I just got back from a whirlwind trip to CHA in Anaheim and what an experience it was! This is all such a strange experience for me and I am still processing it all- coming from the fine art world it is quite bizarre to see the corporate fingerprints all over supplies, products and the craft industry- I knew it was a billion dollar industry but CHA really made it hit home for me!!!! Not that I am complaining about being involved by writing a book but it all made me really think about how I want to move forward in this whole new world. Not to mention, I am a total newbie in all of this- it seems that everybody knows each other and have been on the "circuit" for a while so topping off my few days was this overwhelming feeling of being "the new kid on the block" even though I have been a working artist for the last 15 years!! It felt like the first day of high school in a new town all over again. But I did get see Tonia and Jessica (F+W Editors) I also got to connect with the lovely Jane Wynn and her husband Thomas who were an absolute joy to hang out with at the F+W dinner, I also saw Gayle from GeeGees Stamps and Stuff the local Carlsbad shop that I teach at (by happenstance she walked by my demo) I also was able to connect with Jenny Doh of Stampington and after all sorts of the online correspondence it was great to finally meet her in person.
The best part is that my demo went great, the minute I dipped my brush in paint and started creating, everything else fell away and I was in my own world! I had lots of lovely people stop to talk and watch and hopefully sparked interest in my book. Overall it was a good experience for me because it has helped me to redefine my creative path and inspired me to look for alternative ways to create success for my book and my ever evolving art career but it is going to take me a while to process this experience! I had to get back last night and jump back into the house hunting and signing papers process and the reality of getting the place we want- (but I don't want to jinx it by talking about it so I will wait to make the official announcement!!