Inspired by Surtex 2013

Well NYC has officially beat me! I have escaped to Central Park for the afternoon. Sitting here on a rock under the trees,I can still hear the dull roar of the city behind me. It’s mayhem out there! I love the energy and inspiration NYC provides but,after 3 days, my thoughts drift back to a more peaceful way of living.
julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
My trip here to visit Surtex 2013 has been a great one. I have  been on a roller coaster ride of emotions-super excited,starstruck,overwhelmed,relieved,anxious – just a few emotions that have swept over me the past few days of Surtex. All of this accompanied by some very sore feet from all the walking!

I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to walk the show for my first time this year. I followed all the rules of etiquette but discovered quickly that they are just guidelines. Everyone is super friendly and very helpful. I took pictures with permission, spoke to many of the artists, handed out a few business cards and generally made connections with others within my community.

I had the opportunity to meet up with many of my virtual-world designer friends.  I loved spending time with them, they are always full of enthusiasm and good advice! Many exhibitors I spoke with during the show commented on the importance of working within a community. Many of us sit at home daily designing and need to have designer friends to reach out to in times of need. These are your people!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Some of the girls from our love of print & pattern group
Kim Andersson,Suzie Tremel,Julie Hamilton,Deborah Velasquez,Mary Tanana, Maeve Parker

I still don’t have enough trade show knowledge  to answer the question that everyone keeps asking ” Are you going to show next year?”  Many thoughts are running through my head and they may be off kilter. All I do know is that Surtex isn’t something one takes lightly!

You need to have your style and your brand down and it needs to be different and uniquely you.You need to stand out – even before you get to the show. I believe a lot of your connections have to be made beforehand. They need to know you are out there. I also believe you have to commit to the show for a few years and slowly develop your connections. You need to have a 3-5 year plan of  surtex attack. As with any brand you need to be consistent and present. Lastly- Know your market.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Sarah Watts of Wattsalot – my favorite booth! http://www.wattsalot.com

I do believe that it is a great community and place to make connections.The show is super organized and well presented.Everyone is happy, helpful and supportive.If you need a little break from pattern then you have The National Stationary Show and International Contemporary Furniture Fair right next door. I spent hours walking the aisles in awe.Home furnishings, paper, pattern,typography – it was my little piece of heaven.

Some delightful designers I had the opportunity to meet and chat with.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Cindy Lindgren – http://www.cindylindgren.com

Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of some of my other favorites – Jessica Swift, Elizabeth Olwen, Alex Columbo, Monica Lee, Pink Light Studios, but they were all there. I felt like a bit of a surface pattern design groupie!

I was very fortunate to have some chat time with Lilla Rogers of Lilla Rogers Studio. Lilla is a leader in the art and illustration industry.My first impression was wow-now that’s a teacher!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Lilla Rogers, Deborah Velasquez, Julie Hamilton

Lilla is a teacher and it becomes most apparent when in discussion with her. She loves to talk and her enthusiasm for art and willingness to share is limitless. I was lucky enough to bump into her on three separate occasions (I may have been stalking her just a wee bit…) and each time she was engaging and fully present, asking all the right  thought-provoking questions of me and providing me with thoughtful answers of her own.

I still haven’t signed up for her course. Make Art that Sells, which she thought was quite funny, but I really want to now. Fingers crossed!

If you have any questions about Surtex please don’t hesitate to email me at jules@bollah.com.

Goodbye NYC! Next week this time I will be camping ,with no power or running water, in the middle of Vancouver Island in B.C.. Talk about extremes!

Have a great weekend!

Inspired by…a passion for pattern

Welcome to the Passion for Pattern Blog Hop. So happy to have you join us!

I hope you have had a chance to visit Anna Dents blog on the hop, just before mine.If you have arrived here and would like to start at the beginning, just click on the link here and you will begin at the lovely Claire Smillies blog- the talented designer and creator behind this blog hop.
surface pattern design, julie hamilton, artistically afflictedEveryone involved in the hop is passionate about pattern. I have laughed many times  when I have heard mention of seeing pattern in their sleep. I know this well! Designing prints and pattern is addictive-similiar to putting together pieces of a puzzle.

Pattern is all around us. If you stop and look at your surroundings you will discover it is everywhere. From the grain of bark on your front yard tree to the blooming flowers on your back deck. We are surrounded by pattern.

I have been fascinated by the colors,pattern and textures of nature forever. Most of my work is inspired by my surroundings and handcrafted by pen, paint, paper or photo.Lately I have been trying to stretch my imagination and work on lots of dfferent subject matter. Sometimes I  just need a little help from my friend…

surface pattern design, julie hamilton, espresso cups

Sometimes I just need to get out on my bike to find a little inspiration, or at least think about getting out there.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design

Most of the time though my inspiration is found right in my very own backyard. Nature plays a very big role in my work.

surface pattern design, julie hamilton

surface pattern design, julie hamilton
surface pattern design, julie hamilton surface pattern design, julie hamilton

Sometimes you just have to sit back and have fun. Many of my doodles have found their way into the digital world.
surface pattern design, julie hamilton
I am still unsure of what I would like to have my work featured on, but for now its very fun putting it on just about everything!

surface pattern design, julie hamilton

My vision is of a diverse portfolio that ties in all of my creative passions in an artful way.I am very excited, but have to keep telling myself – practice, patience, perseverance – it is all a very slow, but enjoyable process.One that I am approaching with eyes wide open!

Next up is the lovely Simi from Simi Designs. She has a wonderful sense of color and I look forward to having some of her work in my home one day. Hop on over here to visit her!

I hope you enjoy the very diverse and wonderful work of all those participating.

Thanks for popping by and pleased join me again soon. Lots of creative goodness being shared here ( and hopefully a new website soon!)