Category Archives: Javitts Center

Surtex 2013 Part II

Of course we go to the Surtex Show to meet with Clients, meet new manufacturers and generally get our new work seen.

Equally  important and enjoyable is networking with our fellow artists. Each year is a glad reunion with old friends and a chance to make new friends among our colleagues.

Part II of this Surtex Post will be photos and brief descriptions of these encounters. I was not able to include everyone I would have liked. Either time or space ran out. There are just too many wonderful artists at this show.

Our first reunion was with our good friends Andrea and Dan Tachiera. Andrea is a wonderful licensing artist who is now represented by Donna Westman of DSW designs. Andrea and Dan and their sons  live in Berkeley Ca and we don’t get to see them often enough. Andrea’s wonderful sunny watercolors reflect her sense of design and whimsy whether she is painting animals, flowers or rain boots!

Andrea and Dan Tachiera

Andrea and Dan Tachiera

Andrea's bright colorful watercolor flowers

Andrea’s bright colorful watercolor flowers

Then of course there was our “neighborhood”, our small aisle of five booths and our friend Lucinda Wei just across the aisle who has become a part of the “neighborhood.” (More about Lucinda later)

Sue Zipkin

Sue Zipkin

Across from us is our friend and wonderful artist Sue Zipkin. Sue’s colorful, zestful and lively art is a treat for the eyes. She is very successful in the business and is always fun to have nearby. Her husband Bob is there to help her and last year her son Max helped out also.

Ingrid and Kristin, Nutshell Designs

Ingrid and Kristin, Nutshell Designs

We look forward each year to seeing Ingrid Slyder and her sister Kristin set up in the corner booth next to us. Ingrid is another art licensing veteran and her finely painted, somewhat whimsy illustrations are a joy to see. She also has a neat wicked sense of humor and we love looking at her humorous card designs. We missed seeing Ingrid’s husband Duane this year.

Beth Logan Art Stuff

Beth Logan Art Stuff

Beth Logan’s booth is next to us on the corner. Not only is Beth fun bright and easy to talk to, but her art is whimsical, imaginative, cute and beautifully painted. She is a  popular artist and creates many fun fabrics for crafters. She wore a skirt each day made from her own fabrics – reversible too!

Kate Spade from Edinburgh

Kate Spade from Edinburgh

It’s definitely a pleasure to greet Kate Knight and her mother Jeanne who come all the way from Edinburgh. Kate’s beautifully designed and colorful florals are always a lift for the spirit as are both Kate and her mother. They thoroughly enjoy the Surtex experience and being in NY and we all enjoy them. It’s a pleasure to listen to their Scottish accents.

Lucinda Wei

Lucinda Wei

Lucinda Wei is fairly new to licensing. We met a few years ago in Atlanta and have become good friends. We walk a lot of the shows together. Her color sense is divine and she is a wonderful designer and illustrator. She has also been climbing the steep curve of art licensing very rapidly. Keep going Lucinda. Her sister Belinda was helping her out in the booth. It is nice to note how many family and friends pitched in to help.

Now we start to walk a little further afield. This is what I did every time we felt one of us could leave the booth. I stopped and talked to friends, looked at art,  took pictures and met new friends.

Elizabeth Golz Rush and     Lazarr

Elizabeth Golz Rush and
Barbara Lanza

My friends Elizabeth Golz Rush (on the right) and Barbara Lanza (middle) were sharing a booth with a third artist, Pamela Bishop who was unable to make it to the show. Mandy Hawes on the left pitched in for Pamela. Pamela’s art is whimsical and character driven.

Elizabeth’s work is so incredibly fine and detailed. Just a treat to look at. Her side interest now is in fairy doll kits which she makes and the fairy doll workshops that she does. I’ve bought several from her and helped my friends grandkids put them together.Check out her blog,

Barbara Lanza’s work is also very involved with wonderful magical fairies. Barbara started out as a fashion illustrator and now does children’s books as well as her fantasy art.

I was very happy to find Caleb Gray was here this year with his partner Connor Lynch.

Caleb and Connor

Caleb and Connor

Love that lunch box

Love that lunch box

Caleb Gray is the Artist and his partner Connor is actually in a scientific profession. They work wonderfully together in the booth. Caleb’s work is at the same time clean and modern and very retro. I feel like I am walking onto a 1950’s kids television show set (the aprons made from Caleb’s fabric do help the image). It’s a very unique look and he’s doing well.

 Rose Mary Berlin

Rose Mary Berlin

Rose Mary Berlin and her husband Rick are long time friends. As a matter of fact there were students of ours when we were teaching a course on The Business of Illustration for the Graphic Artists Guild. Besides being a mom Rose is a wonderful children’s book artist who has now branched out into licensing.  She paints “good” whatever she does, but her animals are spectacular. We always look forward to our time spent with Rick when he comes on the last day to help pack up. He is one of the world’s greatest schmoozers.

