surtex 2008: part one

surtex was a really interesting show this year- both for the type of work shown and the difficulty i had getting some of the designers to hand me as little as a business card. the nature of the show is a bit trickier than icff and the stationery show- most of these designers are trying to find licensing deals so they’re not looking to deal with press of any type- let alone someone coming up from a website. luckily most of the booths i was interested in were ok with me taking pictures or a catalog so i’ll be sharing a few of my favorites today and tomorrow. also, a quick thank you to everyone who came out for our panel discussion at surtex on sunday!

dadabank is a los angeles design studio run by artist david palmer- david is also a fine artist who shows his work at the william turner gallery in santa monica. i loved david’s surtex debut- his booth was full of bold patterns, lots of birds and my favorite color of the moment- a deep orange/red. david’s site seems to be down for the moment but you can see more of his work right here as soon as the site is loading again. (the bird image above is david’s as well).

we talked about the lovely samantha hahn last week as part of the pre-show coverage but i wanted to show a few more clips from her booth in the river pavilion. bursting with pattern and color- samantha’s work was definitely one of the highlights of the show for me. i also loved the little notebook paper pad she created for people who stopped by to sign- her ‘knockout’ girl print is one of my favorites.

waddy armstrong was another surtex standout for me- born in san antonio, waddy graduated from SCAD in 99′ and has gone on to produce a beautiful series of paintings that he showed at surtex. you can click here for more information on waddy.

stay tuned for more surtex coverage tomorrow…


I am grateful to you for all your coverage of these shows. I have recently been charged with identifying potential designers who we can partner with, but I don’t always have the budget to go to the shows. Even when I can attend a show, I like to see if what interests me is interesting to others. Your blog has been an invaluable source of information. Thanks!

samantha hahn

Yea!! The show just ended…I’m thrilled with all of the wonderful contacts I made and thank you so much Grace for the wonderful post that brought so many of them to my little booth!!!

Andy Mathis

the weather could have been better, but it was a great show. Samantha’s booth was just down the aisle.

I think most exhibitors, unless they were busy talking business with manufacturers, would have been happy to chat with people from the press, blogosphere included. I didn’t mind chatting with artists walking the show, if it was during a lull time.



sadly i encountered more than a few empty booths that still refused to share catalogs, business cards or press releases (most didn’t have press releases though). i was really surprised.



WOW waddy armstrong rules!!!! So “right now”

John Huang

I had the pleasure of speaking with David as we were exhibiting at the ICFF show just downstairs from Surtex. Truly some amazing designs. I wish i was 1/10 as talented!