Last week I visited Printsource New York for the first time. Having been to Surtex twice, I knew that the trade shows were similar in that artist would show their artwork available for purchase or licensing to vendors. The two shows are slightly different though. My take on it, in a nutshell, is this: Surtex is a celebration of the industry where new ideas are revealed and new connections are made. PrintSource is a place were business gets done.
Now, I’ve had my eye on Printsource for a while and I was eager to see it for myself. I am ready for a show, but unsure which is right for Designastration. I spoke with a few artist who had booths, spoke with a buyer in the aisles, and then got an opinion of a friend, and fellow artist, who also visited the show.
Visiting a show like Printsource can really give you a sense of the industry and get you psyched up to create some new work. I highly recommend it if you are an illustrator or surface designer! But I’d like to suggest a word or two about etiquette when visiting shows as an artist. There are only a few rules, but they are golden:
1. If there is an artist or design studio you’d like to talk to, be sure there are no buyers talking, approaching, or about to approach them. You wouldn’t want to discourage a buyer from not visiting their booth by being in the way.
2. When introducing yourself to the artist or agent at the booth let them know immediately that you are an artist or not a buyer.
3. If you are talking to an artist at their booth and someone else starts to approach (however apprehensively they peek in) Acknowledge it to the artist and excuse yourself so they can get to work selling their artwork to potential buyers. Let them know you might be back if you want to finish the conversation when they’re free again.
4. Do not request to look through their prints. This is a big taboo. It may seem like an innocent request to you, but it may not be to them. They don’t know you and no one likes to be put in a position that they have to say ‘no’. Unless they offer, just assume it’s off limits. Enjoy the booths though! I love to comment and compliment artist on the most beautiful booths. Most of the best work is on display anyways. Breathe it in and get inspired! Just don’t take any pictures.
Again, going to these shows is invaluable. Sometimes I wish someone had recommended one to me while I was in art school. Here are some links to art licensing shows:
If you know of some other, or up-and-coming shows, please share them! I’d love to hear about them!
Oh! and ‘yes’! I applied for a booth at Printsource this coming January. I’ll be extremely busy prepping, designing, and printing in the next couple months. I think Printsource is a great way to debut Designastration and I’m eager get started!