SURTEX® Provides Exhibiting Artists Insights on How to Engage with Attending Manufacturers - Surtex

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SURTEX® Provides Exhibiting Artists Insights on How to Engage with Attending Manufacturers

From Concept to Consumer: how art is licensed for finished goods

White Plains, NY (March 29, 2017) — SURTEX® is the annual global B2B marketplace for sourcing original art and design- where artists, designers, art agencies and global design studios connect with manufacturers, retailers and licensees seeking the latest surface designs for their product development needs. The creative process results in the creation of consumer products and finished goods including: home décor and furnishings, apparel, automotive accessories, beauty, bed and bath, fabric prints, floor coverings, juvenile, giftware and novelties, stationery, tabletop, wall treatments, private label and so much more.

SURTEX happens May 21-23, 2017 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, in New York and is often the starting point for an artist to introduce their work to manufacturers.

“SURTEX presents a powerful business-to-business platform for artists looking to share their designs with a global audience of retailers and manufacturers. This type of exposure opens doors to licensing opportunities that may not have otherwise presented themselves,” said Jill Campbell, vice president of marketing for Emerald Expositions. “This world stage gives designers the opportunity to offer their designs to mass market product manufacturers, and retail private label, in many cases taking them from hobby artist to an active licensor of their designs.”

According to Tracey Wirth of Vivid Art Agency in Chicago, SURTEX is the event where significant future connections are made. “I made many contacts and acquired a client,” said Wirth. She 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,” explained Wirth. “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!”

Manufacturers and retailers are always looking for artists with fresh new ideas. An artist exhibiting at SURTEX should plan their exhibit booth to appeal to the wide variety of attendees walking the tradeshow floor. Past attendees have included representatives from Staples, Harrods, Michaels, Toys R Us and more. Manufacturers already confirmed for the upcoming 2017 SURTEX include Censosud, Clinique, Hallmark Cards, Hasbro, Momeni Rugs and more.

Shannon McNab, a graphic designer turned surface designer at Shannon McNab Studio, encourages exhibiting artists to come to the table with an open mind and a concept for a product line that will appeal to the manufacturers, rather than simply presenting a body of art. “My absolute favorite project to date is a Disney vacation-inspired collection, Magical Memories, for Becky Higgins LLC Project Life App,” said McNab. When asked why participate in SURTEX she said, “I am excited at the prospect of collaborating with companies in other markets.”

Trends in design and color will dictate the types of art that manufacturers are looking to license. To help stay up on the forecasted trends be sure to attend the nine 30-minute Trend Theatre sessions at SURTEX, which will give valuable insight into the latest trends. Topics as diverse as designs that appeal to gen Z, to experts’ thoughts on home interior trends will be presented.

Another SURTEX signature attraction is the designext® international student competition featuring young artists and designers. This year’s theme is GEO– a combination of natural geode stones and modern geometric shapes. The students submit six original designs in one of four categories: Wear, Work, Live or Play. This year the competition featured nearly 200 entries from nearly 20 colleges and universities, the highest number of entries in the competition’s history.

For more information about attending and to register online, visit

SURTEX is the annual tradeshow for the surface design industry, bringing together owners and creators of surface design (artists/designers/studios/agents/brands/licensors) with manufacturers, retailers, licensees and marketers utilizing surface design for product development needs. Since 1986, SURTEX has been the single event and global resource offering the full scope of art selling and licensing under one roof. The show, slated for May 21-23, 2017, will connect nearly 200 exhibitors featuring the work of over 1,000 artists and designers from around the world, with more than 4,500 total attendees, including crossover attendees from the co-located The National Stationery Show® and ICFF®. For information and registration, visit

SURTEX is owned and operated by Emerald Expositions, a leading operator of large business-to-business trade shows in the United States, producing more than 80 trade shows and over 100 face-to-face events in total, including conferences, summits and other events. Emerald Expositions connects more than 500,000 sellers and buyers each year and operates within the U.S. in 10 end markets (Gift, Home, General Merchandise and Manufacturing; Sports & Apparel; Design; Jewelry, Luxury & Antiques; E-Commerce; Creative Services; Licensing; Healthcare; Military; and Food).

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The Write Concepts

Michelle Hirschfield
The Write Concepts