So those that know me well. Know that I have devoted a good part of my life these last 9 years in trying to practice the art of being calm and relaxed when I'm dealing with things that come up unexpectedly. This year was rough start. Unusually so because I care and love this life so very much. I wish sometimes I'm more business orientated. I can be, though I had a few wild cards pulled on me this trip. I started my trip to NYC finding out that my friend passed away from ovarian cancer. I was deeply saddened, because we were suppose to connect at one point in person few months back though she resisted and didn't want me to see her and worry. She was a wonderful spirit that has been promoting my art since I've known her. She loved my work. One of my first fans and a great girl friend that is. So saddened I arrive in a beautiful sky scrapper kissed filled city. New York has been my home for over 15 years before I left it almost a decade ago to lead an amazing life in Virginia. Though every time I go back new chapters awaits. I arrived a few days early to see old girl friends of mine from high school and college. The connection was wonderful and extraordinary. Then meeting up with Forest Foundry Crew at our shared airbnb space in midtown. The weather was great, we walked around the city before the show. Stopped by the marimeko store.!! First day of surtex we all were prepared got to the Javits center early. Then I realized my wallet was gone. I will tell you this. Having a team and collective has cut the stress in half. I can't imagine being on my own and this happens. That would suck so bad!!!! After a day, my wallet reappeared, it was misplacement on my own due to stress. I had stuck it deep in a tolietry bag because I didn't want it lying around loosely so that I will loose it! My control freak side got the best of me. Hence me running around surtex show back and forth. That is why I didn't get to say hello to a lot of exhibitors and really chatted. Trust me, after a strong cup of coffee in the morning, I can't stop talking usually!! lol
On the second time as an exhibitor at surtex. I have to say, if it wasn't for our collective, I think it will be hard with finances and emotional support. I think we all have bonded even more this time. We all are clearer on the markets we like to target. It is also important to prioritize. The first year was so overwhelming with contacts. So It's important to focus in on the companies that come see your booth. Of course we all have dream clients and companies we would like to work with. Though for me personally I like to intuitively tap in to see if the personality of the art director is really going to be a good fit. You can't force things and you absolutely need to loose all expectations and detach yourself from your work when meeting people. Its easier said then done. But that is where an agent is extremely helpful in this case. Another thing is eye contact, it's important to have eye contact and not over talk when they are talking. Let all them talk and view your books. Listen, take notes, be you and authentic. Ask questions. Value who you are as an artist. You paid for your booth and made it this far to New York. Get who they are immediately if you want to work with them. But with no expectations. haha. That is key I think. Thats how I connect really, also relax if this is the first time. There are people there that has been exhibiting for over 10 years!! So prioritize, be smart with finances. Have back up plans!! Currently my art is being licensed by a company called JuJu. They developed an app and It was a good contact for me from last year. Check them out here on apple Itunes:
On this summer: I will be working closely with my agent Maria from Wundergarden that was an exhibitor this year as well at surtex. She has been an amazing support for me these last 6 months prior surtex and am excited to be developing new children's book pieces with her as well as art licensing deals. So that is brand new and exciting. The rest of the summer I will be focusing on art video tutorials, painting larger pieces and beach days with Ellie. I like to take on some editorial commissions, painting commissions, and cross finger licensing deals!! Also preparing for the holidays already early this year which is progress. I will be back in New York during the fall or winter again to walk the renegade show as well. I wish everyone success after surtex and I know we will all somehow meet again for the love of art making and passion in creativity. We all walk parallel roads.. and meet sometimes. That is the infinite cycle of love for what we do and contribute towards a better more amazing planet with art!!! Happy Summer Everyone!!