bryant park is in stores now!...

[caption id="attachment_3558" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Image courtesy Hawthorne Threads"]
Hi there everyone!  Bryant Park is available right now! Go check it out!!  Remember to post all you new Bryant Park goodies on the Facebook wallBryant Park in Yacht[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3559" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Image courtesy Hawthorne Threads"]Bryant Park in Terre[/caption]


alice and olivia NYFW fall 2011


A little retro inspired glamour from Alice & Olivia.  I love that being girly and a bit over the top is back!


live the language...

I found this over on one of my favorite haunts Black Eiffel.

I was going to post today on my pics from NYFW, but I found this over on Black Eiffel, and I just had to share.  First of all, it is just so beautifully shot, it is captivating.  Of course the work with the typography is amazing as well.  What I love most about this (aside from it being about Paris), is that I love to see things that encourage exploring, adventure, and learning.  I have this little theory that education has the power to end war, feed the hungry and generally make us all sit around a fire and sing.  Hey, it is not a bad vision for the world, so don't knock it.  But really, I think learning about one another makes it a ton harder to make enemies of one another.  Anyway off my soap box... The piece is one of a few from a campaign for EF or Education First.

Inspiration today. Fashion tomorrow. Enjoy!


new products for gina b designs

Khristian A. Howell for Gina B Designs

New products are here!  These are some of the products available now from Gina B Designs!  Aren's they fun!  You may recognize this first print from the Greenwich Gardens Collection.  It is always so great when the collections you love find a home!

Greenwich gardens for Gina B DesignsKhristian A. Howell for Gina B DesignsKhristian A. Howell for Gina B DesignsKhristian A. Howell for Gina B DesignsKhristian A. Howell for Gina B DesignsKhristian A. Howell for Gina B Designs


zero 2 Illo interview...

Zero 2 IlloHi everyone!  My apologies for the sporadic blogging lately.  This is usually a good sign that a show is coming up!  I am knee deep in prep, but will do my best to bring you some fun bits too!  :)  In case you missed it last week, be sure to swing by Zero 2 Illo and have a listen to an interview with me!  Thanks again to Jonathan Woodward for having me!  Here's to a great week all!


CHA - the view from another trade show first timer...

Alex Sanso is one of the artists who launched herself with gusto into the SHOWSTOPPER tool, and also into her first trade show!  A few weeks ago she made her debut in a special section of CHA called the designer showcase.  She has been kind enough to stop by and share her experience with us!  BRAVO to Alex for jumping in with both feet!LA Convention Center CHA

Alex Sanso

After several years of dreaming of licensing my own art, I now have my first trade show exhibit experience in the history books. Now that the angst of “am I ready?” and “am I good enough?” is over, I ask myself, “what was I waiting for?”

I realized a few months ago that while reading blogs, forums, tweets and e-books about art licensing is extremely valuable (I do it constantly), there would never come a time when I’d say to myself, “I’m ready.” Despite my insecurities, I did manage to license three pieces of art to my first-ever licensee a few months ago. That was the boost I needed, so I decided this year was the year I’d exhibit in a show. The question was, which one? Surtex? Licensing Expo? Where did I fit?

Artopia booth

This past January, I exhibited in the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Winter Trade Show and Conference in Los Angeles...a show I’d never heard of, in an industry I had no experience in. Despite that, I realized that my art style could be a great fit for scrapbooking papers, ribbons, fabrics, stickers...all products represented at this show. But this show would take place a full four months before any show I had been considering up to that point, and I had just barely started creating my collections! Was I nuts? Could I be ready?

I found out that exhibitors at the CHA Trade Show are a mix of manufacturers and distributors of craft and hobby products and tools. Attendees are retailers, store buyers—the (mostly) women who use these products for scrapbooking, jewelry-making, quilting and other crafts for personal and professional use. There is also a “License & Design” section of booths in the show for artists who license their art to manufacturers. The price for a booth is reasonable compared to what you’ll pay for other major shows. However, deeper research revealed that there was an even more affordable option: the Designer Showcase.

This one-day event takes place in a separate room, a blistering walking distance from the main show floor. Designers get a small conference table (not a booth) on which to display their wares, then are banished from the room all day as the by-invitation-only attendees (press, art directors, exhibitors from the show floor) hopefully come, look at your art and leave a business card...or better yet, come back for the 2 hours in the evening when designers are present to meet and greet the attendees.  That’s right, prepare like mad, travel to LA and set up a table in a room for two hours of face time out of a 4-day show. I signed right up, of course!

The upshot...I made the most of my small, one-day, unmanned exhibit by making the presentation the best that I could—with a full catalog to flip through, a freestanding display and a slideshow running on my laptop. I also displayed some product that had been created from my art for a client—not from my collections, but a good showing of my style. I created postcards that I left on the table (which I had also been handing out for two days prior at the show as I met people), and left a place for people to fill in their information and drop their cards. By the time the whole event was over, I had a long list of contacts that I have spent the last couple of weeks following up with!

New contacts, great! But did I leave the show with any contracts in hand? No. I know that, besides having great art, success in this business is based on exposure, making connections and building relationships that are forged over time. In that sense, this show was a smashing success for me. I walked away with the confidence that this is the right move for my business and that I do have a place in the art licensing industry. I have a first-show experience behind me and can get on with it. I’ll be walking Surtex this May and plotting my next entrance onto the licensing stage. I guess I’d better get to work on more collections.

Artist and graphic designer Alex Sanso found her passion in creating art for product during her nine years as an artist at Walt Disney World, creating art and design for theme park merchandise such as stationery, home decor, games, textiles, apparel and more. As chief artopian at artopia creative, she brings that experience to her own art licensing collections...and still loves a great thrill ride!


practicing gratitude...

i will be grateful for this day by vol25Look at this beauty I just bought from the Vol25 Etsy shop!! It is printed on this super cool textured canvas paper.  I love everything about it - the color, the type treatment and of course the message.  Gratitude is something I am recommitting myself to practicing daily.  I mean let's be honest folks, the past few years have been exciting times for growth, as well as super trying at times.  I am grateful for every bump I have encountered in both my business and personal life because each episode is an opportunity for  me to learn and grow.  Being truly grateful for this very moment in time whether picture perfect or difficult, has a real grounding effect and makes me remember what is truly important in my life.  Happy weekend all...


SURTEX has a new blog!...

surtex-logoHappy Friday friends!  SURTEX has just a new blog, and guess who is the first guest contributor - me!  Stop by and check it out today!  I'm talking about thinking like a buyer - one of my big tips when designing your collections.  Have a great weekend all!



Anthropologie Endless Lengths DressOk.  Truth.  The winter Anthro catalog was a bit of a dud for me.  HOWEVER, have you received the latest one yet???  Issue 2. 2011?  Clearly, I am prone to a bit of drama, but seriously I may die if I don't get some of these pieces asap!  Anthro, I'm sorry to have ever doubted you...Anthropologie Fulani Patch Work SkirtAnthropologie Study of Shapes Dress