Category Archives: Trade Show

What to do when the Show is over

There is a bit of a let down at the end of Surtex. Once more we are back in our studios alone.

I am presently working on a watercolor of a  Thanksgiving turkey. He is not as loose and free as I would like, but I think I am okay with what is coming out. Sometimes it takes a few days even a week to see something differently.

I found myself thinking while I  followed thru on design requests: What did I want to do next? Thinking and thinking didn’t help. So I began googling because you never know where you are going to end up. What I found was very much in synch with my thinking. If we tune in to ourselves we will find what we are seeking.

As my mind was going through its litany of “you should do this and you should do that”………I began to imagine and feel that what I wanted  was to free up and loosen up even more. And not just in terms of style, but to let my thinking and creative mind be more open to all sorts of possibilities. It’s not necessary, I realized, to box myself in to one style, one subject etc. The creative process is a discovery and a searching and that cannot happen in a box. It is an exciting process because when you give over to it you never quite know what is going to happen next. And you begin to develop a way of working that allows for this process.

So, I am going to do the paperwork, the follow thru and all the not so fun stuff. But I am going to look at art that inspires and begin to doodle and scribble.

Luli Sanchez

Luli Sanchez

I found a wonderful textile artist, Luli Sanchez whose work and sensibility I find very inspiring and exciting.

Kaffe Fassett designer

Kaffe Fassett designer

I also discovered a wonderful artist, textile designer, quilter, knitter named Kaffe Fassett . I read about his book , Dreaming in Color and ordered it right away.

Journal roses sketch

Journal roses sketch

Journal sketch Wish fairy doll

Journal sketch

I also got out ten of the  journals which I have been keeping for years. They include sketches, cartoons, ideas as well as recordings of events and feelings. Looking through these helped remind me of the creative person I am. I found, among many others, a drawing I did for a Wish Fairy doll I wanted to make and a lovely sketch of June roses.

Here’s one more thing. When I find myself feeling discouraged, feeling that nothing is going to come of the show and why am I doing this, I pull out my cognitive thinking book, Feeling Good by David Burns and find a chapter and exercise that relates to what I am thinking. In a very short time I am back on track again because I see that the self-defeating pattern will get no positive results. Have something you can turn to when your thoughts get gloomy.

And Stay happy.

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Filed under Artists, Cognitive Thinking, Creativity and Fun, Surtex, Trade Show

Working on a new project, Botanical Garden

Surtex is almost a month away.

But creating art continues until the last possible minute. There is nothing like facing a show to inspire creativity and productiveness.

I have been painting new flowers and birds for several weeks. And now I am finished except for painting backgrounds. Then I turn it over to Dennis and we sit in front of the computer and create the new designs. The inspiration this time are antique botanical floral and bird designs. I am doing an updated version working inthe loose watercolor style that I have been developing. I have had many sources of inspiration, including but not all, sumi e painting, Janet Rogers watercolor tutorials and my own way of putting thngs together.

Here are a few of the florals  that I am happy with.

The newest peony

The newest peony

Red Poppies

Red Poppies

Azalea

Azalea

Blue Poppies

Blue Poppies

I’ve painted about twelve different flowers. There are a few rejects.

I’ve done a number of birds to go with this style, but only like one so far. I’ll wait before I post it. Always good to wait a few days and then look again.

I thought that the Azaleas had gotten too heavy handed right after I finished painting. Two days later I looked and made a few alterations and thought “hmmmm these are nice,I like them.”

I hope to have at least one of the new designs called “Botanical Garden” to show here soon. In the meantime I have to come to terms with the birds and then a few insects. I’ll include a bee, butterfly and dragonfly. Maybe even a little grass hopper.

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Filed under Birds, Botanicals, Flowers, insects, Surtex, Trade Show, Uncategorized, Watercolor

Happy Holidays

This is a short Happy Holiday post for our followers and readers.

 Before we leave for the January Atlanta show next Wednesday I hope to have Part II of Everything You Need to Know About Trade shows out to you.

Then when we get back I’ll have lots to show and tell about the show.

Savannah Afternoon mug

Savannah Afternoon mug

The Burton and Burton new Spring Showroom will be displaying my new Savannah Afternoon collection. I hope vendors and you will be as excited about it as I am.

The weather outside is frightfulBut in here it's so delightful

The weather outside is frightful
But in here it’s so delightful

This is a good time to show off a few of our Christmas products.

