Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Blogger : Melissa Held

Melissa is one of the exciting designers we represent, and before Surtex this year she came down to stay with us in Georgia. We have been getting a really good reaction to her new artwork and greeting cards, and she very kindly helped us out at the booth on the last day of the Surtex show.

This week she is our Guest Blogger :


It's really great to be a freelance textile designer and work from home - wherever that happens to be. I've been working from home in New York City for years and love the flexibility of it.
There is a downside though, and that is trying to work creatively in isolation. There is no one around to bounce idea's off of, or to help look at your work with a fresh perspective when you've been staring at your screen for hours and hours. I often email jpgs to Andrea before I do a final version of a design. Sometimes there is a suggestion for a colour change or an element to tweak and sometimes it's perfect as is and I don't change a thing. The critique helps a lot when I just can't see my own work clearly anymore.
Earlier this year, we took this "collaboration" a little further. I actually flew to Atlanta and stayed with Cinnamon Joe for a few days so we could work together, after all, there is only so much you can convey in an email.
I was stuck in a rut and so we spent time going over some new techniques I could try in order to expand my repertoire. Andrea also encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone by playing and experimenting with new materials. We also looked at tons of reference together. Ultimately, it is all about being able to sell the work, and having some variety in your own collection is a sure way to increase sales.
It was also fun to hang out with Andrea and Paul. They may be from the UK but they really showed me traditional Southern hospitality with great cooking, generosity, and making me feel right at home. They work very hard at what they do but they still know how to go out and have a good time. While I was there we made time to visit the historic section downtown, went to some antique and vintage shops, and had some nice meals out. I had a red velvet cupcake at the Atlanta Cupcake Factory that rivaled NYC's best !
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and came back to NY very inspired. I did a lot of new work that was well received at Surtex this year. I would encourage all artists to try and do something similar to shake things up a bit for yourselves. After all these years of freelancing, I've realised that I am a very good designer but I can be even better with a little feedback and collaboration. Also, after getting to know Andrea and Paul better, I felt really happy knowing I work with such wonderful people. Thanks Andrea and Paul !


Here is a glimpse of some of Melissa's new work : 

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