We moved, Irma came and went, we're okay!

I need to catch you all up! I want to get the blog back up and running, and things are finally settling down enough to get back to it...



My little family moved back to Florida in May. When I say 'back', I must say that Florida is my home state. It's where I was born and my family has resided for the last 50 years. So, when husband got an offer, we packed up, left California, put an offer on a house from the 60's and moved to an island between two rivers near Florida's Atlantic coast.

Lots happened this summer between tradeshows and new-home tasks and starting a new school...

And then Irma.

I was beyond terrified by the size of the storm. I hadn't lived in hurricane country in over a decade, it's a new-to-us house and we have big trees all around the house. I evacuated us as fast and left as early as possible just in case. My art is now at a nearby co-op gallery, and after I checked on the art gallery, we shuttered the house, packed up supplies and drove north. And drove. And drove. And drove. We made it to Georgia in pretty good time, and the next morning I drove some more and we made it to a friend's house where we watched from afar the storms progress.

Every day, we were glued to the noaa.gov site watching the very slow progress of the storm as it headed toward Miami (where much of my family resides). The predictions of the storm's path kept shifting from east coast to west coast of Florida, but it didn't matter. Hurricane Irma was so huge, if you were in Florida, you were gonna feel it. In fact, even in north Georgia we felt Irma's winds. Even that far away from the center of the storm, we were out of electricity for a few hours. Once we knew the storm had passed, we made our way back.

As we drove back to Florida, we saw a lot of fallen trees and blocked state roads. When we got back home, it was dark, but we could tell some of the traffic lights were out. Electricity had just come back online, and we were a boil-water notice for a while BUT, there was water coming out of the tap. I'm counting our lucky stars there was no significant damage to our house (just a small leak in the front entryway)!

I've included photos so you can see the nearby boardwalk after the storm. As of this writing, a few weeks after, boats that lost their moorings are still tipped over the former boardwalk edge. Piles and piles of foliage and debris are still on people's curbs, but they are receding each week.

Cocoa Village Park, 9/2017

Boats that lost their moorings, 9/2017



Insider Tips: Showing at Printsource



Hello Blog Readers,

Thanks for stopping by! We recently exhibited at Printsource NYC in January with my art collective, Finch & Foxglove, and I wanted to share with you my experience in case you're trying to figure out what tradeshow is best for your work.



- Why Printsource? -
Printsource NYC is known for having apparel industry buyers attend the show to purchase prints for upcoming collections. We have several artists in Finch & Foxglove who have great patterns for apparel, accessories, and home decor and we thought their work would be better served by exhibiting at Printsource (as an alternative to Surtex for example).





- What was it like to exhibit at Printsource? -
The show is 2 days. The venue is cozy and the atmosphere was relaxed, professional and friendly. I found it to be more comfortable than Surtex which can be visually/energetically overwhelming at times. The booths are smaller in general than at Surtex and the prices are more reasonable for the emerging artist.



- What to bring? And, how to sell your work on the show floor. -
Buyers that came to our booth ranged from small one-person shops to mega corporations. This meant we had to be ready for anything! Our exhibit consisted of hanging indoor vinyl banners, covered tables, and lots of prints both printed on paper and on fabric! We had promotional materials to give to potential clients and we had a way of collecting their information to follow up with them.

Selling on the show floor is thrilling! Be ready to take orders with a receipt book so clients have something to take with them as proof of the purchase. Many take the physical paper print with them along with their receipt of purchase. If you're selling digital prints, as most of us are, be ready to send files within 24 to 48 hours. This takes a leap of faith in many cases. We're taught not to give raw files until we're paid, but very few clients paid in cash on the show floor. The rest paid through invoices. Almost all clients wanted to buy the work outright (rather than do category licensing or category buyouts). Be ready with prices that you'll be happy with and don't show work you don't want to sell!

- Closing Thoughts -
Overall, I really enjoyed Printsource and will definitely exhibit there again. I found the level of clientele matched our work really well and we came away with lots of sales. Compared with Surtex,  which is more of a licensing tradeshow, income from licensing can be slow to trickle in and the initial expense is prohibitive for many emerging artists. Sales from Printsource were either immediately paid or paid within a month of the exhibit (we had just 1 exception to this due to the negotiation process).


Surtex Prep!

Here at the studio, I'm in full-out Surtex prep mode!  Yes, it's only March, and Surtex is in May, but I hate leaving things to the last minute.  I tend to avoid last-minute frenzies and prefer instead to work at a steady pace...

So that's where I've been... in Surtex preparation!  (Ahem... getting ahead of myself, eh?) Ah yes, I should explain. 
What is Surtex?  It's a tradeshow for licensing illustration and artwork.  
What do I mean by licensing? That's when you rent your work out to different industries that need visuals for their products.  And, that's my aim along with meeting art directors interested in collaborating with me and asking me to illustrate people or flora and fauna for them!

My top three areas of focus are...

1) Surface design for apparel / home decor / gifts



2) Illustrations for children's literature



3) And greeting cards and stationery


I'm getting so excited!  I just sent my files to be printed as fabric swatches and I cannot wait to SEW with my own designs!!  I made my first prototype for what I'll be wearing during Surtex today, and I might very well be bubbling over with excitement!  (bubble bubble bubble)

Oh, are you going to be at Surtex too?  Let me know!  I'll be exhibiting as part of my art collective, Finch & Foxglove at Booth #543!

Process: Advent Calendar Noel Image

Hello! I just wanted to introduce myself in case you hadn't met me before.  I'm Adriana Hernandez-Bergstrom!  I go by Adriprints on my work, and  you can find me really easily with that moniker.  I'm the founder of the Finch & Foxglove art collective, and I did the first illustration on our digital Advent Calendar.

I am a really process-oriented person and I love learning how others get to the images they do.  I hope you can learn a little bit from my process too!

The "Noel Peppermint Bark" illustration started off as a doodle that I did in August or September.  I was at my mom's house playing around with an old watercolor set that I had left at her house in case all my luggage was lost.  In my mind, I was working on a tropical-Christmas kind of theme...



In between then and now, our group came up with a wonderful color palette for our advent calendar.  We looked at vintage Christmas postcards to get us started.  These colors were rich and wonderful, but not really tropical... and I really wanted to use the "Noel" lettering.  So I traced the lettering in Adobe Illustrator with the pen tool, used a color from our palette, and started working on composition with the other illustration assets that matched the palette a bit better.  I had created these assets or icons a few weeks ago by painting in watered down gouache.  They were extras from the greeting card project I did in October, and I did a direct "live trace" using Adobe Illustrator to capture them...


Once I had a composition that I liked, I brought each element separately into Photoshop, converted them to Vector Smart Objects and began to add texture and depth...


I really wanted a rich feeling like chocolate in the background, and at first I tried mint + chocolate with the lettering...


But, as you can see it looked a bit too cold in this version.  It read like mold or marble or something unappetizing.  So, next I tried peppermint, and that is what you see in the final image.  A little bit tastier, I think!



This is just one of the many illustrations in our wonderful digital advent calendar.  Follow along on our Finch & Foxglove Advent Calendar page!