Thursday, January 29, 2009

CHA

I'm back. I've been back and forth to CHA in Anaheim since Saturday. My days have been packed, hence my bloggy absence. I thought I would share my experience with you over the next couple days. It was a whirlwind of activity and emotions. I need to really mull over what happened and figure out what it all means to me and my business, so I think I'll share my musings here.

We will start with Saturday. As a Designer Member at CHA, I had the opportunity to set-up a showcase table. Editors, publishers and manufacturers are the only ones allowed in the room where the Designer Showcase Tables are set-up. They look at your sample artwork and projects and make appointments to see you if they are interested in your work. The showcase is only on Saturday night and all day Sunday. On Sunday, designers aren't allowed in the room, but on Saturday night, we had the opportunity to be there to network. It was an interesting experience. I had a lot of interest and comments about my display. I have a lot of follow-up to do and we'll see if anything comes of it. I don't have pictures, because the designs I displayed are available for publication and most publishers don't want your ideas out there before they release them!

I had a lot of emotions that night. Fear was a major one. Putting yourself out there as an artist and designer can make anyone nervous. Worrying that your display will be all wrong and you will look like a fool. But there's also excitment. The belief that this exposure could be the lucky break you are looking for. My new designer buddy, Priscilla Burris also had a table, so it was nice to have a friendly face in the crowd!

After the networking event, I headed over to my mentor's hotel and met her in person. Madeline Faiella is my mentor (through CHA) and she is just about the most giving and supportive person I've ever met. It was so nice to meet her in person.

I also met Nancy, the founder of Earth Safe Finishes that night. I dropped off one of my projects to be displayed in the Earth Safe Finishes booth during the show. Nancy was as sweet as she is in her emails.

After dinner with Madeline and Nancy and a host of other talented designers, I left for home. A long day to say the least. I arrived at the convention center to set-up and get organzied at Noon and didn't get home until about 9:30pm. I went straight to bed because I needed to be back at the show in the morning.