Blue Print 2017 Recap

 

We did it! My collective and I just exhibited at Blue Print. In this post you'll get a recap of certain aspects of exhibiting like how the show went, pricing, what it cost, and what I wore (because everyone is *dying* to know...).

A fancy shot of our booth decorations.

A fancy shot of our booth decorations.

Reine from Lilla Rogers took this one!

Reine from Lilla Rogers took this one!

ABOUT THE SHOW

Blue Print is a small show (only 30 exhibitors per show) and there's one show 3 days prior to Surtex, and the next show ran concurrently. You can read more about it on Blue Print's website.  It's ran by Cinnamon Joe and a whole bunch of great volunteers.


getting prepared for the show

Timing: Being a perfectionist, I hate procrastinating.  I make spread sheets for everything and everything has a due date and a timeline. I'm glad the others in my collective were totally on board and not wanting to wait till the last minute, either.  Brooke was really great with setting up the timeline.  We started preparing pretty early for the show.  I want to say it was end of September when we began hustling artwork creation and getting our marketing campaigns going. We also sent out early postcards in January (I think, or December) and another follow up in early May. In addition to that, we had our collective newsletter go out every month (thanks, Katie!) We wanted to make sure people knew we were going and that we were prepared. 

I would say our busiest "holy crap" moments were between end of February and beginning of May.  It came to that time where "this is ACTUALLY happening, guys!" and we'd reconvene and have group Skype meeting about where we were and how we were doing.

Pricing: Blue Print is a bit different than Surtex (though it's changing), in that it's about 50/50 buyouts and licensing.  Most people we spoke to always asked our prices for certain pieces, however some were open to licensing as well.  In my collective, I'm kind of informally in charge of spread sheet stuff and we came up with a system to price our work.  Once we had that figured out, we put ALL the artwork we were bringing into an Airtable spreadsheet and had it automatically price our work based on a chosen complexity.  Then, that would auto-generate a letter code range that we could write on the back of our artwork. Here's the header of our spreadsheet.  Super simple but so effective.

It made it super easy to tell a price just by referencing the letter code to a "cheat sheet" on a clipboard.  We'd modify our prices if they wanted full buyouts or category buyouts.

Doing the actual work: Some of the getting ready stuff was theoretical and internet-based. A lot of digital marketing and figuring prices, etc.  When it came time to actually get my hands my printed artwork and do the booth decorations (I was in charge of cutting/printing the bunting flags), that was where the magic happened.  After I got my templates set up, I got them ready to print by converting to PDF, then PSD. Once I got the colors correct (using swatches), I replicated those colors throughout my artwork and just sent them all to the printer at once using a Droplet. Super easy, lemon squeezy. It was SO fun seeing my entire portfolio printed out. It made the show a whole new level of real. 

Yep, I actually use the techniques I talk about all the time ;)


HOW THE SHOW WENT

The biggest thing that happened was that it was the first time any of us met in person after 2.5 years of our collective!  We were telling people it was so weird to see the others' lower halves 😂.  We all got along really well and we each used our strengths to help as a team.   It was the first time exhibiting for all of us - and people were genuinly surprised to hear it!

We exhibited at show 2, which was running at the same time as Surtex. There were a lot of companies coming over from there, too.  Mostly after lunch time on all the days.  We actually got a few companies say they came out to New York specifically to see us!  That was crazy and awesome!

While I'm still chasing leads and communicating with come companies, the show was a success!  I'm expecting to make a profit once deals are finished, thought not a large one.  Paul of Cinnamon Joe was saying how, since this was our first show, that we have to "pay our dues" and the next years will be more profitable once we have a client base that wants to see us.  You kind of become a legit business owner, it seemed, by exhibiting.

I think the real value of showing comes from the leads you get and people you meet in person.  There were companies that I never got replies from via email, however, when they met me in person and saw my art, they wanted to see more!  It was kind of interesting how that worked out.

