.

TIP: Plan ahead on your calendar for follow thru time.

This may very well be the most important part of the process.

We had set up 6 meetings before we left  NYC and in three days at the show we ended up having 15 very good meetings with manufacturers we had wanted to see. And…….lots to follow up on. Designs to send out from our portfolio, revisions and additions to existing designs and reformatting for specific products.This time we also came back with some resin figurines to design. No contract yet but not a reason not to follow thru!

TIP: Stop in at the showrooms you’d like to have a meeting with.

If the art director is there request a meeting.

If he or she is not free then set up a time to come back and meet.. Sometimes there is someone who can see you on the spot.

More than 50% of our meetings happened this way.

Autumn melody mocked up as tableware

Autumn melody mocked up as tableware

One of our mockups is for the Autumn Melody design.Showing dessert or salad plates and mug designs.Again no contract yet but very important to follow up on specific requests for reformatting designs.

 By the end of this week we may be finished with most of the the follow up. Give as much time and thought to this stage as you did to planning for the show.

TIP: Follow through also includes making updates in your contact files.

Entering information about Manufacturer’s schedules for the year to come.When will they be looking for what and what the cut off dates are. Get your submissions in as early as possible.

We also saw some of the products and collections that came out of our show meetings in January and from subsequent mailings. This is such fun.

Dennis sends out our new designs regularly to our manufacturer and client base. One of the new contracts that resulted from this kind of mailing are the new Peacock coasters and trivets for Thirstystone.

TIP: Have a system for getting your new designs to clients.

Show them off on Social media, blogs and mailings!

In my previous post I showed how the peacock design came about. I got great feedback on this post. I love to read about how a design was done.

This was a team effort. And the other half of my team is so important to our designs.

Dennis Kendrick was a great gift and came into my life 33 years ago. He is a terrific designer/illustrator and very knowledgable on the technology side of things. My best friend (in addition to my sister Pat), smart, intellectual, funny and so solid and down to earth. Without him to anchor me I would be in outer space much of the time!

Our team

Our team

I was so excited to see the products at the showroom and to meet with Thirstystone again. This was another wonderful company that we met with at the July show. Totally unusual for me. I take so many pictures.

At the Dallas Gift show just after Atlanta The Dallas Arboretum picked up the design as a name drop for trivets. Name drop I found out means that The

logo of the Dallas Arboretum will replace our french label. We haven’t seen it yet but it seems like another good placement. We are keeping our feathers crossed that our peacock gets good placements and lots of them.

Our Peacock

Our Peacock

We also found out at the show that Custom Decor, a flag company will be doing three of our Christmas designs as flags, mats and mailbox covers. We’ve been designing borders for these products.I won’t show them until they debut at the July Atlanta Show. Custom Decor was a company we met with in Atlanta in January and we are very pleased to have them as a new licensing partner.

Seeing our new stained glass “Trellis” collection at the Amia Showroom was so exciting. There are around 15 or so different and beautiful products in this collection. I found it difficult to take photos because there was so much reflection from the lights on the stained glass and the mirrors on the shelves. And I wanted to take one of the Artist in front of her noew collection shots.  But the shelf was too low!

Here are the best shots from the showroom. We’ve been so busy since we got back that there hasn’t been enough time yet to unpack all our lovely samples which arrived just before the show.

Some of the Amia collection

Some of the Amia collection

One of our favorites

One of our favorites

And in between meetings we had lunch, coffee or met colleagues in the showrooms or hallways and always stopped to chat. We had dinner with our good friends Ingrid and Duane Slyder of Ingrid at Nutshell Designhs. That was a highlight of our visit to Atlanta.

TIP: Networking is very important.

And fun too!

It is social and enjoyable. Then too it is a way to compare notes or ask questions, get information and share the joys and tribulations of being a licensing designer.

We saw five of our designs in the Jelly Bean showroom. Two of them are coastal themes. JellyBean does very nice quality area rugs. The cats are going to love our new Jellybean area rugs and so will we. The one with the feet requires a special order!

Jellybean Lighthouse Rug

Jellybean Lighthouse Rug

This one has legs!

This one has legs!

