What a whirlwind trip to NYC last week was! At one point, my husband said to me ‘doesn’t it seem like we’ve been here for a long long time?’ and it though it was only a week it did seem much longer… in a fantastic way!

nyc inspired sketchbook lettering

nyc inspired sketchbook lettering

The week kicked off for me with Surtex. Since I’ve made the foray into licensing my patterns and illustration work, I’ve been taking classes with the legendary Lilla Rogers via her Lilla Rogers studio. These classes have been phenomenal in helping me to navigate the different markets within the industry and most importantly in helping me to build a network of friends across the globe who do this work. When I arrived at surtex, I walked the aisles of the show for a bit and then texted my friend Irene and we made a plan to meet up. Then, we walked the show together. This turned out to be a brilliant way to move through all the fabulousness displayed at Surtex because when one of us got shy, the other would step in and keep the conversation ball rolling. I’d recommend meeting up with other artists and walking together to anyone who wants to check it out for the first time. I met so many fantastic artists, including Lauren Minco and Tracy Mattocks who live in the land I grew up, Tennessee. I was thrilled to meet them and will be in Nashville in a week so maybe I’ll get a chance to toast their surtex success with a big glass of iced tea [with a shot of whiskey in it maybe, ha]. I also was excited to meet Victoria Johnson, a wonderful artist that I’ve chatted with a bit online and bari J who amazes me with her pattern design and elegant paintings along with Sarah Ehlinger who has just an all around flawless sense of design, pattern and style. I also got a chance to talk to the Forest Foundry ladies and learned that Katy Tanis is also living in SF, we made a plan to have some japantown ramen at some hopefully not too distant future point. I did not get to meet Lilla Rogers, which is probably just as well, since I would have been so star struck by her I might have trembled like a chihuahua, and no one needs to see that! It was a brilliant show and I’m already looking forward to next year. I hope to be ready to exhibit in 2015 and will work toward making that happen. My husband had a talk via the Swiss Embassy on the influence of Jungian thought in videogame design, but Lili and I did not get to attend because it started too late in the evening. So, we made a Eloise style night of it and wandered round the hotel looking for the pool [there isnt one as it turned out] and then went to Grand Central and had shake shack for dinner and bought nail polish and did our nails. New York City just provides creative inspiration no matter where you go or how many times you go there. I was taken with the dining icons in grand central, the subway tiles, the signs in brooklyn, the list is endless. The studios of our friends scott and nathan at the pencil factory in Brooklyn were also super inspiring. A big coincidence is that a former-co-worker of mine, Grace from my days of doing user experience design shared a studio with Nathan prior to her flying off on an extended tour of Asia last week. Her farewell message is still on their studio window. We got to see the astounding show ‘subtlety’ by Kara Walker in the defunct domino sugar factory in brooklyn. The line was long but it was so worth it. The ephemeral sculptures made of sugar and molasses are haunting and dreamlike and the space is ethereal and destined to be torn down soon.
sketchbook matilda

sketchbook matilda

I went with a good friend to the Chelsea Flea Market and was charmed by the very New Yorke’y vendors. I got a small vintage book of Emily Dickinson love poems by my favorite publishers, peter pauper press, a wonderful collection of vintage watch faces and a fabulous vintage jacket. We also saw a street fashion celebrity kazuhiro watanabe at the flea market. He is frequently photographed by Bill Cunningham, so that was a thrill and it was an amazing experience just being there.
sketchbook sleep no more

sketchbook sleep no more

Since it was my and my daughters birthday on May 21st, we celebrated by going to see the Broadway show Matilda for her, based on a story by Roald Dahl. And for me, we went to the spectacular, dreamlike interactive and immersive theatre performance ‘Sleep No More’. It’s really defies complete description but for me it was a form of time travel in a dream state. Astounding. I was and still am enchanted by it, and really hope to go again. NYC, you own a piece of my heart always, I already cannot wait to return.