Exhibiting at a tradeshow is one of the first stepping-stones to exposure within the design market. The analogy small fish in a big pond came to mind after showing my art side by side with companies who’ve been established and successful, some for as long as twenty years. I'm sure you can relate. By listening to the talk around me, I began to hear about all the avenues an artist can take on the long road to success. Some of those options include: designing for studios, selling designs, commissions and licensing. I've chosen to take the licensing route because my designs have a very specific style. All my designs are hand drawn and are very different from what’s saturating the market now. Which leads me to my next point...
It’s a good thing being different. My designs were unlike anything at the Printsource trade show. Buyers that approached me at my booth, after having seen my designs in the trend gallery and on the promotional material immediately recognized my work. I was told my work is distinct. It’s important to have an easily identifiable style; it might not be for everyone, but for those who want to work with it on their products, its essential.
I showed twenty-five designs at my first tradeshow. After having looked around at the other booths, some with hundreds of designs covering their walls and tables, I realized another important point. Keep producing. In order to prove staying power, artists must continually create and update their design catalog.
Lastly, don’t give up! That’s one of the best bits of advice anyone can lend. Even if your work isn’t the same as everyone else’s you can still find success. Trends are constantly changing and evolving, who knows, you’re style might become the next big thing.
After having entered the design-filled lions den, I’ve come out a stronger artist with a clear brand identity and mission. I want to see