Happy Happy Art Collective
Happy 2016!! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and your first week of January has been great. Though we had an awesome winter break, it is always nice to get back to the normal schedule.
Day 02 was a fancy ornament coloring sheet.
To celebrate Hanukkah, I created this whimsical foldable dreidel for Day 06.
I played explored some watercolor textures for this set of holiday stickers for Day 14.
Finally, for Day 20, I thought it would be fun to create a winter-y board game to play with the kiddos! I gotta say, we've played several times and it is quite addicting!
Don't forget to check out the other 20 holiday printables on the Happy Happy site - there were some good ones this year! Bookmark the page so you can easily find them again next December.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful 2016!
It's that time of year again! The ladies of Happy Happy Art Collective are back with 24 brand-new holiday printables for you!
I created this fun ornament coloring sheet for Day 02:
In my last post, I explained our booth design and why we made certain choices. Today, I'd like to give you a little tour. Welcome to the Happy Happy Art Collective booth!
tammie, emily and Jill at the start of the show. Come on in!
As I previously explained, we decided to have one wall dedicated to patterns (the raindrop wall) and one wall dedicated to characters. Jill did a quick sketch of the character wall to get an idea of how everything would lay out.
Jill's sketch of the character wall.
I designed a simple scene for our characters to walk on consisting of some rolling, grassy hills and a rainy blue sky. We all contributed a few flowers to sprinkle throughout the grass. Our characters, umbrellas and cloud were all printed on foam core. Some pieces ended up being four feet tall! I found some giant pipe cleaners that worked perfectly as the handles for the umbrellas - and their fuzzy texture was super fun!
Once the characters were attached, we cut raindrops out of adhesive white vinyl that we stuck all around. We didn't want to get them printed directly on the banners, so we would have some flexibility with placement.
Singing in the rain!
For the raindrop wall, we each had a cloud that "rained" giant raindrops full of our patterns. The raindrops ranged from 1' to 2' tall - pretty big! tammie designed the bold painted plaid pattern for the background banner which allowed our raindrops to really pop.
It's raining, it's pouring...patterns!
As you can see in the above photo, we had a skinny wall that was kinda hidden from view. We decided to make our useless wall into our Happiness Soaker display. Jill painted some cork board for hanging our soakers and we stuck some more white raindrops all around.
Because there were three of us sharing the booth, we thought having two tables would allow us to have multiple options for displaying our work and promos. The tall table was for our promos.
The tall table worked great for grab-and-go promos.
Jill picked up some Poppin boxes to keep our postcards, business cards, magnets, pencils and stickers organized.
Look at all the fun stuff!
The low table was perfect for sitting down and browsing our books. And when we were extra busy, we were able to utilize the tall table for sharing our portfolios, as well.
Have a seat!
We had a box full of props for our selfie station. Grab a prop and snap a pic!
I also liked having a prop as I stood in the aisle trying to convince people to stop by our booth. I mean, how can you resist this? ;-)
Hammin' it up.
Last, but not least, here is our lovely raindrop garland and sign. I just love how those raindrops look when the light hits them.
I absolutely love how our booth turned out. It was not only unique, but it perfectly represented us as artists. And just in case you're not smiling yet, here are a few more shots to sum up the experience:
Part of the challenge was designing a booth that would play to ALL of our strengths. Jill and I have a more character-based approach, while tammie is the queen of geo and floral patterns. We needed to figure out a way to showcase all of our skills in a cohesive manner. Since we had secured a corner booth, we'd have two main walls - so we decided to make one wall pattern-focused and the other wall character-focused.
We also wanted our booth to look different from the rest of the booths. Last year when I walked the show I remember thinking that after a certain point, the booths started homogenizing even though the individual styles were different. Much of this had to do with utilizing the standard vertical banners to decorate. Don't get me wrong - I totally understand why that is such a popular approach - the vertical wall panels lend themselves perfectly to the banners. But how could we make our booth stand out among the sea of other booths?
|The Happy Happy Surtex booth before. There is so much potential!|
In lieu of the aforementioned vertical banners, we chose to get large, wall-sized banners that would cover all of the framework of the wall panels (see above). Those large banners, though incredibly unwieldy, looked fantastic once mounted - they eliminated all unnecessary seams and gave us a nice, clean canvas to apply the next portion of our booth design. We were a little worried about the weight and how we would hang them - but tammie had used some 3M velcro strips the year before with success, so we decided to use them again and they worked GREAT!
|tammie smoothing down the corners of our ginormous banners during setup.|
One downfall of getting giant characters printed on foamcore and shipped across the country was the potential for damage. When tammie received the initial shipment, there were a few bumps and bruises:
|Poor kitty and fox. (Photos by tammie)|
Thankfully we had them shipped early enough that we had time to get them re-printed and re-shipped - this time with a lot more padding. Crisis diverted!