Alex Columbo and Paul Stout

Alex Columbo and Paul Stout

Alex Columbo and I met over the internet before the show via one of the many social networking groups we belong to. We’ve been in touch since and almost met in Atlanta in January. This was our first time meeting face to face. Her designs are whimsical colorful and charming as is she. This is her first Surtex and I believe that she had a great show and a wonderful experience. I also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to her husband Paul Stout who is involved in the business part-time.

Patti Gay

Patti Gay

Patti Gay is an extremely versatile artist who can work in many styles and media. In her career she has published many adorable and beloved childrens’ books as well as having been an art director at Portal Publications. In addition to her regular licensing art she has created an imprint called Two Can Art. Here she publishes art that she has done in collaboration with her son Noah who is 21 and autistic. His love for color and textures has been incorporated into her designs. She and I also got to know each other first on Facebook before we met at Surtex.

Another wonderful reason for being on facebook is networking with your colleagues.

                                                                                Martha Collins in her booth with Caleb Gray
Martha Collins in her booth with Caleb Gray

Now here is an artist whose work I love. Martha Collins. She herself is sunny, bright and interesting as is her artwork. She is very diverse in her styles. Her floral watercolor paintings are my special favorites. When I first noticed her work at a Surtex some years back I was so very impressed with her style and all the chances she took to continue being different and new. After that I wanted to move in a new direction too. Thanks Martha.

Give yourself a treat and take some time to go to each artists’ site.

And thanks to all the wonderful artists at Surtex. There wasn’t time to capture more for my blog but they all helped make it a very fine show.

I might as well mention our websites. They are linked to each other and the Andrea Brooks site has more of painted designs and Dennis site is more graphic and whimsical.

Andrea Brooks

Dennis Kendrick

The two of us

The two of us

Well, I like this photo of us in our booth. It’s a rarity to get a photo where we both look good and happy. Thanks again to our friend Tom Cathey who also baked the marvelous cookies. Hint, hint Tom.

Back in our studio, I’m in fighting the cold that I held at bay during the show. But that’s what is great about working at home. I can still get up every day and do our follow through and we continue to work together. The cats are so happy to have us at home.

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Filed under Children's Books, Flowers, Javitts Center, Licensing, Surtex, Watercolor

Surtex 2013 part One

      Another Surtex has zipped by. The months of preparation and the excitement of the three days at the show is over. Now we are back in our studio and this is what we call “follow up” time. This is when we send artwork to clients we met with at the sh0w; schedule new art that was requested; enter new contacts into our data base and generally take an overview of how the show went.

Surtex 2013 at the Javitts Center

Surtex 2013 at the Javitts Center

I am going to do this post in two parts. The first is about our show experience, Part two will be about artist friends old and new who we saw at the show.

The two of us

The two of us

Overview of the aisle

Overview of the aisle

  Although the show got off to a slow start on Sunday by Monday it got much busier and continued that way through the end of the show on Tuesday.

We’ve become a good team when it comes to putting the booth together.

Bird Song series

Bird Song series

Amaryllis Rejoice

Amaryllis Rejoice

Parisienne Collage

Parisienne Collage

HALOWEEN CUPCAKE WITCH

HALOWEEN CUPCAKE WITCH ANDREA BROOKS STUDIO

PEONY BOTANICA

PEONY BOTANICA

BOOTH WITH CUST0MERS

BOOTH WITH CUSTOMERS

We had two ipads with our complete portfolios to show to manufacturers. For those of y0u who are not familiar with the show this photo of Dennis with two customers from Unique shows the set up. Our booth is a 10′ x 10′ size booth.  We’d love to have a corner booth since these have two sides open to the public. But that would mean moving from our “neighborhood of five booths” that we are happy with.

Our friend Tom Cathey came by and dropped off two days worth of fresh baked delicious cookies. Thank you Tom. Everyone raved about them.

Making Selections

Making Selections

Dawn Kirschner and Merry Cassino from Unique looking through our library of designs. We were glad that we had saved last year’s posters. It turned out there was an empty wall opposite us which we  split up with our neighbors. Those are our cupcakes in the backbground,.

Lindy is here

Lindy is here

Lindy of the Lindy Bowman company, Rachel Katz, Kathy Lorczynski and Ellen Birckner his right hand gals.

Randy Fritz of Carsons

Randy Fritz of Carsons

We had a good meeting with Randy Fritz  of Carsons Home Accents in charge of Flag production.

We saw many other manufacturers, but didn’t manage to get photos of them all.We thank them all for taking the time to meet with us.

