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).


Super Simple Patchwork Quilt WIP

How do I deal with the stress of moving internationally?  I multitask like crazy, make lists, post stuff for sale... and do a simple patchwork quilt to deal with the need to do machine-like sewing and stash-busting.

Saturday...

4.5" scrap squares that have been hanging around for a while

later that day...

sewn into strips

and today!
nearly done with the quilted top

I still have five more rows to add, then sashing, then quilting!
Lots of progress!  Hurrah for the feeling of pseudo-accomplishment!

MATS Bootcamp Recap

Another recap!  It's the end of the MATS Assignment Bootcamp unfortunately, and our last assignment was an editorial illustration.  We were given an article about digital nomad-ism and it felt pretty close to home.

I am definitely a digital nomad.  I spend lots of my time traveling back and forth from Germany to the U.S., but also to other parts of the European continent while still maintaining contact with clients and working on personal projects.  I related so much to the advice in the article... it's all about wi-fi and connectivity.

Traveling has been a constant in our lives, but now we're looking at repatriation as a reality.  We'll be moving back to the U.S. in the autumn and I simultaneously eagerly await the next chapter in our lives while mourning the separation from my long-time friends.  It's not our first goodbye to Munich (remember that Amsterdam 6 month dream sequence back in 2011?), and hopefully it won't be goodbye forever.

So where are we headed?  We're going to sunny California!  Don't worry, I'll be writing when I get there, but I'll first be stopping by my mom's place in Florida while we figure out where we'll be living in California.
- - -

Back to the MATS Bootcamp re-cap!

May brought us the crustacean sensation theme as I called it...
I was really pleased with the background pattern and came out with a stoneware plate or tray that I'd buy.


April was the Global Art Gathering poster.  I'm so glad I got to see Brighton in real life... I'd draw the dome differently now that I've seen it in person.  At the moment, it looks a bit like our American capitol buildings. I am still happy I did some painting, though.  The loose style came very naturally to me when used paint and collage.



March we worked on MATS Part A so Bootcamp was on  hiatus.

February we painted on wood.  We were riffing off of Lilla's plate collection and I had been drawn to a central character with foliage.  I'm loving the ladybug character, but I think I could push the whole thing a bit further in one painterly direction with more texture.  Something's missing and I don't know if it's just the mock-up or what.


I took February's assignment further and mocked up some plates too with some of my preliminary designs...


And January we worked on a journal cover. I feel like I've come a long way since our first assignment.  I was so nervous, and I clearly overworked the design now that I can see it with a fresh eye.  I enjoyed every minute of it, though!