Ho Ho HoSantas

Ho Ho Ho
Santa

This cute little pillow is a delightful needlepoint that our Friend Sonja made from our original whimsical Santa design.The original was a needlepoint stocking kit by Dimension.

I keep it out all year round! The design has also been a Christmas tote for Jean Marie Creations , a needle point kit and one of a set of Holiday Gift card Holders.

IMG_2216A New Yorkers dream

A New Yorkers dream

I grew up in the West Bronx which at that time still had lots of green trees and grass. But it wasn’t the country, and  I was always fantasizing about living in the country. For that reason I loved painting this woodland scene for Current. It was used on a number of their products including stationery and computer papers.

                                                            Snowman and Friend

Snowman and Friend

Holiday season as a child meant lots of snow, freezing cold fingers and toes, rosy cheeks, sleigh riding on our flexible flyers down the hill and the happy sounds of lots of kids making their snowmen. This memory inspired The Snowman and Friend design which originally was used as a holiday tote design for Jean Marie Designs,  and also as a card design.

Gingerbread Tree

Gingerbread Tree

My sister Pat and I always dreamed of having a tree like this. Although we celebrated Christmas and Hanukah my parents drew the line when it came to a tree. Painting this one gave me a lot of joy. Dennis created the design to fit it into so that it made a lovely little tableau. I was reminded of this yesterday when we did the annual tour of holiday store windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Tiffany Holiday window 2012

Tiffany Holiday window 2012

IMG_2317

Saks window

Yesterday along with our good friends Barbara and John we enjoyed the holiday windows on upper Fifth Avenue. My two favorites for nostalgia were the lovely  Tree and Staircase in one of the Tiffany windows.The Tiffany displays were very small, approximately 15″ x 12″. My other favorite was this Saks window of a snowman and little boy with his dog. Of course the dogs tail wagged!

Sisters

Sisters

The holidays are a time to share with those you love.Pat, my older sister, had me tagging along wherever she went, invited or not. That’s me on the left.

Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies

Holidays are a great time to enjoy all the goodies of the festive season That’s what insired me to paint these wonderful Christmas cookies for Woman’s Day magazine.

Pat

Pat

Brothers at holiday time

Brothers at holiday time Dennis and Fred Kendrick

Briana and Aunty Andy

Niece Briana and Aunty Andy

And best and most of all it’s a time to be with those you love. And have lots of fun.

Happy 2013

Happy 2013

We hope you all had very happy holidays and wish you a wonderful New Year full of all good things.

Time to fulfill that resolution to become a follower of our blog.

warmly,

Andrea and Dennis

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Filed under Atlanta, Christmas, Cooking and Baking, Kitchen and Food, Manufacturers, Nature, New Year's, NYC, Trade Show

The Atlanta July Gift Show, Part One

After Surtex there were about three weeks to do the show follow-thru, get ourselves organized and think about new artwork. Most of our current clients are in the papergoods market, i.e. paper tableware, stationery, shopping bags and greeting cards. We have a few clients in the home decor area like EvergreenBurton and Burton and Robert Kaufman (fabrics).

At one of our meetings after the show we decided that  we wanted to expand into the gift and home decor market. There are several reasons why. One is to increase our client base. Two, to develop products in a new market area. And three, to stretch the inspiration for our creativity. New markets equals new ideas. And did I mention to increase income?

So, we decided that I should go to the big Atlanta July Gift show to scout out new companies.

In order to do this I researched companies that we had visited in Atlanta in January 2012. Then I spent my mornings for three weeks making phone calls to set up appointments for the show. I was in a happy creative frenzy creating new designs. I was warming up to do a loose fun watercolor style that was different than the way I had been working. I always forget that there is a learning curve with watercolor whenever you try a new style.

I got impatient and frustrated. It just wasn’t working out. I knew what I wanted to do but it wasn’t happening as fast as I would have liked. You cannot rush or force watercolor to do what you want. It’s a watery flowing medium and unless you flow with it nothing works.

Dennis, on the other hand, is a steady worker. He gets his ideas and  creative direction as he progresses on with a design. He knows that this is his process. I typically keep losing sight of my process. That’s my Aries nature. Always forgetting and running headfirst into that same wall. Experience and maturity have tempered it a bit. Whew!

The night before leaving I laid out my clothes for the trip, worked on a painting, and played with Maggie, our cat. I fell asleep around 2 am and got up at 5.

Bye bye Bus stop Cafe

Said goodbye to Dennis, the kitties and Greenwich Village.

