Guest Blog

Apr 30

Written by: Guest Author
4/30/2013 7:17 AM  RssIcon

With SURTEX around the corner, you may be having a few sleepless nights: 3:22AM:  “Oh no, did I miss the electrical order deadline? What if the portfolios in my carry-on luggage are lost?” Fortunately, you’ll wake up to realize that these were just pesky Sur-stress dreams.

Do not worry. Your booth is ready!  Really, really. Just like Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Glenda, the Good Witch’s assuring words, we’re here to tell you that your booth has been ready all along.

You already drew it, or painted it, or moused it. You have been working all year and probably for many years before that, and a good creative director will know the capabilities you possess from looking at the art that you have made.  Product developers are looking for a style, a feel, a feeling. Your existing work illustrates your aesthetic and your personality, and it projects the kind of work you can create going forward. A strong art director will recognize potential and will know when an artist’s work is a good match for his or her company.

There is another important component to your booth, and you already have that, as well.  It is YOU.  Just you, yourself and you.  Creative directors are looking for artists with whom they would like to collaborate. SURTEX is a great opportunity to meet each other face to face. It is, however, a little bit like looking for a girlfriend or boyfriend at a middle school dance, so you might want to brush your hair before you arrive ... or not ... it depends on the kind of client you are hoping to attract.

And, like finding the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend, the art licensing business does take time, and timing.  Manufacturers are looking for partners who can help to fill a need that they have today. So, remember, if you are a ninja painter of realistic roosters, and a visitor comes by your booth and says, “No, we really need a fresh take on funny felines,” don’t worry. The next visitor may say, “Hey, got any cute cockerels?” Bingo.

So do not fret. Since you still have a few weeks, relax and create. You might send a few more pre-show invitations. You might even double-check that your electrical form is turned in, but don’t worry about your carry-on luggage ... there is a 99.9% chance that the carry-on luggage you placed in the overhead bin will still be there when you arrive, and you’ll be smiling all the way into the city.

Now if we can just follow our own advice ... KEEP CALM, your CARRY ON luggage will not be lost. (We have so jinxed our carry-on luggage with the writing of this post!) 


Learn more about Cathy and Ellen Heck at and for daily life in the studio, visit their blog: