On the Surface


Here’s a question SURTEX exhibitor Tracey Wirth may not have heard since
grade school days: “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Her answer: Plenty.

“I spent my summer in Cape Cod, Mass,” Tracey reports. In fact, for the last 15 years, Tracey, her husband and their two sons have headed back East from San Francisco for the entire summer. “Cape Cod is awesome!…And always inspiring for me,” Tracey says. “Its oceans, salt air, and its people….I love the people. You would think we would get the same thing from the West Coast, but it is way different.”

It’s that “difference” artists have famously gone traveling to find. American painter John Singer Sargent journeyed to Venice, Morocco, and Corfu looking for a new perspective. Ditto for almost the entire corps of Impressionists who flocked to the French seaside, including Matisse, Monet, and Boudin. Most famously, perhaps, was Paul Gauguin’s creative sojourn in Tahiti.

An earlier journey — to New York for her first SURTEX — had already proved highly inspirational for Tracey, she says. “I made many contacts and acquired a client.” She also met Sue Einersen, president of Vivid Art Agency, a boutique art licensing agency based in Chicago, who responded to the newsletter Tracey started after SURTEX.

In a matter of weeks, Vivid Art Agency and Tracey Wirth Designs became business partners.

“Attending SURTEX 2016 made me realize that I am an artist, and I have a story to tell,” Tracey enthuses. “I started the process of becoming a surface designer about five years ago (hoping to acquire a fabric line with a quilting fabric company), so I mostly limited myself to repeat patterns.

“Now, the world of surface design is wide open to me. I am illustrating characters, I am doing typography, and I am expressing my sense of humor! Thank you, SURTEX!”