We had talked about doing some sort of raindrop garland to string across the booth. Jill found some super cool translucent colored vinyl that would add some funky texture and color. We ended up cutting and assembling the raindrops on the fly during setup:
|Look at those colors!|
|tammie perfecting her selfie with our custom props. (photos by tammie)|
Jill had the brilliant idea of handing out squirt guns swag to go along with our rainy theme. She created custom header cards with her awesome lettering which we stapled onto the bags back at our hotel. Get drenched in happiness!
|A big pile o' happiness soakers. (no, they're not guns!)|
As you can see, we had a lot of different ideas and pieces which all needed to come together. Since we are located all over the country, all of our conversations happened over Google Chat, email, FB or text. (thank goodness for technology!) I'll be honest - there was a tiny part of me that was a little nervous that it would look horrific once the booth was set up. I mean, we didn't even mock it up beforehand! :-O
But by the end of setup, our booth transformed into this:
|Our booth after a long afternoon of setup. Now all we need is carpet!|
Wowza! That's a big difference! As you can see, we had a wall for prancing characters, a wall for raining clouds, and that happy happy wall on the far left? That was the backdrop for our Selfie Station. Since there were three of us, we elected to have a tall table and a short table to help with the flow of traffic. The swag and promos ended up on the tall table for easy access, and the short table contained our portfolio books. The cute IKEA chairs allowed our guests to peruse our books and chat in a comfortable way.
We were thrilled with how it turned out. Yes, it is bold and loud and colorful. But it reflects who we are as artists - and it was almost impossible to not look (or smile) when walking by. That was our goal - to spread happy-happiness!
Stay tuned for an in-depth look at our booth during the show. For all of my other Surtex-related posts, check them out here, here and here.
Until next time,
Surtex this, Surtex that.
I'm sure Stephen and Stella were SO over it. And now the show is done. It's hard to believe!
Let's get back to the last 10 days before the show.
After I sent out all of my promo stuff I buckled down and pulled together some collections. My original goal was 12 collections. As I got closer to Surtex I realized I'd never be able to pull that off, so my revised goal was 8. Then 4. Four seemed like a good number, right?
I ended up designing a Surtex flyer for every collection. I not only used them for my Surtex countdown on social media (40 days > 30 days > 20 days > 10 days), but they became the placeholder on my portfolio site for all of my new work and postcards for the aforementioned promo mailers. Plus it was a good way to put some of my new imagery to use and throw in a little hand-lettering.
I made 2 flyers for my first collection : 10,000 Thrills.
Once the portfolio was done I had about 3 days before I left for New York. I spend that time doing last minute prep such as printing, cutting and folding the header cards Jill designed for our booth swag:
I also made a bunch more pennant flags to give out at the show. Here are a pile of ends cut and pressed, waiting to be sewn onto the felt:
My last goal (and lowest priority) was to make shirts out of some of my own Spoonflower fabric. I bought a cute pattern called the Scout Tee by Grainline Studio and went to town. Sara from The Sewcial Lounge told me the finished shirt is a bit short, so I modified the pattern slightly and added on two inches to the length which ended up being perfect. This is one of the shirts all pressed, ready to be worn:
I wasn't sure what type of fabric to order from Spoonflower - so I ordered some Cotton Lawn. It was a nice fabric, but I have to say - it was still a bit stiff for a shirt. It didn't have a lot of drape, and it gets SO wrinkly every time I wash it. But it looks cute, and the shirts were a hit at the show, so I guess it was worth it!
That's all for the pre-show prep! Stay tuned for another post all about the booth.
Until then, have a wonderful day!
Yup. Ten days. And so much to do. But I have to say - after the stress of the last month, I'm definitely more chill than I was, despite the pile of work and lack of time. I don't want to go into the show totally exhausted, so I'm trying to get to bed at a decent hour (you know - 6 hours of sleep as opposed to 4 hours!) and I think that is helping to clear my head a bit. Ask me in five days if I'm still playing it cool!
