SURTEX 2012: Our Neck of the Woods

Before we begin Licensing Show (that would be today!), we wanted to give a shout-out to our very wonderful SURTEX 2012 neighbors. A favorite aspect of our trade show season is meeting fellow artists and sharing tips and tricks. “Do you use a brush or a mouse? Both. Does your day end at 5pm or 5am? 2am. Do you think the owl trend will ever end? No.” This year, we actually met many new artists from all around the show hall, and a big hello to all of you who came by, but the folks below were our next-door-neighbor buddies who stood right beside us rain or shine. (And yes, we did receive a bit of rain on Aisle 500, but the Surtex staff was amazing, and diverted it to giant raincatchers in the Javits sky.)

When we first arrived in the halls of Javits, we wondered who our new neighbors would be this year, just like the first day of school. We couldn’t have been happier. Directly across the aisle from us was the team for Debbie Taylor-Kerman. We loved them. First of all, Debbie’s work is elegant and refined, with a touch of whimsy, and we couldn’t have asked for a better view for our 3 days of Surtex. Secondly, Debbie has a beautiful Scottish accent, so we felt a bit like we had popped overseas for the week. And thirdly, well, I’ll just replay the ‘get to know our neighbor’ conversation we had with Debbie’s husband, Elliott, who works with Debbie and is also in the film business:
Cathy and Ellen and Jules: So, Elliott, what was the path that lead you to the film business?
Elliott: Well, I changed my career path after performing with a band for 18 years.
C, E and J: What kind of music did you play?
Elliott: I was part of an a cappella group.
C, E and J: Oh, we love a cappella. What was the name of your group?
Elliott: It was a group called Rockapella.
C, E and J: (with astonishment and exuberance) ROCKAPELLA?! THE Rockapella?! Like Where-in-the-World-is-Carmen-Sandiego Rockapella? Like Folgers-In-Your-Cup Rockapella?
Elliott: (humbly) Yes. That Rockapella.
Cathy: Oh my gosh … the Heck girls grew up singing along with Rockapella on PBS every day. Your songs are part of their very inner fabric! Wow. Just Wow.
So there you go. We had our first New York City star-sighting right there on the corner of Aisle 550 inside the Jacob Javits Center. What a great way to start the show.

Star quality was not lacking in any part of the Javits Center. Across our other aisle lived Jesse Gelsinger, the licensing director for Gelsinger Licensing Group, an agent for several talented artists, one of which is his mom, Dona Gelsinger. It is likely that you have seen her art, especially her beautifully rendered Santas. After watching Jesse’s twinkle for 3 days, we finally asked if he was related to the Santa on the wall of his booth, and indeed, his grandfather had posed for the painting of the famous jolly fella. So, in a way, we were across the aisle from Santa’s grandson! (Photo below right)
Then, catty-cornered from us was the Sundance Graphics booth. Their company prints fine art prints as well as licenses trend-forward designs for a variety of categories. We were enamored with the artwork scrolling on their mechanical banner.

On set-up day, when we arrived to our empty booth, there on our empty table was a welcoming note from our old friends from across the pond, David Seddon and Jake Thirkell of Portfolio Select Ltd. During the next three days, we visited about all things England from the Diamond Jubilee to the Olympics to one of our favorite common interests, recent geo-cache finds. David wins the bragging rights in that department. We think we might need to plan a trip to England in order to build up our geo-cache caché!
Another set of returning Surtex neighbors from England were our dear friends Delphine Cubitt and Diane Potter. Diane reperesents the delightful work of Delphine and also Kym Bowles, who couldn’t be here this year … helloooo Kym, we missed you.

Next door to to our British neighbors was artist, Marnie Long, who was from … our very own Austin, Texas! So, she is really a double-neighbor. Marnie was working with Eric Carchon, who is a skilled dance photographer from Belgium. We might have to discuss a little art licensing back home over a plate of fried chicken with Belgian waffles, a favorite trendy dish from some of our favorite Austin eateries. Well maybe ours are Texas waffles, but still.

And, our time at Surtex is just not complete until we see Two Town Studio’s Ronnie Walter and Jim Marcotte walking down the hall. Let the laugh-o-meter begin. Ronnie is just so darn funny, and Jim is just so darn wise. If you can’t be around Ronnie all the time, we recommend buying her cards or products just so you can have a little smile each day. And if you would like a bit of wisdom about art licensing and other life matters, we recommend a dose of Jim’s blog.

And, finally, the lovely icing on our Surtex tea cake. Nina Daryanani. Or, you probably know her as Lady Sippington. Nina came by to introduce herself and gave us one of her inventive press kits, which contained all the pieces for a proper cup of tea: the envelope was a teapot, the business card a tea cake, AND, it included a bag of my favorite kind of tea, Smith Tea! (I had been planning to write about this tea ever since Ellen gave me some from her trip to Portland.) We all raved. Then about an hour later, from around the corner, arrived Lady Sippington again (we like to call her Lady Sippington) with a real, no-kidding cup of steaming hot Smith tea … in a lovely ceramic tea cup. This is not our usual trade show beverage. The food courts of the Jacob Javits Center, although very nice, just do not offer afternoon tea. We felt very civilized. We think we might need to add 4 o’clock tea time to our studio day!

We hope you have enjoyed meeting a few of the many talented artists who displayed their work at SURTEX 2012 on Aisle 500 and thereabouts. I guess you could say that we started SURTEX with Folgers in our cup and ended with a proper cup of tea.

Now to Licensing Expo, where our neighbors are likely to be super heroes, transformers and fairy princesses.


  1. Delphine Cubitt June 12, 2012

    Thank you so much girls for another fantastic blog! And a big Thank you for the mention, it is always a pleasure to see you all at Surtex. Your lovely, fun,fresh, vibrant stand and personalities to match, you do brighten up aisle 500. We can’t wait to see you again next year and we will hopefully drag Kym along with us! :-)

    Delphine x

  2. sue zipkin June 12, 2012

    OH WOW I love this post! It was nice to meet and read about some new folks. I love the famous Deb & Elliott. I had the pleasure of chatting with the amazing Delphine(I adore you!)and met the lovely Diane (and look forward to seeing Kym next year). Oh and Jim & Ronnie are just the BEST! So much fun to hear about your neighbors. I wish I was closer to you at the show. I hope that the licensing show is fantastic for you! I am sure it will be for were ever you and the girls go you

  3. Lady Sippington June 13, 2012

    Dearest Cathy, thank you so very much for this lovely blog post. You have summed up the fun and friendly Surtex atmosphere perfectly. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you and I could not believe how blessed I was to have you visit my booth and get so thoroughly excited about my work and the tea. I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to say hello to you. You and your ladies are delightful and full of energy and charm. A highlight of Surtex. I wish you all the best in Vegas and see you next year with a proper cup of tea and some cake! Woo hoo!

  4. Ronnie Walter June 19, 2012

    Thanks, Kids! We love being near you too! Always fun to pop across the aisle in the few minutes you weren’t making deal after deal! Surtex seems so very far away…will miss you!

  5. Judy crowley February 18, 2013

    I was trying to email the picture of completed kids quilt but could not find an email address. I sent to the blog address but not sure if you received the picture. Let me know? I love your site, very informative. Judy

  6. Author
    Cathy Heck February 19, 2013

    We received them! Thank you so much. C and E

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