Friday, May 23, 2014

Look Up and Connect!

My art career is pretty divided between the mixed media world and the world of art licensing.  Sometimes those worlds overlap and sometimes they collide as they did on Monday at the Surface and Textile Design show in New York.  And sometimes there's a cosmic collision between my professional life and my personal life -- and that happened Monday too.  (It's all just LIFE, after all!)

Meet my reps - Laurie High and Parker Fulton of Creative Connection Inc.  I met them at the Licensing show in 1996, and signed with them a couple of years later.  They have stuck with me through thick and thin, through my adventures into different styles and media - always encouraging me to be true to myself. I am forever loyal and grateful to them.

On Monday I got to share Surtex with Patti Sokol, a friend I made while taking a class with MaryBeth Shaw, Pam Carriker, Andrew Borloz and Michelle Ward at The Ink Pad.  She just designed her own line of stamps (also available at The Ink Pad!) and is exploring the world of licensing her beautiful pattern designs.

It was fun to walk around the show with her and talk about what made us each stop and look.  There is SO MUCH amazing art at these trade shows and sometimes it's hard to take it all in.  So when something makes you stop -- it's worth considering why.  It was so interesting that Patti and I had very different tastes and sensibilities.

I also got to visit with Donna Downy, who was at Surtex for the first time.  Her work is so beautiful! It should be on products everywhere!

The night before Surtex, Freddie (hubby) and I had watched the movie "Her."  Have you seen it?  It's about a man and a world that connect more with computer personas (operating systems) than with the flesh-and-blood people around them.  This is something that is happening more and more in our world -- even as I went to Surtex Monday morning, I noticed that most of the people waiting for the train had their heads in their phones -- people didn't make eye contact and smile, or say good morning.

You can miss a lot in life if you don't connect, make eye contact, smile, say hello, look up ...

After Patti and I walked around a bit, we parted and I went by myself to get some lunch.  I sat down at a table with another woman who was leafing through her Surtex brochure.  I asked if she'd mind sharing the table, and she looked up and nodded.  I was about to take out my phone, to check all those urgent FB messages that just scream to be looked at, when I remembered "Her" and this video.  I put my phone back in my bag and asked her whether she was attending or exhibiting, and we struck up a conversation.  It turned out that we had so much in common -- both born in Brooklyn, NY, both yogis, similar backgrounds, etc.  AND - it turns out that she owns and runs a card and poster company, and has been looking for an artists who does Jewish themed art.  She asked me to have my rep send her tear sheets of my work!  All of this would not have happened had I buried my head in my phone.

As I walked away from her, reflecting on the importance of making contact, I saw a woman I had noticed two previous times during the day.  She was wearing a black caftan, a huge black hat, and black sunglasses and looked very dramatic.  I stopped her and said this was the third time I had noticed her, and since third time is a charm, I wanted to take the moment to tell her how fantastic she looked.  That I loved her outfit and what she was projecting.  She looked stunned, and then actually started to cry.  She told me that her boyfriend had left her the night before, she was wearing the sunglasses to hide her puffy eyes, she was feeling terribly about herself, and that my words meant more than I could ever imagine.
Connecting is what we humans are meant to do.  It feels good.  It is important, gratifying, a good deed, a mitzvah. So reach out and touch someone - not just through cyberspace -- there are people all around you.  All it takes is "hello."


Many artists and art lovers connected across the globe inspired by #bringbackourgirls and the right of girls everywhere to be educated without fear.  The 72 hour auction exceeded my wildest goals and dreams!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  The light in my heart reaches out and touches the light in yours.  xoxo

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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  1. Well, Jessica.. the Surtex show was successful in so many ways to you. Connecting with others, in person, is so important and good for our spirit and souls. You are truly a gift and make such a difference to others. Thank you, again for leading the way with the art auction. I was happy to be part of it. Another success.
    Look up!

  2. Loved reading this Jessica - You are such a kind, talented and perceptive woman with a fantastic life perspective!

  3. what a really uplifting post Jessica! The Surtex show sounds so fascinating-as does licensing though I know nothing about it. I couldn't agree with you more about looking up and engaging with someone and not the phone. Matter of fact, I rarely use my cell at all and it does make me a bit sad to see so many looking down at their phones not paying attention to where they are walking. You've given such a wonderful example of what one could be missing by paying too much attention to the phone. I am thrilled for you how things turned out. And huge congratulations on your successful fund raising for the girls. Hugs Linda

  4. Wow, that is very serendipitous to meet that lady! I try to be more conscious about my phone use when I'm with other people. It's easy for it to get out of hand!

  5. Jessica- What a fabulous post! I look up all the time! You my friend, are a wonderful person and I am so happy to have our paths crossed. I look forward to meeting you in person and - well, I just had to say that! xoxo

  6. So glad you are having fun and connecting too people. So funny, I was thinking about this at work. My retirement job is giving samples of my product to encourage sales. I love talking and connecting. So many people are wearing their blue tooth or headsets the just rush around. It is nice to see smile when I say hello or pass a compliment. Your story mad me happy!

  7. Lovely post, and yes, we need to make contact with the world and people around us. Valerie

  8. That's it Jessica! Fabulous post!

  9. What a grand post and reminder to remain...well, human! Eye contact is a wonderful thing!

  10. This is an uplifting post. I can't imagine you not making friends with complete strangers whenever you get the chance. I don't know you but, you seem to be very friendly and probably never met a stranger.
    Your smile is very contagious. lol

  11. Just lovely. So timely. I'm glad you made all those great connections.

  12. Jessica-it was so great to catch up again and walk around with you at the show. I love your advice and opinions on the artwork that we saw. I especially loved this blog post and it is such a great reminder to be in the moment and look around at what is right in front of you.

  13. I'm glad you saw the movie, I wouldn't even think of it, to me the concept is SO over the top foreign but I know it's a statement about noticing and how we are de-volving as a society as far as this is concerned. Cute polka dot tights and so glad you made that woman's life better with your comments. xox

  14. I so enjoy hearing your report about Surtex, how very interesting. And yes, LOOK UP! I love that message. I have been trying to pull myself away from constant phone too. The way that we (as a society) are moving or "devolving" as Corrine so accurately mentions, is a big concern to me and I don't really want to be part of it.
    I am happy you had a successful Surtex! Sometime I would like to see the show, perhaps next year?

    1. MB - I think it would be so awesome for you to come to Surtex next year. I see another Broadway show in our future too! Maybe coordinate it with teaching at the Ink Pad??? Just thinking out loud... xo

  15. What a terrific post - so glad you had a great show, and I'm especially loving the connection at the lunch table and with the woman in the aisle. You are so special.

  16. sorry I missed you, Jessica...I was at the Stationery Show....would've loved to have seen you again. I really like your post about "looking up". It is so true...I think sometimes we turn to our phone to "fill" our time up or to avoid looking awkward at a table being reminded me that it is worth putting yourself out there, no matter how's good to meet new people and share interests. Sometime it can turn into a lifelong relationship!

  17. So, I was rummaging through all my son's bar mitzvah cards (this is from a year ago, because I am a hoarder you see) and I flipped over the prettiest one, and of course it ways designed by Jessica Sporn.. So I am sure you will do well with that card maker. peace. Miriam

  18. thanks so much for letting me know about that Miriam! xoxo


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