I wanted to finish my series on the promo mailers I sent out two weeks ago. After the flags were all sewed and ready to go I realized I needed to mount them to something to keep them flat in their envelopes. I got some backing board, cut it to fit and stamped them with my Emily Balsley Illustration stamp to make them even more official. Here they are, drying:
It may be hard to see in the photo, but I also designed a large rubber stamp for addressing the front of the envelopes. I love how it turned out, but it wasn't the easiest to print - the coverage wasn't as solid as I hoped and that big blank space was next to impossible to keep clean. I actually had to put a little piece of paper there to block the ink for every print. It was a pain, but it was still worth it. They're super fun!
And here are the flags on their boards. I secured them with cute washi tape.
I had also ordered some Surtex postcards, stickers and new business cards, so I stuffed the envelopes with those as well. The back of the postcard has a whimsical "nice to meet you" design.
If you missed Part 1 of my Surtex promo mailers, you can find it here.
'Til next time,
I'll be back soon with the rest of my Surtex promo plan.
Jill, Tammie and I will be representing HHAC at booth 532, and Lauren will be on her own at booth 559.
We're super excited! If you're interested in setting up an appointment, please head here to fill out the request.
Hope to see you there!
|2-color block print|
- Work with dream clients
- Join Happy Happy Art Collective
- Immerse myself in an amazing passion project
- Travel to NYC to walk Surtex
- Survive my first-ever speaking engagement
|Hand-lettered mantra for the #52handlettered Instagram challenge with @penandpeplum|
I wanted to pop in to share my Day 4 contribution to 24 Days of Holiday Printables with Happy Happy Art Collective:
It is a Santa Gift Card Holder. Lift up his beard, and voila - gift card! Sometimes it's nice to dress it up a bit. I know I'll be making several of these for the holidays this year!
To download the free template, head over the Happy Happy blog. And check out the rest of the holiday printables so far - they're so fun!
Have a great weekend,
Unfortunately, my computer broke and it was in the shop for a week. What a bummer! I know I'm on my computer a LOT, but when it's inaccessible, it makes me realize just how dependent I am on it. Yikes. Thankfully, the awesome folks at Swink let me hang out with them for a few days and use their spare computer. That was a tremendous help, but I have to say it is nice to be back on my baby. Now to work through the mountain of projects that piled up in my computer's absence!
Now let's get to the point - the December desktop calendar! I painted this pattern a couple weeks ago and it got a good response on Instagram, so I decided to make it into this month's calendar:
To download the December calendar, you can click on the above image and save it to your computer. Please note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
ALSO! To celebrate the holiday season, the ladies at Happy Happy Art Collective are doing 24 Days of Holiday Printables!
We have lots of fun stuff in store for you! All you have to do is follow our blog to download the goodies. And be sure to Like us on Facebook to ensure you don't miss a thing!
Have an awesome week,
My first thought was Seattle, since my family was headed there for vacation. And though I truly loved my time in Seattle (what a fun city!), I had a hard time coming up with a theme for my collection - sure, there's coffee and rain and music, but those themes just weren't ME.
As I was contemplating other cities, I decided to do something more architecture-based. Usually, my illustrations are pretty organic - so I thought focusing on buildings could be a nice change. Then I started thinking about different types of architecture, and of course, I decided to do something from the 1950s/60s. What city is known for their mid-century architecture? Palm Springs!
I've never been there, but I'd love to go some day. And once I started researching the Desert Modern Architecture and Eichler homes, of course I HAD to check out the going rate for one of them on Air BnB. Yikes! I'll have to start saving ASAP. :-)
First I started out by drawing the Palm Springs Houses.
Well, it has been a week since I've been home from Surtex 2014. And I'm STILL processing it all! Wow, what an experience.
I decided to check it out after I learned all about it in Make Art That Sells - Surtex is a tradeshow where artists sell or license their work to companies who will, in turn, use it on their products. The art consists mostly of surface pattern designs, but there are some stand-alone images featured as well. Since one of my goals is to some day have my own fabric line, I thought it would probably be worth my time to see what it was all about. I didn't necessarily want to have a booth YET, since it is quite the investment, so scoping it out was Step 1 of the process.
Since I was walking the show as an artist, there was some etiquette to keep in mind - most importantly, don't linger too much in the booths. The artists who were showing spent a LOT of time and money on being there, and they were there to generate business and make connections with potential customers. Having long conversations with walkers could potentially detract customers from their booths, so out of respect, we needed to make our chats short and sweet. And if someone walks up who looks like they're there for business, excuse yourself and come back another time.