Photo of our booth on the first day before the doors opened.  We made a few changes at the days went on, but this is the general look of the tables.

Photo of our booth on the first day before the doors opened.  We made a few changes at the days went on, but this is the general look of the tables.


WHAT THE SHOW COST

Since I exhibited with my collective, a total of 4 members, a lot of the costs were shared. See the table below to see what it cost in total, and what it cost for only my share. You can filter or sort this list to see expense types or categories. 💛 Airtable!

I'm not including the cost of the Blue Print booth (which included the tables/chairs/default tablecloth) because Blue Print doesn't advertise the cost.  And the price will fluctuate in coming years so I don't want to ruffle any feathers.  However, I will say the total cost of the trip for me, not including the rest of the collective's shared booth costs, was almost $2,000.

I should also note that I didn't ever use my chip reader at the show, but I wanted to upgrade from the basic swipe reader from Stripe so I could get the fraud protection. Deals that were made at the show were just written on Invoice forms (that Betsy Siber provided) and they were billed after the show using my invoice app, Wave Accounting.  I only brought the Stripe reader in case it was needed or expected.


WHAT I WORE

Image from Zappos.com

Image from Zappos.com

Yep, the most important question.  I scoured the internet and Facebook groups for information on what to wear...most specifically: shoes

Since leaving my full time job last July, I did a (in hindsight) bad thing.  I got rid of all my cute shoes that were business casual.  "I didn't need them anymore," I'd said.  😑 <-- my face when I discovered the lie I told myself.  SO, in addition to bringing my super-comfy grey TOMS (to wear after-hours)...this is what I did:

After reading a bajillion reviews and shopping around, I ended up purchasing some Dansko shoes in their 'Sam' style (in this Sand Dollar color).  They were perfect from first step. My feet never hurt and they went with everything.  I also bought some ridiculous toe socks that literally cover only your toes.  They worked really well to absorb any unsatisfactory olfactory developments. Also, pro tip: putting panty liners in your shoes will also act as a "sock".

Besides the shoes, Blue Print was very casual (more so than Surtex, I thought), and I wore a combination of leggings, tunics, dark jeans, and comfy, flowy tops.  So: get a shoe that's comfy and that is broken in.  Mostly any shoe company that deals in comfort is your best bet. 

Brooke, Betsy, me, Katherine headed back to our Airbnb after grocery shopping.  We got fresh flowers for the table! Oh yeah, and the Empire State building.  No big.  Thanks random (actually not creepy) guy for volunteering to take our photo!

Brooke, Betsy, me, Katherine headed back to our Airbnb after grocery shopping.  We got fresh flowers for the table! Oh yeah, and the Empire State building.  No big.  Thanks random (actually not creepy) guy for volunteering to take our photo!

COMMENT BELOW
Ask about vendors we used, logistics of getting there, or anything else!
 

I'm exhibiting at Blue Print 2017!

It's so weird to think that, 9 months ago, we purchased our exhibitors booth at Blue Print show #2. It seems so far away and yet in that time it felt like time went by so quickly to get to the present. All the preparations like booth decor, marketing materials, and getting all.that.artwork.finished, whew!  It's exhausting yet super exhilarating to think it's finally here!

 
Megan Dunagan at Blue Print 2017
 
 
Hydrangeas Megan Dunagan Blue Print 2017
 
 
Turtles Blue Print 2017 Megan Dunagan
 

I'm looking forward to meeting some artists I've befriended on Facebook and Instagram and my introverted-self is trying to have a brave face for meeting new ones.  After the show, I hope to make a blog post on all the details people would like to know - I know I had a difficult time finding information for random things, so I want to make sure to pass all my newly gleaned knowledge on to you!

Come by my art collective's booth (#8), Pencil Parade!  We'd all love to meet you!  If you're an art director or buyer you can make an appointment or just contact me personally.

