Friday, May 28, 2010

National Stationery Show and Surtex - Suzy Ultman

On May 16th, 17th and 18th, the Pine Ridge Art and Art Boutique teams traveled to New York City for the National Stationery Show and Surtex, an art licensing show. These two shows run in conjunction with one another at the beautiful light-filled space of the Javits Center sitting on the Hudson river in Manhattan.

(the entrance to the Javits Center)

The National Stationery show is always fun to walk around and visit. Brimming with new companies and products, the show is a very inspiring experience. This year we found that it was busier than in previous years and seemed to have lots of new companies and expanded booths. With the past couple of years being very hard on this industry, it was nice to see an upbeat crowd in attendance.

Surtex is where we go to do business though. We find the art for our products in a variety of places; from word-of-mouth recommendation, online, fine art shows, and through licensing agents at the Surtex show. We met with a number of the artists we already work with and it is always great to catch up. We have lots of pictures and stories to share, but to get started we'll talk about our meeting at the Lilla Rogers booth with artist Suzy Ultman.

(Art Boutique artist Suzy Ultman stands in front of her display at the Lilla Rogers booth) 

Suzy was born in Pennsylvania but has lived on three continents. Her travels have influenced her style allowing her to take inspiration from various cultural communities and infuse them into her work. Now living north of Boston, Suzy enjoys incorporating nature's palettes and textures into her designs. She creates illustrations, surface patterns and product designs (such as that adorable plushy pictured above). We were delighted to find out that Suzy's products with Art Boutique were her first licensing project. Well loved, Suzy's Crafty Owl collection is an adorable spin on the popular owl motif.


We were excited to meet Suzy and learn more about some of the projects she's been involved with since then. She's created great products for Chronicle Books and Madison Park Greetings among others.  We love her fun and funky style so we also used another of her images to create our "Every Day is Earth Day" Tea-for-One set.


We talked with Suzy about our upcoming projects and products (of course, these are top secret and we can't share!) and what sort of iconography Canadians respond to, and shared a giggle about us Canucks actually liking some of the images we see as stereotypically "Canadian" like canoes and beavers. Suzy was a joy to talk to and we wish we could have stayed longer, but there is so much to see at Surtex and time is tight.

It is a treat to meet face to face with an artist because you learn so much about their personality. It is always amazing to see how a personality translates into an artistic style and Suzy's outgoing, sunny personality  is certainly reflected in her designs.

Read Suzy's Blog by clicking here.
Follow Suzy on Twitter by clicking here.
Shop for Suzy Ultman's Art Boutique products by clicking here.