Departure from La Guardia Airport

I love getting to the airport early enough to have time to stay relaxed about the check-in time. Shoes off, get patted down, explain away suspicious items like a nail file. The bonus is that I can browse the stores, read a paper and have my coffee and bagel before it is boarding time.

One Artist Aloft

Ah, finally on the plane. Cramped, no leg room, but nice people to chat with and my iPad to keep me amused.

My home away from home

I was lucky to get a reservation at the Days Inn. Everything else downtown was booked. I’ll give you a few tips about booking and when to do it in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned! The nicest surprise was finding that I was just down the hill from the Gift Mart.

Too tired to walk up the hill to the show Thursday afternoon I spent the time between naps strolling downtown Atlanta. It was a nice surprise to find that it was a pretty little city and not just a downtown business district.

Bridges everywhere connecting the three huge buildings

Friday morning I got up early and after a full breakfast (the kind I like) I headed up the hill with the crowds (mostly women buyers) to  America’s Mart. The Mart is actually three 18-story buildings with connecting bridges on different levels. For those who are not familiar with this show it’s main purpose is for the manufacturers to take orders from the retailers who walk the show and shop for their own gift shops.

It takes a bit of navigating and sometimes you just go in circles and get frustrated and feel like yelling “Let me Out of Here!”

Building 1 consists of showrooms for manufacturers of  bedding, rugs, furniture, lighting and more. More broadly it houses the home decor showrooms. Building 2  and its new wing 2W is where I spent most of my time. This is the Gift building and houses companies like the ones I will be featuring in my next two posts such as Enesco, Manual Woodworkers, Burton and Burton, Transpac, C & F and Evergreen Enterprises.

There are also are two sections that are fun and inspirational to walk through. They are the”Living Outdoor/Indoor Gardens (garden statues, furniture, art fountains, flags and wonderful food). The new Gourmet Food Section, in building 2 has cooking demos, books, kitchen products and food tastings. Yum! I made it to the Garden section and walked through with Lucinda who I’ll introduce a little further on.

And then there is  building 3.  I’d have to stay an extra day to walk through  some of the showrooms there, but it would be such a treat. Building 3 houses The Fashion Accessories and fine Jewelry Showrooms. It is known as the Apparel Mart. And some of the showrooms let you shop at wholesale price. Bring your credit card!

Friends at the Show

Chris Peterson and Peter Spader (Chris in the middle and Peter on the right) were my  art reps for around 9 years. Their agency is called C.P. Licensing, and they have been in this business for more than 20 years. About 10 years ago, Dennis and I branched off to be on our own. We’ve all remained friends. Chris and Peter and I met up for lunch each day and had a fun dinner, Margaritas and all, one evening. I learned a lot from them when they were our reps. It was great to do some of the show with them and continue to learn. They are both generous in sharing of themselves and their vast knowledge from years of being Licensing artist Agents. It is very important from my experience to spend a few years at least going it on your own before you sign up with a rep for a number of reasons. More on this also in the next several posts.
Lucinda Wei, a friend and talented designer, walked some of the show with me. I wanted to show her how I would approach  potential customers in their showrooms.

                                                           

Yes I was really there.

Chris finally insisted on taking a photo of me just to prove to my readers that I was really at the Show. Well I was folks and I loved every minute of it.

HOME!

My traditional welcome back home

I guess Roosevelt Bear missed me!

In the posts that follow this I will talk about the nuts and bolts of making calls for appointments. It’s important too to make calls for catching up on  both personal and business stuff and finding out what a company is looking for and what is the time period to submit these designs.  Then you need to organize all this information so it works for you! More on that in the next few posts. The calls and appointments are an important part of what you need to do when you want to start expanding into a new part of the licensing market. Or, to start out in the business.

I’ll also take you on a virtual tour of three large showrooms and walk you through a “Meeting”. For now I’ll tell you one very important thing I have learned: Networking is one of the most essential things you can do. And it’s fun and sociable. Keeps you out of the kind of trouble that can come if you become too isolated. And that trouble can be both personal and professional. I didn’t always like doing it, but the more you do the more comfortable you feel. You can make friends along the way with people you work with.

More to come about the Atlanta Show. Keep tuned and please send me your questions and comments.

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Filed under Airlines, Art and Design, Atlanta, Creativity and Fun, Hotels, Kitchen and Food, Licensing, Manufacturers, Marketing, Trade Show, 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.

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