Cocktails and coffee, direct importing, and, yes, retail consolidation are top of mind as artists and agents head to this year's SURTEX, being held May 21 to 23 at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center.
"Trends are admittedly difficult to predict in the art world," says Elise Rosenthal, president and owner of licensing agent Rosenthal Represents, which has been involved in art licensing for the last 17 years. "But, for the most part, people are looking to find artwork that showcases their hobbies, sports, gaming, and leisure activities beyond the realities of their daily work." To this end, color continues to play a large role in the design process. "The trend of intensely bright colors will continue to be very strong," says artist Tara Reed of Tara Reed Designs, Inc. "We recently saw only one color being paired with brown,
Artists and agents to watch at SURTEX.
Greg & Company
will feature a new collection of design themes applicable to home décor and furnishing manufacturers. The collection is based loosely on a lodge/home theme and also includes botanical subjects.
will introduce two new collections. The company plans to focus on building awareness for the Laurie Korsgaden brand and developing new relationships with licensees that have good distribution models at various levels of retail.
Now in her 11th year of licensing, Kathleen Parr McKenna of
McKenna Design, LLC
, will unveil a new collection and plans to present more than 30 new images in 2006. She seeks partners in the bed and bath and print categories.
will introduce work from new artists Luis Fitch (artwork shown at right) and Robin Roderick. The company also will highlight a new children's brand, Tiny Tillia, from Chester creator Tiffany Lerman. Categories available include: melamine, gift wrap, paper tableware, stationery, publishing, games, and room décor.
This May will mark
third consecutive year exhibiting at SURTEX, and she hopes to complete 25 new images by show time. Look for new additions to her Holiday, Coastal, Inspirational, and Spring collections, as well as new Lodge and Latte collections.
SURTEX will serve as the launching pad for the majority of new images from
Debra Jordan Bryan
in 2006, with a new collection of whimsical cats and dogs, Christmas inspirational art, and country roosters topping the list. She currently seeks a relationship with party goods and mass-market book manufacturers.
Courtney Davis, Inc.
, recently added designer Anna Griffin to its portfolio and signed two licenses: Department 56's new Tickle division and C.R. Gibson. In addition, Courtney Davis took on the licensing for Studio Olika and the work of Lori Siebert, the latter of which will launch a program at SURTEX.
will introduce 10 new collections. Highlights include: new designs with exclusive tabletop partner Hausenware; a direct-to-retail deal with Fred Meyer across the home and seasonal departments on more than 10 products for holiday '06; and an upcoming '07 barbecue line with FoxRun Craftsmen, which will feature Reed's artwork on product and packaging.
The latest deals for
include: a Halloween tabletop collection set to launch in April 2006, featuring innovative candy dishes, condiment trays, dip bowls, spreaders, platters, and candleholders and votives (Santa Barbara Ceramic Designs); "Day at the Beach" fundraising giftware, including beach bags and other accessories (Giftco); and a new holiday tabletop collection (Boston Warehouse Trading Company).
Can I Keep It? LLC
will launch its two newest lines, "FollyDays" and "Hey, Remember Me?" The company seeks partners that appreciate a whimsical take on animal imagery and traditional icons. Immediate goals include securing a publisher for its four children's book titles, while the long-term aim is to gain a good market share of the holiday, gift wrap, wallpaper, and tabletop design markets.
Painted Planet Licensing Group
will introduce four new artists, with designs ranging from whimsical characters and old-fashioned vignettes to folk art motifs and snowmen. Available categories include tabletop, paper products, giftware, and fabric.
seeks partners in bedding, scrapbooking, and fabric. Going forward, she is looking to branch into the brands and character categories, and plans to create children's books.
looks to grow her presence in the crafting and scrapbooking markets. Available categories include paper products and coordinating gift bags, stickers, tags, and greeting cards.
recent highlights include: Eureka Lake Studio (a slot machine design set to debut this spring); Kate Ward Thacker (new rug lines from Homefires by Design and Surya Carpets); Marcella Rose (rugs from Surya Carpets, glazed tabletop from Precidio, fabric from A.E. Nathan, and prints from Galaxy of Graphics); and newest addition Marjorie Sarnat, whose artwork is well-positioned for the giftware industry, as well as textile design for fashion apparel, home décor, and stationery.
Frends & Associates
will present collections from two new artists: Sarah Dugger (textile and stationery categories) and Dawn Marie Viloa (fashion and home and office décor), as well as inspiration lifestyle brand The Heart-Shaped Life, targeting Christian women ages 18 to 64.
Penny Lane Publishing
recently signed on three new artists: Sue Jernigan, Deb Collins, and Diane Weaver.
Paul Brent Designer, Inc.
, will introduce a new design portfolio that focuses on young, hip women in their 20s and 30s. The company also will announce multiple gift designs for Amia, including large-scale canvas wall art and outdoor art (International Art), checks and checkbooks (Bradford Exchange), and apparel (Caribbean Soul).
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