I've been back from the Big Apple for a couple of weeks now and just managed to find a bit of time to write a little recap of my NYC adventure!
This May I exhibited at Surtex, a trade show where artists, art agents, licensing agencies and licensors meet with manufacturers and retailers to license work for wall coverings, home decor, textiles, stationery, giftware & apparel.
I exhibited as part of Finch & Foxglove Art Collective along with 7 fellow "Finches" from the UK, Belgium, Germany and the US. We all met over the internet on various online courses, namely Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells (MATS) and Rachael Taylor’s The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design (ABSPD). Exhibiting as a collective is a great way to share not only the MASSIVE costs involved in exhibiting but we also benefited from shared knowledge and each others skills and support.
Exhibiting for the first time I didn’t know what to expect - I had many worries (as family and friends would testify!) - Would I have enough work? Would my portfolio and promo materials arrive in New York with me? Would anyone be interested in my art? Would I be noticed amidst such talented, seasoned exhibitors? Was there anything I wasn't worrying about that I should be worrying about? and so on...
So it was with a little trepidation I landed in New York. Greg, my husband, also came along too as moral support and we extended the trip so we could spend a few days before the show crossing off a few of New York's must-sees. The last time we were in New York was 5 years previously when we "enjoyed" a rather wet and foggy weekend so it was nice to see the sun (and the top of skyscrapers) this time.
We set up the show on the Friday/Saturday and it was wonderful to meet all the Finches in real life. I'd met a Adriana (Chief Finch) and Mara in Brighton last year at The Global Art Gathering, and Tanya (the other UK Finch) a couple of times over the last year but it was the first time we'd all been together. The setting up of the stand was very busy with the 8 of us, several husbands and a butler(!); our booth was pretty chaotic at times but we were all thrilled with how it turned out.
The show itself ran for 3 days (Sun-Tues) and was based at the Javits Center alongside the National Stationery Show (which was massive and real eye candy for a stationery lover like myself) and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
Surtex was consistently busy across the 3 days and we found our booth was quite hectic at points. We got lots of interest from buyers and great feedback on our work from both potential clients and our peers (we even got to Periscope with Lilla Rogers on the final day of the show which was an unexpected surprise. We all came away with lots of followups and contacts and I suppose only time will tell how successful the show has been. Looking forward to going back in 2017 already!