Blue Print

May 21-23, 2017 (show 2)
404 10th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Sun & Mon: 9am-6am • Tues: 9am-4pm

New Illustrations and Patterns: Hydrangea Heart

Added a new floral collection to my portfolio:

Hydrangea Heart

Digitally painted with professional watercolor brushes and I just love it!  I feel super happy about how this mini-collection turned out and even added some fun illustrations as well!  See all below.

Contact me if interested in licensing or purchasing the mini collection or an illustration (or 3!)

Hydrangea Heart | Thank you Illustration
Hydrangea Heart | A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you quote
Hydrangea Heart | Fabric Collection | Bolt Fabic
Graduation Sayings | Graduation Quotes | And so the Adventure Begins | Graduation Card

Art Exhibition: VinoNostra in Fullerton

Visit VinoNostra Wine Bar this month to see my artwork!

In downtown Fullerton, Calif., we celebrate First Fridays with an Artwalk.  Many of the restaurants, bars, and art galleries promote artists who are hobbyists and full-time artists. 

Dena of VinoNostra Wine Bar (website | yelp) was kind enough to host my gallery of original images and art prints for the month of February.

We had a great opening night last Friday (the 3rd) and I hope you'll be able to make it during the rest of the month.

I want to also thank all of you that came!  Besides family and close friends that supported me, I was really happy to see others that I hadn't seen in a long time!  Also, to those who were brand-new, kind faces that purchased or talked to me about my artwork, I wanted to send a special thank you to you guys as well. You really made my night and it made me really glad to see my artwork being appreciated by people outside of my regular social circle.

If you come later in the month, have a beer or glass of their wine! She has an amazing collection.  The atmosphere is great for post-college-aged people looking for a relaxed place to chat and have a good time.

Take a look at some of the art I'm displaying:

Info about VinoNostra Wine Bar:

See my artwork ALL of FEBRUARY

 

Location:
123 E Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832

Phone:
(714) 278-1023

Contact:
dena@vinonostra.com

Hours:
Monday-Closed
Tuesday-3:00PM-10:00PM
Wednesday-3:00PM-10:00PM
Thursday-3:00PM-10:00PM
Friday-12:00PM-10:00PM
Saturday-12:00PM-10:00PM
Sunday-1:00PM-8:00PM

 
 

Yarn Wall Hangings + Florals (New Artwork)

I've been participating in the Spoonflower challenges of late - not to win (though that'd be great!), but for topical inspiration.  I pick and choose, of course, based on what I'll think will work in a few markets, then create!

This past week was the theme Yarn.  I chose to do a fun twist and make some wall-hangings...you know, those super cool DIY ones you see all over Pinterest (or..maybe I'M only seeing them...Drat!). 

Woven Wall Hangings

You can vote for the main wall hanging pattern, too, on Spoonflower (until Jan 11).

The color palette was new for me and I really enjoyed it!  I tend to go for saturated colors, but toning it down a bit and working with a dark background, too, was a great new direction.  A little side note: I shortened the Tolkien quote because I didn't want it to look lopsided, but it still retains its meaning and feeling.

PLUS, I had mentioned this on Instagram, but I've been working with digital painting over the past month or so.  I had done it before, but without real seriousness, but I'm kind of loving it now.  I don't use an iPad or a fancy Cintiq (but I'd love one, thanks!)...just my trusty Wacom Intuos tablet.  While I can see the benefit of the other hardware, I'm really used to my little desk tablet, and am glad I started using one forever ago.  I'm always for starting the hard way, THEN learning an easier way later. 

Just like walking to school, up hill, both ways.

Don't worry, my paints won't dry out...I'm just experimenting with other ways of creating.  We are likely moving across the country (literally coast to coast) within the next 3 months and I wanted to try out other methods in case I can't bust out my paint sets (plus the water, paper towels, etc) while on the road. Besides, my cat can get into less trouble with the computer than she can with a paint set ;).

If you're interested in licensing any of these designs, shoot me an email


I'm exhibiting at BLUEPRINT, make an appointment and say hi!