The Surtex show was interesting, I am still digesting it. It was not at all what I expected. It's a small show, only about 300 booths. Many of which were artists exhibiting. A few reps and most of them displayed country art or landscape or themes that don't fit my style etc. There were a couple who I thought I could match with my work, so I left materials with them.
Getting to talk with most of the reps was difficult -- when they find out you're an artist and not a buyer, they lose interest pretty quickly -- all they want to talk to is buyers. Understandable because that's what they are there for and not to meet new artists. They take your materials and give the "don't call us, we'll call you" line. The show had very little foot traffic so I am re-thinking the pros and cons of having a booth there for myself next year.
I did meet a very cool illustrator rep, and this fun artist, which were the highlight of Surtex for me.
After Surtex we had lunch and then checked out the stationery show (this was where all the people were - it was crowded!). We didn't stay long, again the companies didn't really want to talk to artists so we just looked around and did some research and I tried not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of cool stuff out there, but I managed to get a migraine about it anyway. So Paul and I left and took a long afternoon nap.
This evening we met up with another Karen, we became close when she took my last workshop in Cortona. It was so great to see her again! We ate at Cara Mia --- super great Italian almost as good as the real thing in Tuscany!
After dinner we went to Monday Night Magic. Karen's boyfriend is a magician, so she got us into the show and it was AMAZING!!
Now we are tired, tomorrow, we'll be going out to NJ to visit the Ranger Ink offices. Should be exciting so see how they make all their products!
Thank you for sharing your experiences with the business end of art. We fledgling artists live vicariously through you at these events! I am disappointed to hear that Surtex is not more of a door-opener. Can't wait to hear about Ranger Ink.