Shell design Jellybean

Shell design Jellybean

 I have been reading Joan Beiriger’s three part posting on the Atlanta show.

“Licensed artist Joan Beiriger is widely regarded as an expert in art licensing. Her popular blog features informative articles designed to educate those interested in the art licensing industry and attracts hundreds of readers each week.” Joan’s maintains a web site, Joan Beiriger’s Art for Products, Her blog,  is always full of wonderful information and is a great source material for all of us in the industry, ‎Thank you Joan.

“One of the points she brings up that I have found so helpful is asking lots of questions. Talk to the sales reps. They can tell you what is selling well and why. Ask questions in your meetings to get to know more about the company and its needs so you can target designs in their direction. Exchange some personal information. Remember you are forming a relationship not just looking for new licensees. I am a  people kind of person and love finding out about clients families, pets, what their life is like etc. A friendly and well meaning Yenta maybe!

TIP: Make notes of these conversations too and when you get back to your studio enter this info in your contact data base.

This information will help you to develop a more personal relationship with theCreative Director and give you more of an understanding of what his or her lifestyle is like.Find out about them on social media. What is their professional background?

It is much more fun to be sociable. I do this not only with our licensing partners but with our friends and family. Don’t expect to keep it all in your head.I like to keep up.

Another very good point that Joan makes is; ” Also notice what products the buyers indicate to showroom reps they want to purchase. Every bit of knowledge leads to insight on the art that buyers think their customers will buy. And, that will help you decide on the art themes to create that will have a better chance in getting licensed.”

Talk to and listen to gift shop owners. I have found that I can get valuable info on trends and best selling products from these talks. At the show and when you are in gift shops. Talk talk talk.

TIP:Remember that February is “cabin fever” month

Plan fun things to do, not just work! It’s a good time to send a bright and cheery message to your clients. We all have missed the sun!

And a happy New Year to all. I missed my New Year’s post so here’s my wish for you now. Enjoy life as much as you can. Laugh every day. And spend time doing what you love to do!

My painters cap is on again and I ready to rock and roll again.

My Painters cap is on again

My Painters cap is on again


Filed under Artist Studio Space, Atlanta, Atlanta January 2014 show, Custom Decor, Dallas Arboretum, Gardens, January 2014 Atlanta show, Morikami Gardens, Thirstystone, Uncategorized

Surtex 2012—A great show experience

We came back from the Surtex show at the NY Javits Center in May to find the tulips all  blooming in the park downstairs.

Greenwich Village, New York City

Our urban village

Our home in Greenwich Village is a renovated former GE factory dating back to the 1920’s. The scene is lively and colorful and at the same time very peaceful. We call it our urban village!

Maggie and Buster napping

Louisa May Allcat

Our three cats Magnolia (a white and orange tabby), Buster (a grey and white tuxedo cat) and Louisa May (a tortoise shell calico) were happy to have us back. We were at the Surtex show for three full days. They’re  used to hanging out with us all day.

Andrea’s workspace

My office and studio is in one half of a  very large space way in the back of our loft.It always gets messy when I am in the middle of a project.

The other half of the back space

Our bedroom makes up the other half of the back . Decor is a combination of antique and Pottery Barn!

Dennis’ workspace

 Dennis’ workspace is at the front end of our loft. We had it designed by a company in New York called Techline. I can’t wait to do my space.
Usually in the morning, we have a business meeting in his office. Then it’s back to our studios until lunch.
Dennis designed great wall posters for the walls in our Surtex booth:
Dennis Kendrick and Tom Cathey at Surtex Booth

Floor to Ceiling posters for our booth

Eiffel Tower, Peony and Bluebird

Tuscan Pasta Design

We had over a thousand designs displayed on our two Apple ipads. The Show was lively and very upbeat. There was a general spirit of optimism and good spirits.

Rainy day at Surtex

Monday morning it rained heavily and the Javits Center’s roof leaked onto our exhibit hall. It was especially bad in our aisle. We were cordoned off and no foot traffic was allowed. We spent the morning gawking at the cherry pickers repairing the ceiling. No meetings that morning! Penny Sikalis the show manager handled this mishap with speed and thoughtfulness.Our spirits were not dampened!