Though I knew there would be some dream clients there, my goal wasn't to get business - since they were there for the Surtex artists. I didn't carry a formal portfolio, though I did make a few "mini" portfolios which consisted of twenty of my Moo business cards clipped together - to hand out JUST IN CASE I happened to meet a potential client. There were a few moments I could have taken advantage of, but I was too much of a wimp to sell myself. NOTE TO SELF: Work on pitching my art; have confidence in myself!
|My "mini" portfolios and shoulder bag, created just for Surtex|
Lauren and Tammie, two of my fellow Happy Happy Art Collective artists were there showing their work for the first time (woo hoo!) so it would also be a good opportunity to support them (not to mention MEET them)! I ended up rooming with Muffin (another Happy Happy artist) in an Air BnB apartment just a ten minute walk from the Javits Center where Surtex was located. It was a great location, not only close to Surtex, but within walking distance of Times Square where we hung out in the evenings. It sounds like many of the Surtex participants found hotels close by Javits - which is ideal, since they were most likely hauling stuff to and from every day.
|Muffin and I in front of the Javits Center on Day 1|
It didn't take us long to bump in to some of our classmates from Make Art That Sells! We anticipated a sort of MATS "reunion" (can you call it a reunion if you've never actually met?), but I was still blown away by how many people I recognized from class. It was so fun meeting our fellow "Matties" in real life. There was a lot of business card exchanging and hugs, and I loved every bit of it. I also got to meet several of my illustrator crushes: Helen Dardik, Elizabeth Olwen, Zoe Ingram, Dinara Mirtalipova and Allison Cole, to name a few! And I got a hug from the one and only Lilla Rogers. Wow. I was surrounded by greatness!
|Elizabeth Olwen, Muffin, Jill and I|
- Portfolio : Loose prints vs. bound book
- Booth sign :Standard Surtex sign vs. design your own
- Products with your art in the booth
- Flat wall vs. bracketed wall
- Corner booth vs. middle aisle booth
- Tall table vs. short table
- Code or number all your art for future referencing
- Brand every print
- Walls : Banners vs. framed art
- Show personal work or original art
- The buzz : License or buy outright
Some of us also had an opportunity to participate in Lilla's MATS meet-up. A few things I learned from that session:
- If buying outright - What is the life of the product? In other words, when can I get it back again?
- As you make money, invest it back into your business
- When you have a large body of work, display some on your website, but save some to only show potential clients.
- Have a worksheet for your customers which lists all the categories/sub-categories so they can check off their interests.
- Always ask for a little more.
|MATS meet-up with Lilla Rogers|
Now that I have had time to process my Surtex experience, I know that it is something I can definitely handle. I will be able to produce a body of work to have a successful show. My hesitation at this point, aside from the expense, is whether or not I want to put all my eggs in this particular basket. There are many markets of which to focus my illustration, but dedicating a better part of my year in preparing for the surface pattern and licensing segment kinda makes me nervous. I have been hearing from various Surtex artists, that there is the potential for work outside of licensing, such as publishing, so that is good to know. My other option is sharing a booth with the other artists in the Happy Happy Art Collective, which I know would be amazing. Ah! So many decisions!
To wrap up, I am very happy I got to experience Surtex. It was complete eye-candy, and it was delightful meeting so many of the artists I've admired over the last few years. I loved hanging out with my Happy Happy sisters (we missed you, Denise!) and I'm glad I was able to share the experience with them. On the other hand, it has given me a lot to ponder, and I think it's going to take me a while to figure out my game plan.
Until then, thanks for sticking through my super-long Surtex re-cap! If you're interested in learning more, be sure to check out Lauren's, Tammie's, Jill's and Muffin's blog posts about their Surtex experience.
But I didn't have time to do all the research and preliminary drawings like I usually do. I decided to jump right into Photoshop and start drawing. This is the first time I've ever skipped the sketching process and started on the computer. It is not my ideal, but I have to say, the spontaneity was a bit exhilarating! And since the design was very organic, it worked well with drawing on the tablet - I didn't have to worry about super straight lines or perfect spacing. I could just roll with it!
But I did have a chance to work on another project for Happy Happy Art Collective - the Letter K! I thought I would keep it simple with a knitting kangaroo, but once again, my naïveté got the best of me! You'll see what I'm talking about:
Look at all those stitches! What was I thinking?!?
You can find the rest of the Happy Happy letters here.
For April's calendar I decided to illustrate a little fox jumping in the puddles. 'Cause, you know - April showers bring May flowers!
To download the April calendar, you can click on the above image and save it to your computer, or you can also find it here. Please note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Oh - and if you haven't already, please sign up for the Happy Happy newsletter - a new one is being sent out tomorrow!