More Images from the Stationery and Home Furnishings Shows

By "Roving Reporter" and creative consultant Jeannene Langford

A special thanks to Jeannene Langford for sending this information direct from the stationery show floor.
Jeannene Langford is a Creative Consultant, partnering with businesses to provide art & design, creative direction, and innovative product development. Some of her clients have included Current Inc., Inkadinkado, SuzyZoo, Disney, and Hershey's.


The Effects of This Blog for One Artist

I was happy to receive this email from an artist I featured on my blog awhile back:

Hi Kate

Hope this finds you doing well. Just wanted to let you know that a good number of your blog readers, manufacturers mostly, stopped at my Surtex booth this past week saying they had seen/read about me there (it no doubt helped that I had a big banner on display with my bicycles design).

So, another round of thanks for that and congrats to you for creating an obviously well-followed site for the industry! People are obviously tuning in.

Sean Kane



An Artist's Thought's on Surtex: Jane Sarah Staffier

My Experience at Surtex by Jane Sarah Staffier

-Great people, very nice experience with the artists & reps, in fact wonderful on that score. I truly enjoyed talking to each and every one of them.

-I am glad I didn't buy a booth & won't until they bring the price for entrace back down.

-I went 3 years (2007) ago and paid $50 for both shows. Why $100 hike? Especially for artists, in these times.

-That may be why I had the aisles to myself, the event was sparsely attended compared to 3 years ago, when it was packed. I less then 2 hours I had time to go around & around. Again, let me say the artists from all over & the reps made the show for me. I was worth it for me to meet them.

-There simply was not the foot traffic or the buzz of 3 years ago.

-I would like to know why the 3x price? Do they want only the merchants?

-The price made me reluctant to go for the 1 day, but I threw myself on the bus & arrived Monday noon.

-Waiting in line I had 2 guys behind me who, it turned out, knew something--who stepped up for them & they were given a Day Pass for free right in front of me and went right in as I stood in line & shelled out my $150 bucks! I'm an artist & owner of my own business. Why isn't there a day-pass for us?

-Perhaps the classes were worth it & I'm sure I missed something. But on top of the entrance fee, I couldn't justify another 300 +200+ etc. I don't know many who could afford that.


An Artist's Thought's on Surtex: Jen Goode

My thoughts on Surtex by Jen Goode

I went to Surtex for the first time to see what it was all about. I walked the show and attended a number of the conference sessions. It was definitely worth the cost for me. I learned a great deal and was able to connect with both seasoned and new artists in the industry.

I walked the Stationery show and took the opportunity to network there a bit as well. The experience not only gave me some new insight into this industry but reinforced topics I've learned networking and researching online. Now I have a better understanding of what directions I want to go and what I need to do as far as "next steps".

I'm considering exhibiting next year.


Stationery Show 2010 Observations

Excerpts from Jeanette Smith's Blog

I noticed while at the Stationery Show, that exhibitors were literally busy writing orders, so it was tougher than usual for folks in the booths to keep their appointments or for us 'walkers' to just drop by. Thank goodness for the stationery pros who depend on both artists and agents and travel with their designated licensing director to hold meetings.

Those with successful product lines seem to be attributing it to doing their research in the marketplace and not being afraid to stick with tried and true formulas. If isn’t broke; they aren’t fixing it. Companies are researching the market more; they don’t just have an idea of what they want but know the general theme/occasion and specific subject matter, style and color palette. For example, they don’t just want any Christmas art, but holiday reindeer with a modern design and lime/red palette. I see some manufacturers doing less generic “calls” for art and more detailed requests which are based on their sales experience and trend research. There are opportunities out there for those who don’t mind parameters. And there is frustration for the manufacturers if they provide detailed information on what they want and you grab something generic from your file and send it in. I don't recommend doing that, as they won't for get. It's better not to send something, rather than annoy the manufacturer.

On a different note: Not only do I speak with many artists looking for agents, but I consult with lots of artists who aren’t happy with their current agents. It could be a relationship of one year or 10 years. I hope each of you who were at the show to find an agent will do lots of due diligence before entering into your agreements. One of my clients, who I helped connect with an agent, just signed seven new deals in 1st quarter 2010. So not everyone is unhappy. And many agents I spoke with were very busy and pleased with the deals on their plates and expressed needs from manufacturers.