We had meetings with our clients and new manufacturers. If more than one customer appeared at the same time we had two ipads (dueling ipads) ready to go into action. I have fallen in love with technology, my iMac, iPad and now my iPhone. Stay tuned, there is more to come.

National Stationery Show banner

 Surtex ran at the same time as the big National Stationery Show. This is the big show for stationery and giftware manufacturers. It’s held in New York every May.
Holiday Paper Tableware for Design Design

Joy Tote Bag, Design Design

I went over to the DesignDesign booth at the Stationery Show to see Dennis’ new collections of paper tableware: Leaves of Autumn and Joy. We also have a beautiful collection of greeting cards in their line. Dennis is a wonderful designer. F0r him, “Less is always more”, my modus operendi is “Everything and the kitchen sink”. Another way we make a good balanced team.

Tom Vituj and Susan Birnbaum of DesignDesign

We had a great time withTom Vituj and Susan Birbaum of DesignDesign when they visited us at our booth. This Family-owned company is a manufacturer and distributor of gift and stationery goods. Their look is innovative and ranges from the whimsical to the elegant design. Their focus is on “celebration”.

Lindy in a serious mood

 Lindy Bowman President of the Lindy Bowman Company met with us. His company specializes in gift bags and boxes for holiday and all occasions. The products are beautiful and Lindy and Ellen Birkner, creative and product development manger, are fun to work with.

Libby Embry and Maxine Burton of Burton+Burton

We were very happy to meet with Maxine Burton, owner, and Libby Embry, Creative Director, of Burton+Burton. Maxine and her husband Robert started the company as Flowers, Inc., a balloon division of a wholesale florist company and since then it has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of balloons and gift products. Isn’t it wonderful that this year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary in business!

Savannah Afternoon collection, mug mockup

They will be showing our newest collection, Savannah Afternoon at the July Atlantas’s Gift Show. It’s a lovely set with mug, fabric, tote bag, frames, stationery and wallpaper. I’ll be going to Atlanta in July and am excited about seeing my painted sunflowers show up all over these products.

Mary Jo Hull of Dreamworks and her daughter, Abigail

It was great catching up with Mary Jo Hull of Dream Works Design who came to the show with her lovely daughter Abigail who I had been looking forward to meeting. Dream Works Design is a division of Wally Packaging. They do gift bags for holiday and all occasions. Mary Jo is a wonderful illustrator, mother of two and now a creative director at Dream Works.

Dawn Kirschner of Unique Industries didn’t mind

Not all our clients wanted to have their pictures taken. Dawn Kirschner of Unique Industries didn’t mind! Unique Industries is another family run business that has just celebrated it’s 50th year in business. They do wonderful paper and party goods. The business was started by Jeff and Ann Marie Novak and eventually passed on to their three sons Everett, Gary and Craig. Dennis and I enjoy being in the tradition of family owned businesses!

Thinify my new PR photo

In between meetings, our friends Tom Cathey and Joana Miranda visited and helped us take new PR photos. This one is called “Thinify”. This is one of the special effects you can play with on the new Lumix digital camera.Check out all its other features. This is next on my wish list.

Joana Miranda, photo by Tom Cathey

I have Joana Miranda to thank for teaching me about word press and how to set up a blog. Not only is she a wonderful and patient teacher, but an extremely multi-creative artist. Make sure to check out Joanna’s blog called A Talent for Design.

Our dear friend Tom Cathey

Tom Cathey introduced us to Joana. He also gave me mega help when I was green and starting out in Licensing on my own. Then when Dennis and I teamed up Tom was very supportive and forthcoming with help and advice. Tom is an artiste extraordinaire who was highly successful in licensing. Now he is a blogger. His site, Tom’s Eye View is a colorful, amusing and ever changing photo journal of New York places and events. Thanks Tom.

The City that Never Sleeps

Dennis and I love to travel but we are always happy to come home to New York—this fabulous, energizing, whirlwind of a city. Take a walk through New York at night and you will find out why it is called “The city that never sleeps.”

The Smiling Cat

We’ve come to the close of this post. I think I’ll end it just for fun with an image that Dennis did that I love and that always makes me smile.


Filed under Art and Design, Artist Studio Space, Licensing, Surtex, Trade Show