Thursday, May 24, 2012

Back Home from Surtex!

Back Home from Surtex!

My cardinals on the Studio Voltaire banner attracted a lot of attention!

Well!  What an experience!  This was my first year exhibiting at Surtex, and I was with my agents, Gwynn Goodner and Bert Bloom for most of the three days. Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day and was the first day for the show.  Traffic to the booth was quite slow for most of the day.  But historically, most of the first-day traffic is over on the other side of the Javit's Center at the National Stationery Show, the sister show to Surtex.  Seems that a lot of people browse the aisles at NSS, then come over to Surtex the next day.  And they did.

Monday, the skies opened up and just poured!  By the time we got a cab and made our way down to the Javit's, we had soaked pants hems and shoes and our carefully coiffed hair was matted.  But we managed to look somewhat presentable by the time we got onto the show floor.

We were swamped with art buyers, art directors and others from manufacturing, direct marketing and from companies buying for places like Home Goods, Target and the like.  I took notes like a madwoman!  This is how the process goes:

A buyer comes to the booth, and shows us proof that he or she is in one of the approved trade industries.  Then the scanning through the portfolios start.  When an image stands out as a possibility for whatever purpose they need (like framed art, fabric design, decorative items, greeting cards, etc), the page is marked.  The agents start to compile a list of images for the client.

After the agent returns to his/her home office, a CD of images (or a PDF) is sent to the client.  The client will use these for comping and/or to bring them to design meetings where the images will be discussed, mocked up on product, accepted or rejected.  The ones that make it through this process may wind up on a product.  A lot of this is spec work by a middleman, especially if the end client is a big company, like Wal-Mart or Target.

From the time the buyer visits the booth to when it actually becomes a product can be anywhere from six months to a year and a half!  Only after the product starts to sell will the artist start to see some royalties. 

At times, companies will request specific spec work of the artist, and often times that company will pay a fee for the artist's time and trouble.  Doesn't always happen, but it's nice when it does!

So we'll see what happens!  I noticed that many of my images were selected for that golden CD, so with any luck, they'll make it through the preliminary stage!

My agents, Bert Bloom and Gwynn Goodner, in their booth. 
Note all the portfolios waiting for clients to browse through.

Yours truly in front of my banner, managing to stand upright
on only about two hours' sleep!

I'll be there next year!


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