My Journey to SURTEX 2017 Begins

Well, technically it began back in July when I officially signed up for my booth, but publicly announcing it today makes it seem that much more real to me.

My Journey to Surtex 2017 Part One: Let's Start at the Beginning | shannonmcnab.com

What is Surtex you ask? Surtex is an annual surface design trade show where designers license and sell their work to companies. Not sure what surface design is? Check out my blog post that explains all about it.

And why have I decided to exhibit at Surtex 2017 when I'm still a newbie in the surface design industry? Well, after careful consideration and TONS of research on the subject, I decided that exhibiting at Surtex would be one of the best ways to get my art in front of as many art directors and buyers in the industry as possible. 

I also seem to work a lot better if I have a really big goal to reach for. As a newbie digital scrapbook designer in 2010, my "big goal" was to become a designer at one of the top digi stores in the industry – which I did the following year when I joined Design House Digital (followed by Pixels & Company in 2012 and finally The Digital Press in 2014).

And I'd argue that exhibiting at Surtex is my biggest goal ever as a designer! So what do I have to do to get ready for the May 2017 show? A mammoth-size list of things!

Back in the day, a goal as big as Surtex would send me into immediate freakout mode, but because of some very helpful creative business tactics I've learned this year, I'm cool as a cucumber. How is that possible? Because I have a PLAN!

"Time for a Luau" Illustration from my Birds of Paradise collection | shannonmcnab.com

When I made the decision to sign up for a booth, I went into immediate research mode and read every Surtex blogpost and article I could find which helped me create a "master list" of literally everything I have to do in order to be prepped and ready to exhibit. From there, it was just a matter of sorting all the tasks into timeline, so I only have to focus on monthly goals (instead of the overwhelming yearly goals).

So what are my Surtex tasks for this month? The majority of work will be on creating new work for my portfolio (like the piece above from my Birds of Paradise collection) and continuing grow my design skills through several online surface design courses. In fact, that's pretty much all I'll be doing through the rest of 2016, since having a healthy-sized portfolio was the #1 piece of advice I've received about having a successful time exhibiting at Surtex.

I'm hoping to chronicle my personal journey as I prepare for the May 2017 show, but I foresee that the majority of my posts on the subject will happen next year as the show gets closer (since everything from marketing to booth design will ramp up). For now, I'm content to just focus on building my surface design portfolio.