Guest Blog

Jul 15

Written by: Guest Author
7/15/2013 11:48 AM  RssIcon

There are so many wonderful things you can be doing between now and SURTEX 2014 to prepare for your next successful show! I like to choose between panic, obsessive planning and complete denial, but that’s just me. At any given time, I assure you it will be all three beautifully orchestrated to drive me (and Jim!) completely crazy.

And only you can define what “now” means. “Now” for some people means that they started their SURTEX 2014 prep three days after SURTEX 2013 ended – after a break to rest, recharge and do laundry. “Now” for others might mean that sometime around next March or April you think “For the love of all that’s holy, SURTEX is only 6 (or 4…or 3…) weeks away!!!” (see panic above).

Regardless, you certainly have enough time to lie awake worrying about the following:

  • What if nobody (except for that annoying guy in the next booth) stops by?

  • What if your booth happens to be right next to the most popular one at the show and even though you have a ton of meetings scheduled you’ll look like a complete hack in comparison?

  • What if the special paper clips you ordered in PMS 346 will actually be more like PMS 349?

  • What if the adorable shoes you thought were completely comfortable in the privacy of your own home turn out to not only pinch but also look ridiculous with your outfits? (Call me—I know where every DSW store is in the tri-state area)

  • What if you fill your portfolio with Snowmen on Chevron backgrounds with Chalkboard accents and the trend turns out to be Snowmen on Animal Print backgrounds with Polka Dot accents?
Relax already! You have oodles of time to reject any number of ideas for being trite, overworked or just plain crappy. Why, you could reject more than 900 ideas between now and then! So, pace yourself! You have months before you actually have to buckle down and get anything done! In fact, if you like you can move to a complete denial stage that involves watching every back episode of the “Real Housewives of Des Moines”, perfecting your graham cracker and canned frosting sandwich cookies and trolling Pinterest for motivational quotes with cool fonts. Then- and only then - you could actually do some artwork that will be interesting, exciting and extremely licensable!

But remember, you’re a professional! You’re cool and organized and will be ticking tasks off your tidy list of to-do items in a highly organized and systematic way in no time. You may even build a scale model of your booth right down to the Barbie®-sized business cards! You’ll organize your tape into categories that include super sticky, sorta sticky, double sticky and regular sticky. You’ll schedule your hair appointment exactly 8 days ahead of your trip (for maximum style management and volume), your mani-pedi the day before you leave and you’ll match up all your coordinating outfits on your bed, including shoes and jewelry. You’ll take pictures of them, lest you forget that the pink floral scarf goes with Sunday’s outfit and the blue shoes are for Tuesday.* Your significant other will think you are insane, but hey - these are major decisions!

And then right before you leave you’ll have that one final thought: Holy Crap! I need more artwork!

*unless you’re a guy and you just pack everything the day before and call it a trip.

Ronnie Walter
is a writer and artist with scads of products licensed to lots of awesome companies. She’s been doing it since before her hair was this color and, since she still has a lot to say, has no plans to quit any time soon. You can find her at or trolling the clearance racks at TJ Maxx.