Surtex prep, follow along with us

Well, its time.  Time to start Surtex prep. For those who haven’t heard of Surtex, it is a trade show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York May 19-21, where artists and designers exhibit their work for the manufacturers, retailers and publishers who comb the aisles looking for new art and design to license or buy for their products.

This year I have three local designer friends and acquaintances who are doing Surtex for the first time, so there is a bit of a buzz and banter amongst us about getting ready for the show.  And it brings back memories of my first year and all the questions I had!  So if anyone wants to follow along, I’ll be posting things here at a laughing gate.

To start off, my February tasks are:

1. Start booth design.  Best to start this early as it also helps one assess the other tasks that go into getting ready for the show.  At this point I am editing my booth layout from last year.  I created it in Illustrator so that I can plan what is going to go on each wall–banners, shelves, etc. Some people even make a physical diorama. Starting this prompts me to roughly decide which new collections to show on the banners.  It also helps me coalesce my final list of collections I want to have finished for the show (and a wish list of more I wish I could finish!).

2. Write first pass of press release. This is optional. One doesn’t have to send out press releases or do a press packet, but if you do decide you want to ride that train, many editorial deadlines are in March.  So preparing your release now, and choosing some images to send in with them gives you time and space to edit with a fresh eye before pressing the button. For more information on how to do press releases check out Tara Reed’s ebook How to be a Press Friendly Artist.

Along with booth design comes other decisions.  Do you want to put individual pieces of art up on the walls, banners that hang off the panels either to the floor or part way down, or so you want to do a whole booth wrap. If banners, do you want paper or vinyl.  One thing I have to say is that it is a good idea to plan to have at least some of your booth look new and fresh every year.  So investing in an expensive branding concept for a booth design to use year after year may help in brand recognition, but there are a lot of people at the show actually shopping for art and looking at the walls to find it. So do have something new up to catch their eye every year.

There is no best way to display things in your booth.  It depends on your art and design and the markets it serves, your budget in terms of dollars and time, and your goals for the show. Do remember that every moment spent on logistics and booth design is not being spent making new artwork or following up on leads. Also please please remember that people are looking at your booth from the middle of the aisle so size your wall art accordingly. 150-200% scale at least (depending on the beginning dimensions) and 150dpi looks fine for this purpose.  Stand ten feet away and judge for yourself!

Here are some photos that show some of the details of the booths that might not show on all the great materials available through the exhibitor center on the Surtex website.

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This is an empty 8×10 booth with the tall counter and 3 stools that all come with your booth (or you can choose to have a low table and 3 chairs instead). One trash can also comes with.

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See how the walls don’t go all the way to the floor. Also notice the frames that hold the panels have the notches in them for shelves. The shelves can be ordered and installed through Surtex.

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These are the track lights. Its pretty good lighting. You can order extra cans through Surtex, though the vast majority of people use what is provided. There is no electricity in the booth except what is there to power the lights (all included). If you want an electrical outlet or anything else electrical you need to fill out a form and order it.

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The panels are RECESSED in the frame. On this shot you can see I covered the metal between my banners, though most people leave them as metal, but hopefully you can see that the metal frame comes out 1/2 inch or so and can cast a bit of a shadow,  so trying to have the banners go exactly to the edge may not be worth it. The easy way to not worry about the details of the dimensions is to plan on 36″ across.  It will give you a bit of room on either side. If you want to hang things over the panel dividers–plan on doing it from the top frame, not the top of the panel, or you will have the side frames bumping things out.

Ok, that is it for now! Stay tuned….

Stitch Modern…Part 4, More quilts!

Well here are the final set of quilts from the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild‘s second annual exhibition Stitch Modern at the Piedmont Center for the Arts. (Thru Feb 24th, open Fri, Sat, Sun 12-3)

Check it out!

