We did it – our second annual Surtex. For those who aren’t familiar, Surtex is a leading marketplace for artists to license and sell their work to manufacturers for their products. I have to say that this year was great. My collaborative art group, Art Licensing LA, came to the show with a more relaxed approach (not like our first year when you have nothing to compare it to), upped our game and most importantly had fun.
ARRIVAL and SET UP
Arriving with multiple suitcases (in my case ones I paid extra for because they were over the 50 lb. limit) can be a bit challenging, especially when maneuvering them in and out of taxi’s, escalators and down uneven sidewalks, but it is seriously the way to go though. We hardly ship a thing to ensure we have everything we need with us and won’t have to worry if anything wasn’t shipped in time or lost.
Setting up is a breeze when you have so many hands on deck and when you keep your booth design simple. We built our own Ikea tables to display our products, assisted one another with banner hanging and jumped in to take on anything that needed to be done (like gather all postcard handouts, assemble press kits, binders etc.). We can set up in just a few hours.
This year I personally think the artists’ booths looked amazing. Everyone was very professional, brought their A game and was ready for some serious deal-making. The caliber of art was without a doubt top knotch. It was fun to walk the aisles and see such inspirational artwork everywhere and visit with fellow artists whom I have gotten to know (and make new friends too!).
I noticed that there was a lot of mixed media artwork, lots of hand drawn icons and patterns, watercolor art and textural work. In the past there is quite a lot of vector work but this year artists really used a lot of different mediums. Typography and hand-lettered work was also prominent. I found that chalkboard art, hand-lettered art and inspirational phrases were popular amongst booth visitors. If you got to walk the Stationery Show you would see that it is indeed a hot trend. Identifiable icons are still the king at Surtex. Animals, characters, snowmen, Christmas trees, foxes, fruits and veggies to name a few were requested. Make sure you bring plenty of holiday options. They buyers always need lots of winter-holiday themed artwork.
We were excited to see recognizable companies and large manufacturers were cruising the aisles. The attendees were from all over the world and represented various product categories. You never know who will stop by.
One extra special thing about the show is being in NYC. Who doesn’t want to be in NYC in the spring? The temperate weather, the hustle bustle of the city and the great food and atmosphere…it makes working a trade show all the more enjoyable. I HEART NY.