I am also happy at how much more smoothly Dennis and I have become at working together. I had to let go of a lot of artist ego and realize that Dennis is a wonderful designer. My forte is watercolor. So now when we work together to create a design from one of my paintings I do the most minimal amount of art directing. In fact it is so much more relaxing. That’s one of the secrets too to a good companionable marriage. Lean on your partners strengths and vica versa. Let ego go.Not easy. but worth it when you succeed.

We were in the same little aisle as last year. Our neighborhood as we called it. Five booths with a cross aisle at either end.

I will be doing a part two to this post about the artists in our “neighborhood” and others throughout the show.

A hopeful sign at the Javitts Center

A hopeful sign at the Javitts Center

When we emerged on Monday the hibiscus in front of theJ avitts Center were all opened up. A lovely surprise and a hopeful sign.

We finished off the day by taking our gear home to the west village, feeding the cats who were happy to see us  and having our ritual show closing and celebration. A beer and a burger at the White Horse Tavern.

Our ritual end to Surtex

Our ritual end to Surtex

Stay tuned for Part two of the Surtex show in which you will meet some of our fellow artists who exhibited.

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Filed under Carsons Home, Javitts Center, Lindy Bowman, Manufacturers, Surtex, The White Horse Tavern, Uncategorized, Unique Industries

The New York Gift Show at the Javitts Center

In years past the New York Gift Show at the Javitts Center was a great place to meet and see some of the larger paper goods and giftware companies like CR Gibson, Boston International, MeadWestvaco and Enesco to name a few. This has been changing over the last five years as more and more of these companies no longer showed here. The reasons had to do with the downturn in the economy . As products other than paper goods (such as jewelry) began to sell more and as Business

has been changing and the Gift show was no longer the right place for them to make their sales. Many moved to the Atlanta Show.

Gift Show Divisions

Gift Show Divisions

The show was divided into sections. For example the General Gift, Tabletop, Accent on Design and Children and Baby and personal accessories.

At the Gift Show

At the Gift Show

The Accent on Design section was a bit of a disappointment. I remembered it as being an exciting, innovative and inspiring part of the show with booths from all over the world and varied product lines. This year it seemed to me to be a bit lackluster.

The weather outside was .....well wet

The weather outside was …..well wet

Despite the rain and snow the show was well populated which was encouraging.

Dennis and I were very surprised at the overall change in the show. We found very few gift and stationery companies in the Gift Division. There were more companies that sold pillows and clothing. Many more companies that sold the kind of giftware that would fit in with some of the categories I names above.For the most part not the kind of products that would require licensed artists for the designing.There were lots of big publishers like Penguin, Chronicle and Workman to name a few. More companies that sold Judaica and body care products. In the tabletop division most of the companies that have always shown at the gift show were there.

Despite these drawbacks (from our point of view as art licensors) we enjoyed walking the show. We made new contacts and did some trend spotting. Of course owls everywhere. We also had a good meeting with a potential client. We returned to the studio and began working on a few presentations for this company.

Tonight I was remembering advice that was given to us when we were first starting out as illustrators and we took a wonderful course offered then by Elaine Sorel which truly gave us a legs up on our journey into the world of illustration and commercial art. Elaine beside being the wife of Ed Sorel the well known illustrator and one of the co founders of the Push Pin Studios was a thorough professional and very knowledgable person about how to do business as an artist and succeed at it. She had been an artists agent for 15 years representing top people in creative fields. She began doing the workshops when she stopped being an agent. One of the things she told us that I have never forgot (and I paraphrase). “It’s important to genuinely enjoy the people that you are doing business with.” Don’t fake it in order to get work. You are much more likely to get ahead if you form relationships that are mutually enjoyable by all.” I was reminded of that today as we had our meeting. She also said, and again I paraphrase ” Don’t show your work with the expectation of getting work. Show it because you are proud of what you do and want to share your creativity.”

Stitchery illustration by Margaret CusackImport

Stitchery illustration by Margaret Cusack

I also have the pleasure of knowing Elaine’s very talented artist and teacher, daughter Madelaine Sorel. Madelaine and I are both part of an illustrators lunch group that was founded and kept alive by the efforts of Margaret Cusack, who is both a wonderful stitchery artist and a world class promoter. It was difficult picking an image to use in this post as Margaret has many varied and wonderful stitched art that has been used in editorial, advertising and gallerty exhibits. This lunch group has been meeting once a month for lunch for over 20 years. It has been a life saver and thriving sharing creative community for those of us who have been regulars.We share business, art and our personal lives at these monthly meetings.

And once again Dennis and I are back at work doing what we love most. Designing and painting and dreaming about our next project. Top priority is finishing the two remaining Halloween cupcake designs.

Whoo knows

Whoo knows

Art licensing is a risky and exciting business to be in. Whoo knows where it will lead us next.

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Filed under Art and Design, Artists, Halloween, Holidays, Javitts Center, Licensing, Manufacturers, NY Gift Show, Owls, Trade shows, Trends