SURTEX 2014 was an explosion! An explosion of emotions and exhaustion. One minute I was filled with excitement for the possibility that I could be there the very next year showing my work, and the next moment was one of exhaustion, thinking about how much work it would take to show next year. So many amazingly talented artists sharing their work with the world. I couldn’t believe how many great artists I met. Thank you for taking even the smallest moment to talk with me. I hope that I didn’t offend anyone, because that for sure was not the intention. The intention was just to tell you how incredible you are and I hope you know that.
I got to meet so many of my design crushes at SURTEX this year (including the girls from Happy Happy): Jill Howarth, Tammie Bennett, Emily Balsley, Lauren Minco (we missed you Denise), Zoe Ingram, Elizabeth Olwen, Carolyn Gavin, Helen Dardik and Allison Cole! I mean, HELLO! What a line-up!
I know many have come before me, but I’d thought I’d add my two cents about walking SURTEX. I have to say, first off that the talent in that room was incredible. I can hardly believe all the talent!
SOME TIPS FOR WALKING SURTEX
1. Wear comfy shoes. TOMS were great! We were putting in around 7-8 miles a day, just walking around the Javits Center and NYC to get lunch, dinner, etc. So you’ll need some comfy shoes.
2. Bring a pen and paper to take notes.
3. Bring business cards. Mine were mostly handed out to fellow artists (mostly from the MATS classes), but a few others were handed out to other people. I didn’t come home with even one of my cards. I think I made about 100 business cards with mini button magnets in them.
4. Book an apartment or hotel near the Javits Center. Within walking distance if possible. We used airBnB to book a space, and found it reasonably priced, compared to some of the hotels nearby.
5. Take the time to eat! Three meals a day is great, plus a few snacks. Think snacks high in protein, Lara Bars, or almonds are a good choice. There’s a great little market, called SUNAC, just North of the JAVITS that has delicious FRESH food. We got fresh fruit and omelets for breakfast and fresh green salads for lunch. And don’t forget a water bottle. You’ll need to drink often.
6. If you do find yourself talking to an artist and someone else walks in the booth, excuse yourself and come back later if you can.
7. Walk the NSS show as well. We were able to collect the whole alphabet in Letterpressed cards, as a scavenger hunt. So beautiful! And it was fun to walk around and get the cards.
8. Savor the moment and take it all in. Write your feelings down. What excited you the most about SURTEX? Was it the talent? Do you feel your art is ready to show? Of not, what can you do to get it ready? Make a 1 year plan. (That’s what I plan to do!)
9. Take time to enjoy other parts of the city. I walked the Highline, but wished I had just one more day to explore other parts of the city as well. I was there Sunday-Tuesday and could have easily spent a week! Ha ha!
10. Smile! Don’t forget to smile and have fun! I loved encouraging other artists and telling them how incredible they are! It helps boost their confidence, plus keeps you going as well. Smile people!
Well, hopefully that helps a few of you who might be thinking about walking SURTEX next year. It definitely solidified the fact that SURTEX is for me! I can see myself doing very well here! Good luck to everyone who has showed and who plans to show at SURTEX!