Atlanta Tidbits

Normally I would toss these eagerly awaited gems out there and let you digest them as you will, but this collection from the recent Atlanta Gift Market seem to be wrapping around a couple of messages. The first is that the business is back – it was a great market and there are similar reports from those that followed; Dallas, Las Vegas, Chicago, LA and the NYIGF all reported significant increases in attendance and sales. For instance:
It’s like the good old days
– a showroom client about the Market
It’s nice to see our customers with their chins off the floor.
– a showroom client
The second point that I see being made is that the days of one-off designs, what I call the single snowman problem, are definitely waning. Yes, I’ve said this before, and yes, there will always be a gift bag here and a paper plate there, however for the first time we are hearing the clients articulate – almost as a group – that they are hunting for something bigger and better. These were all comments from different clients at different times over the six days we were there:
Most anyone can draw a picture, we want more than that.
– a licensee
It’s hard to put a finger on where this market is going so I don’t know what I want.
– a showroom client
We’re really looking for something that’s more than pattern based – everybody can get patterns.
– giftware licensee
We’re looking for properties that we can get behind, develop and sell across a number of categories for the next 2 or 3 years.
– art director of a large multi-category company
No one can afford to do continue doing these novelty collections that are in and out right away, so we want ideas we can carry over to next year and expand upon.
– a giftware manufacturer
And then there are a few random beauties:
This can be a thankless business.
– an agent lamenting the unexpected end of a long term artist relationship
I’m sorry but I just don’t want to be all that helpful.
– a successful artist in a discussion about the social licensing groups
This whole “everybody is an artist” thing makes me want to throw up. It’s just not the case.
– an agent
And of course my favorite:
For God’s sake, how many of these tilty-headed, big-eyed woman designs can this market absorb?
– from an agent walking the show
2 replies
  1. Chris Chun
    Chris Chun says:

    Hi Jim,

    Great to hear that things are ‘picking up’. Thanks for providing real, candid and witty dialogue about the art industry. It’s so refreshing to hear someone tell it like it is. I met Ronnie and you when I first exhibited at Surtex back in 2007 and I have to say that you were both lovely to talk with and generous with your advice about art licensing.


  2. Periwinkle Paisley
    Periwinkle Paisley says:

    I’m thrilled to read that last comment about the ‘big eyed-tilty headed women.’ I’ve been in a bit of a panic thinking I have to get on the big eyed tilty headed women bandwagon only I don’t really have a feel for them.


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