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Diamond Life by Kim Andersson

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detail of Diamond Life by Kim Andersson

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back side of Diamond Life by Kim Andersson

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Wonky Ladder Quilt by Ellen Heck

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detail of Wonky Ladder Quilt by Ellen Heck

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Mah Na Mah Na by Birgit Hottenrott

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detail of Mah Na Mah Na by Birgit Hottenrott

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Slightly Sober Path by Claire Sherman

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detail of Slightly Sober Path by Claire Sherman

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Happy Stars by Michelle Sullivan

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detail of Happy Stars by Michelle Sullivan

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French Braid #3 by Pati Fried

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V’achalta V’savata: And You Shall Eat and Be Satisfied by Claire Sherman

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Urban Homes by Claudia Comay

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detail of Urban Homes by Claudia Comay

Stitch Modern Part 3

Ok, we’re almost 3/4 of the way through here…at least as far as the quilts go. There is more to share beyond the quilts themselves and we’ll see how much I can muster together for you this month.

For those just tuning in, these are quilts showing at Stitch Modern, the second annual exhibition of the  East Bay Modern Quilt Guild at the Piedmont Center for the Arts.  On through February 24th, Fri, Sat, Sun 12-3, plus during Stitch Modern Special Events

Voila!  More quilt gorgeousness…

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Geos by Joel Ignacio of Joey’s Planting

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detail of Geos by Joel Ignacio of Joey’s Planting

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Usable Squares by Terri Carpenter of The Fox’s Den

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detail of Usable Squares by Terri Carpenter

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quilt by Tara Faughnan

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quilt by Tara Faughnan

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Antique Butterfly Kisses by Pati Fried

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detail of Antique Butterfly Kisses by Pati Fried

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Engulfed in Flames by Cathy Roha

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The Spaces Between by Amelia Terry

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detail of The Spaces Between by Amelia Terry

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Not Your Granny’s Granny Squares by Margaret Glendening

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detail of Not Your Granny’s Granny Squares by Margaret Glendening

Stitch Modern part 2

And more gorgeous quilts from Stitch Modern. Two more days to go and we will have covered them all!  If you’re just tuning in, Stitch Modern is the second annual show of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild.  Open through Feb 24th at The Piedmont Center of the Arts, Fri, Sat and Sun 12-3.

And without further ado, more quilts from the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild:

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Throwing Sparks by Daniel Rouse of Piece and Press

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detail of Throwing Sparks by Daniel Rouse

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Rebel Amish by Adrianne Ove of little bluebell

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detail of Rebel Amish by Adrianne Ove of little bluebell

Small Things That Have No Words by Amelia Terry

Small Things That Have No Words by Amelia Terry

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detail of Small Things That Have No Words by Amelia Terry

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Gum Drops Lollipops by Claudia Comay

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Gum Drops Lollipops by Claudia Comay

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Midnight Dancer By Valerie Gibbins

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Midnight Dancer By Valerie Gibbins

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Lovebug by Maxi French & Cyn Coulouthros of xoxo Quilts

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Lovebug by Maxi French & Cyn Coulouthros

Stitch Modern

Stitch Modern. Love that title. Its the second annual exhibition of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild. Beautiful quilts!

In case you are in the San Francisco Bay area, it is absolutely worth checking out in person.  Through February 24th at the Piedmont Center for the Arts. Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12-3.  Plus of course its open during Stitch Modern Special Events.

Too many photos to sort through for one post so this will be divided into 4 entries over the next week, so stay tuned…

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Happiness by Stacey Sharman of Peppermint Pinwheels

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Happiness by Stacey Sharman of Peppermint Pinwheels

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Finding Your Way by Lauren Hungler of “I Want To Cut You”, quilted by Dawn Schwab

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detail of Finding Your Way by Lauren Hungler of “I Want To Cut You”, quilted by Dawn Schwab

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Cosmos by Kristen Takakuwa

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Cosmos by Kristen Takakuwa

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back side of Cosmos by Kristen Takakuwa

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Linked In by Danielle Collins

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detail of Linked In by Danielle Collins

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Diamonds by Tara Faughnan

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detail of Diamonds by Tara Faughnan

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Garden Poiesis by Sharona Fishrup

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Garden Poiesis by Sharona Fishrup

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Untitled by Shannon Ward Storms

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Untitled by Sharon Ward Storms